More geographic consfusion

What’s Connecticut doing in something called the “Western regional final”?

I can cut the AP some slack for placing Benghazi in the “western coastal strip” of Libya; on my map, North Africa west of Egypt bears the legend “Here Be Tygers.”

But I would have thought that the geography of the United States was more or less a solved science. Thus I was puzzled, while watching (as a result of needing to get my oil changed) the exciting overtime period of the Butler/Florida game, to hear that the upcoming NCAA “western regional final” would pit Arizona against Connecticut.

I mean, I know there’s been a strong trend toward moving to the Sunbelt, but did they move the whole damned state?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

11 thoughts on “More geographic consfusion”

  1. As a resident of northern New England (central NH: a commenter on Balloon-Juice who lives in Providence RI told me that there, they refer to this area as Canada) my first response is that they’ve redefined “Sunbelt” to mean my area.

  2. I think you are on to something. I did some research and discovered that the TORONTO Blue Jays are in the AMERICAN League. Boy, are these sports people going to be embarrassed when we straighten them out.

  3. Actually it’s based on where the games are played. The Arizona/UConn game was held in Anaheim. Teams from all over are placed in regions based on where the regional championship will be played. Duke was also in the west and VCU, based in Richmond, is playing in the Southeast.

  4. NCAA should calculate regional assignments using a weighted average of the hometowns of the team’s starting 5. Who cares where the school is actually located?

  5. I don’t know for sure, but it seems likely that this is done so
    — teams don’t face schools from the same conference early on.
    — few, if any, teams get home court advantage during the tournament.

  6. Gary K: Good point, especially when one remembers the fate of Team USA in the first two runs of the World Cup of Baseball. Fortunately, American Exceptionalism counts more than mere scoreboards. It probably also justifies putting Connecticut in the West Regional, although I am still working on the underlying theory.

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