As Americans began to pore over their brackets
for the NCAA men's college basketball tournament and cost employers billions in lost productivity, we wondered, How could we enable you to think more about college basketball and less about work?
So, we attempted to definitively settle an age-old college basketball debate: what is the biggest rivalry in college basketball?
To do this, we took a page
from the Asylum chaps across the sea who used a homemade formula to determine the best soccer rivalry. To account for a completely different landscape, the equation underwent more reconstruction than Heidi Montag
Using the equation, we pitted six classic NCAA men's college basketball rivalries against one another to see how they compared. After a painstaking debate, we settled on: Kansas/Missouri, Louisville/Kentucky, Purdue/Indiana, Xavier/Cincinnati, Syracuse/Georgetown and, yes, Duke / North Carolina. (It was extremely difficult to leave the following out of the equation: the West Virginia/Pittsburgh "Backyard Brawl", UCLA/Arizona and Notre Dame/UCLA, among others.)
So, you think Duke and North Carolina is really the premiere college basketball rivalry? Check out the results on the next page. And if you think the BCS system is ridiculous
, you're going to love this.
For a breakdown of our methodology, click here.
6. Crimson and Gold Cup: Purdue vs. Indiana, Rivalry Factor = 32.39
This rivalry lagged behind the rest across the board. The teams haven't met in the Big Ten tournament in the past 10 years; the games have been more lopsided than the other rivalries we looked at (average margin of about 12 points); and the Google Factor and Sagarin Factor scores were on the low end.
The teams just haven't been as good as the others over the past decade. Although the Indiana intrastate rivalry is still among the best, the Hatred Factor -- which we put at seven -- suffered because the stalwart coaches who made this rivalry so intense from 1980 through 2000 -- Bobby Knight
and Gene Keady
-- aren't on the court anymore; Keady retired after the 2005 season and Knight has been long gone.
5. Classic Big East Rivalry: Syracuse vs. Georgetown, Rivalry Factor = 39.09
These squads have met 18 times over the past 10 years, often as ranked opponents, and twice in the Big East tournament (2003 and 2006). And they have been competitive games, with an average margin of less than nine points. Note that our data collection finished just prior to this year's Big East tournament where these squads did meet up again.
But this rivalry lost ground on the proximity factor because the campuses are a long distance apart compared with the others, which hurt the History index. Also, the Hatred Factor was the lowest of the group at six. The Big East has 16 teams and there's so many solid squads like Connecticut, Villanova, West Virginia and Pittsburgh, among others, that this particularly rivalry gets diluted.
4. Crosstown Shootout: Xavier vs. Cincinnati, Rivalry Factor = 39.62
The rivalry between the two squads located in Cincinnati, Ohio, received high scores in X and Z because they absolutely hate one another and because the campuses are so damn close (about four miles apart).
But the rivalry just doesn't have the same appeal nationally and came in last in the Google Factor by a wide margin. And while the games have been close -- with an average margin of about seven points -- they haven't met as ranked opponents in the past 10 years.
3. Battle for the Bluegrass: Kentucky vs. Louisville, Rivalry Factor = 40.59
This rivalry got solid marks across the board. The Talent index was high, and these teams loathe each other.
The main reasons why this rivalry didn't finish higher are that the popularity rating was on the lower end and because they play in different conferences. They meet just once a year, for bragging rights of course, but only three times have they met as ranked opponents in the past 10 years.
2. The Border War: Kansas vs. Missouri, Rivalry Factor = 40.97
The Kansas-Missouri rivalry dates back to the Civil War. Not a bad starting point. References to the border violence and "atrocities
" are still made at the games
What set this one apart was a high Talent index, an extremely high Google Factor (over one million hits) and two meetings in the Big 12 tournament.
1. The Battle of Tobacco Road: Duke vs. North Carolina, Rivalry Factor = 59.15
It wasn't even close. These teams are perennial powerhouses, separated by only about eight miles, and they simply enjoy hating each other. It's probably the most well known rivalry nationally, which was reflected in the "Google Factor."
They have met three times in the ACC tournament in the past 10 years, and about a gazillion times as highly ranked opponents.
This time, tobacco wins. May the fury begin in the comments.