ESRI-College-Basketball-Map

Ranking the states

We can say with relative ease and certainty which Division-I men's college basketball conferences can be considered "power" conferences. But I wanted to break things down another way to find the "power" states in an objective, data-driven way. In short, which states are home to the most quality basketball teams?

So I pulled Ken Pomeroy's rankings for all 347 teams into excel, and manually assigned every team to its representative state (this is why I now know that Bryant University is located in Rhode Island). I averaged the rankings for all teams in each state, but was unhappy with that result.

Using that method, the state of North Carolina, for example, which is home to a lot of very high quality basketball was severely impeded for having teams like Appalachian State (No. 273) and North Carolina A&T (No. 268). That meant the Tarheel State, which had an average of 164.7 for its 19 teams, ranked 22nd. I don't think states should be penalized for fielding lots of teams, because lots of teams just means lots of options and potential, both good things.

So I altered that method by averaging the rankings of the top five teams from each state (or four or three or two for states that don't have five D-I teams). States with zero (Alaska) or just one (Maine, Hawaii, Minnesota, Wyoming) team aren't included in this list, because 1) there's not an objective way to include them that doesn't skew the data (Minnesota would be No. 1) and 2) how can you be considered a "power" basketball state if you only field one team? Seems unfair, and seems like your citizenry doesn't really care that much about basketball. That's right, Wyomingites.

This method still favors big states with lots of programs (like California and Pennsylvia) over smaller states with only a couple of high-quality programs (like Missouri), but I'm okay with that. As I said earlier, more teams means more options, potential and competition. Your state deserves a higher ranking.

So, without further ado, and using data through Dec. 24, here are the 45 states and the District of Columbia ranked by average Pomeroy ranking of their top five programs.

  1. 1. Kansas 22.3
  2. 2. Ohio 40.0
  3. 3. North Carolina 46.2
  4. 4. California 46.6
  5. 5. Pennsylvania 47.6
  6. 6. Indiana 48.4
  7. 7. Tennessee 59.6
  8. 8. Florida 60.6
  9. 9. Virginia 65.4
  10. 10. New Mexico 70.0
  11. 11. New York 76.8
  12. 12. Illinois 77.6
  13. 13. Iowa 78.0
  14. 14. Kentucky 82.6
  15. 15. Nevada 88.5
  16. 16. Texas 89.8
  17. 17. Michigan 97.4
  18. 18. Colorado 101.8
  19. 19. Oklahoma 104.3
  20. 20. West Virginia 124.0
  21. 21. Massachusetts 129.0
  22. 22. Wisconsin 130.8
  23. 23. New Jersey 139.6
  24. 24. South Carolina 141.0
  25. 25. Arizona 144.3
  26. 26. Oregon 144.8
  27. 27. Maryland 145.4
  28. 28. Louisiana 146.0
  29. 29. Washington 149.4
  30. 30. Connecticut 151.2
  31. 31. Georgia 152.4
  32. 32. Utah 158.2
  33. 33. Alabama 161.6
  34. 34. Vermont 163.0
  35. 35. North Dakota 169.5
  36. 36. Missouri 176.8
  37. 37. Nebraska 185.7
  38. 38. District of Columbia 189.0
  39. 39. Idaho 191.0
  40. 40. Mississippi 197.0
  41. 41. Rhode Island 200.3
  42. 42. South Dakota 203.5
  43. 43. Delaware 207.5
  44. 44. Montana 222.5
  45. 45. Arkansas 225.0
  46. 46. New Hampshire 272.0
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