A March Madness Guide for Pacists, Statists, and Mascotists

Kentucky basketballPacism = the hatred (or fear) of teams that play slow basketball. I am an avowed pacist, and I try to take shots at sluggish teams like Wisconsin whenever possible. I recognize the strategy at play, and I’m well aware that it can be successful, but I reserve the right to hate the product. It’s boring. It’s also antithetical to How the Game Should Be Played, from my philosophical perch.

Maybe you’re a pacist, too, and you’re wondering whom you should pick against during March Madness. Or maybe you’re a Wisconsin fan, and you’re looking for friends to play tetherball with on weekends. In either case, here’s a handy graphic showing where the 68 tournament teams rank in Division I in adjusted tempo. I’ve divided it into fast (1-115), medium (116-230), and slow (231-345). All statistical data comes from Ken Pomeroy.

March Madness Graphic
Then it occurred to me that some people pick teams for superficial reasons. Gotta cater to that crowd, too. Here are two more categories for your amusement.


Total states represented: 31, plus D.C.

States with multiple teams:
5 — North Carolina (Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Davidson, UNC-Asheville)

4 — Kentucky (Western Kentucky, Kentucky, Louisville, Murray State)
4 — Ohio (Ohio State, Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio)
4 — New York (Syracuse, LIU Brooklyn, Iona, St. Bonaventure)
4 — California (Saint Mary’s, San Diego State, Cal-Berkley, Long Beach State)

3 — Kansas (Kansas, Kansas State, Wichita State)
3 — Virginia (Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth, Norfolk State)
3 — Indiana (Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame)
3 — Tennessee (Vanderbilt, Memphis, Belmont)
3 — Michigan (Michigan State, Michigan, Detroit)
3 — Texas (Texas, Baylor, Lamar)
3 — Florida (Florida, Florida State, South Florida)

2 — New Mexico (New Mexico, New Mexico State)
2 — Colorado (Colorado, Colorado State)
2 — Missouri (Missouri, St. Louis University)
2 — Mississippi (Southern Miss., Mississippi Valley State)
2 — Pennsylvania (Temple, Lehigh)
2 — Wisconsin (Wisconsin, Marquette)

States with one team: Iowa, Connecticut, Nevada, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Utah, Massachusetts, Alabama, Nebraska, Maryland, Vermont, West Virginia (plus the District of Columbia)

States with no teams: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Wyoming

Union Teams: 38

Confederacy Teams: 20

Unaffiliated Territory Teams: 10

Bad Year for Vowels: States that start with a vowel sent just eight teams to the Dance (11.8 percent), despite making up 24 percent of American states.

Nickname Breakdown

Multiple mascots:
3 — Wildcats (Kentucky, Davidson, Kansas State)

2 — Rams (VCU, Colorado State)
2 — Golden Eagles (Marquette, Southern Miss.)
2 — Bulldogs (Gonzaga, UNC-Asheville)
2 — Gaels (Iona, Saint Mary’s)
2 — Cardinals (Louisville, Lamar)
2 — Tigers (Memphis, Missouri)
2 — Spartans (Michigan State, Norfolk State)

Breakdown by Type:

Animals — 38
Wildcats (3), Golden Eagles (2), Bulldogs (2), Rams (2), Cardinals (2), Tigers (2), Huskies, Buffaloes, Bears, Golden Bears, Jackrabbits, Bruins, Wolfpack, Mountain Hawks, Blackbirds, Lobos, Racers, Cougars, Gators, Bobcats, Bluejays, Owls, Bulls, Wolverines, Greyhounds, Badgers, Grizzlies, Bearcats, Longhorns, Catamounts, Jayhawks

(Further breakdown: Land = 28, Air = 9, Swamp = 1, Sea = 0)

(Also: Feline = 9, Avine = 9, Canine = 7, Ursine = 4)

People — 22
Gaels (2), Spartans (2), Hilltoppers, Shockers, Bonnies, Hoosiers, Aggies, Aztecs, Runnin’ Rebels, Fighting Irish, Crimson Tide, Musketeers, 49ers, Mountaineers, Cavaliers, Commodores, Seminoles, Tar Heels, Buckeyes, Boilermakers

Mythical Figures — 4
Delta Devils, Blue Devils, Billikens, Titans

(Further breakdown: Evil = 2, Good =1, Neither = 1)

Colors — 2
Crimson, Orange

Nature — 1

Derived From a Latin Chant — 1

Tomorrow, a more statistical breakdown of the 68 teams.

Filed Under: Because Why Not, College Basketball, March Madness, NCAA tournament, Shane Ryan