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.

Update:

  • 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
(3,365)
Niagara(2,400)

Midwest bracket

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

West bracket

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

East bracket

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

South bracket

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

Finals

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