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Tar Heel Pundits
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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Politics and Basketball

I read an interesting tidbit about how basketball teams from "red states" are outperforming those from "blue states" in this year's Big Dance over at Election Projection. This seemed like something I should investigate.

Since the Big Dance expended in 1985, I will look at the outcomes of the tournaments that immediately followed a Presidential election. In 1985, Villanova defeated Georgetown. In 1989, Michigan defeated Seton Hall. In 1993, UNC defeated Michigan. In 1997, Arizona defeated Kentucky. And, in 2001, Duke defeated Arizona.

Arizona, Duke, Villanova, and UNC have won National Championships following an election. Only Duke and Villanova won after a Republican was elected.

Of these 8 teams, 5 are alive in this year's Sweet 16. Arizona has been in the last two of these national title games. This seems to rule the Wildcats out though because after Michigan was in two consecutive and they went "win, lose" and so did Arizona.

Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, and UNC have been in 2 of the 5 Final Fours. However, UNC and Kentucky's trips have been in the same year - which leads one to believe that if one makes it then both will.

Also of note, Illinois and Michigan State have been in one Final Four each - both losing in National Semifinals.

What does this mean? If you can figure that out, hit the comments section. For me, I'm just spitting out the facts and have no clue otherwise. As I have more time, I'll look for more info.

posted by Rhodenhiser @ 7:41 PM

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