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Major Conference Bias and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament


  • Todd Kuethe

    () (Purdue University)

  • Timothy Zimmer

    () (Purdue University)


The following paper examines the potential bias by the NCAA men's basketball selection committee in favor of major conferences. Employing data from the 1997 – 2006 tournaments, we find evidence for bias in the tournament seeding of teams from the six power conferences when judged against the remaining mid-major and minor conferences. More specifically, the analysis indicates members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) are seeded two positions higher (better) than the model would predict. In addition, the results indicate that members of the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) are commonly seeded to positions lower (worse) than predicted.

Suggested Citation

  • Todd Kuethe & Timothy Zimmer, 2008. "Major Conference Bias and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(17), pages 1-6.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-07l80004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boulier, Bryan L. & Stekler, H. O., 1999. "Are sports seedings good predictors?: an evaluation," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 83-91, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zimmer Timothy & Kuethe Todd H, 2009. "Testing for Bias and Manipulation in the National Basketball Association Playoffs," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 5(3), pages 1-13, July.
    2. Kotchen, Matthew J. & Potoski, Matthew, 2014. "Conflicts of interest distort public evaluations: Evidence from NCAA football coaches," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 51-63.
    3. B. Jay Coleman & J. Michael DuMond & Allen K. Lynch, 2010. "Evidence of bias in NCAA tournament selection and seeding," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(7), pages 431-452.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L8 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making


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