Raymond’s highly scientific predictions for the 2007 NCAA men’s basketball tournament

Every year, when it comes time to fill out my NCAA bracket, I choose an arbitrary criterion. You'd think this would take less work, but it actually takes more. My original plan was to rank teams based on how much they pay their head coaches, but it turns out that the salaries (and bonuses and perks) of the head coaches of school basketball programs is hard to find! Instead, I went with something much easier to find but which is still somewhat indicative (in an indirect sense) of the strength of the program: The seating capacity of the home arena.


  • Correct predictions are in green.
  • Incorrect predictions are in red.
  • (!) marks upsets correctly predicted.
  • (*) marks upsets predicted but did not take place.
  • (x) marks actual upsets not predicted.

Opening Round Game

Florida A&M (3,365) Florida A&M
Niagara (2,400)

Midwest bracket

1 Florida (12,000) Florida
16 Jackson St. (8,000)
8 Arizona (14,545) Arizona (x)
9 Purdue (14,123)
5 Butler (11,043) Butler
Maryland (x)
12 Old Dominion (8,600)
4 Maryland (17,950) Maryland
13 Davidson (5,700)
6 Notre Dame (11,418) Notre Dame (x)
Notre Dame
11 Winthrop (6,100)
3 Oregon (9,087) Miami (Ohio) (x)
14 Miami (Ohio) (9,200)
7 UNLV (18,500) UNLV
10 Georgia Tech (9,191)
2 Wisconsin (17,142) Wisconsin
15 Texas A&M CC (8,000)

West bracket

1 Kansas (16,300) Kansas
Kentucky (*)
16 Florida A&M (3,365)
8 Kentucky (23,000) Kentucky
9 Villanova (6,500)
5 Virginia Tech (10,052) Illinois (x)
12 Illinois (16,500)
4 Southern Ill. (9,628) Southern Ill.
13 Holy Cross (3,600)
6 Duke (9,314) Duke (x)
11 VCU (7,500)
3 Pittsburgh (12,504) Pittsburgh
14 Wright St. (11,019)
7 Indiana (17,456) Indiana
Indiana (*)
10 Gonzaga (6,000)
2 UCLA (12,819) UCLA
15 Weber St. (12,000)

East bracket

1 N. Carolina (21,800) N. Carolina
N. Carolina
N. Carolina
N. Carolina (x)
16 Eastern Ky. (6,500)
8 Marquette (18,866) Marquette (*)
9 Michigan St. (14,759)
5 Southern Cal (10,258) Arkansas (*)
12 Arkansas (19,200)
4 Texas (16,755) Texas
13 New Mexico St. (13,071)
6 Vanderbilt (14,316) Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt (!)
11 G. Washington (5,000)
3 Washington St. (11,566) Washington St.
14 Oral Roberts (10,575)
7 Boston College (8,606) Texas Tech (*)
10 Texas Tech (15,098)
2 Georgetown (20,600) Georgetown
15 Belmont (5,000)

South bracket

1 Ohio St. (19,200) Ohio St.
16 C. Conn. St. (3,200)
8 BYU (22,700) BYU (x)
9 Xavier (10,250)
5 Tennessee (24,535) Tennessee
Tennessee (!)
12 Long Beach (5,000)
4 Virginia (16,000) Virginia
13 Albany (5,000)
6 Louisville (18,865) Louisville
Louisville (*)
11 Stanford (7,391)
3 Texas A&M (12,500) Texas A&M
14 Penn (8,700)
7 Nevada (11,200) Creighton (*)
10 Creighton (17,272)
2 Memphis (18,400) Memphis
15 North Texas (10,032)


UNLV (18,500) Kentucky
Kentucky (23,000)
N. Carolina (21,800) Tennessee
Tennessee (24,535)

The first full round is the crucial one. Not only are half of the games are first-round games, but your choices in the first round heavily influence your choices in subsequent rounds. I don't know if anybody has ever submitted a bracket that was internally inconsistent. For example, having a team that lost in the first round magically reappear in the third round. It's technically legal but highly unorthodox.

Comments (17)
  1. John says:

    So, all we have to do is build a bigger stadium and we will win the tournament?  Sweet!

  2. Scott says:

    This method can be a bit misled by schools that share NBA arenas but never fill them.  Not sure how many of those there are.  At least Seton Hall at Continental Arena, and St. Johns at MSG.

    Average attendance could work better.  But more work.

  3. Phil Scott says:

    My mom once submitted a bracket where she had teams making reappearances to her office pool after losing in the first or second round. I’m not sure how or why she did it, but I do remember that the team she picked (and won) the national championship that year she had getting upset in the first round, but they were among the team she gave "second chances" to. This was, of course, during the days of paper done entries and adding up the scores day by day.

    So when it came time to add up the scores at her work, the guy running the bracket merely went down the rounds column by column adding up how many "winning teams" you got correct. And despite not doing well in the first two rounds, her teams that she gave reprieves to showed up strong in the elite eight and the final four. I think she ended up coming in second place in her bracket.

  4. Andrew says:

    This will be an interesting bracket to track. It would seem like there would be a lot of things that could derail it. For instance Gonzaga recently chose to build a smaller stadium than they knew the market could support to ensure it would always be 100% full and thus have a better ‘atmosphere’ for the players, the intent being to win games rather than generate revenue.

    (Currently reading your book and am really enjoying it – thanks for writing it!)

  5. Nathan says:

    I can’t find the links, but a few weeks ago Washington Post had an article about home stadiums being ‘stacked’. Various things like architecture to funnel noise (more NFL), but for college basketball: seating the students in close-to-court areas (and giving cheap rates to rabid noisy students for front row seats), putting in specifically noisy bleachers (for stomping on), to making bleachers uncomfortable to sit on (to make fans stand). My google-foo failed to find the link..

  6. Sorry, but you are out of your gourd if you think that Albany isn’t going to kick Virginia’s ass =)  Ok, so Im an Albany alum, but that’s not influencing my decision, honest.

  7. RussN says:

    Additionally, I think it’s funny that the reason Tennessee is going to win the men’s tournament is that their women’s team has been ridiculously successful enough to merit the large arena.

    But that could just be me.  I don’t actually know anything about the Tennessee arena, that just seems the most likely scenario to me.

  8. Eric Swanson says:

    Raymond, I thought I’d actually stop by the author’s blog of the book I reviewed earlier this year. Great work putting it together and getting it out the door! I really appreciated some of the insight you provided. –Eric S.

  9. Jeff says:

    I wonder how long the building/planning cycle for a college basketball arena is… It might be that the size of the arena correlates better with success 10-15 years ago (rather than this year).  Looking forward to seeing how it works out!

  10. julie:) says:

    Illinois all the way!  Although I have a moment of unease with your Illinois v. Southern Illinois (my hometown) game…  I hope I don’t have to frankenstein shirts together – maroon and orange just aren’t the height of fashion color combos.

  11. Rob says:

    I don’t follow basketball and needed to submit my choices at the office.  Thanks for helping me not look foolish.

  12. Jay says:

    If you use this as your sole resource for NCAA wagering than your a fool (Rob). I have a better idea, enter my pool or better yet, just send me your money and save yourself the time.

  13. Muñeca Brava says:

    "your a fool"

    Oh the irony.

  14. Jason says:

    Why is Oregon in the midwest bracket?

    [The brackets are named after where the games are played, not where the schools come from. Confusing I agree. -Raymond]
  15. RT says:

    Thanks… I don’t follow college ball, but I am in a office pool.

    I am taking your predictions with minor modifications.



  16. A regular viewer says:

    I know bra and I know ket, but I know absolutely nothing about this "bracket". Came across this today. Thought of you. http://www.madduxsports.com/ncaa-brackets.html

  17. Friend of Bob says:

    Bob thought it was really cool how you did this, I told him not to make any bets using this system.

Comments are closed.