Wednesday, November 09, 2011

HoopUcation: Mapping College Hoopdom Update

It is time for an update on the Mapping College Hoopdom project. A couple of short sessions over the course of the last week was capped by a marathon school-plotting episode last night. My four-year-old and I sat down for a good 1.5 hours and talked through the map while plotting a boatload of teams. His curiosity pulled him westward last night, so we plotted all of the Big Sky teams and all of the teams located in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico while adding a smattering of other Western teams as well. A random set of other teams from all over Hoopdom were also plotted (which included a strange preoccupation with the state of Iowa).

While I do aim for unbiased assessment when building brackets, it is no secret that I am a "mid-major" fan through and through. So, when the Iowa Preoccupation emerged, my son asked, "Who is your favorite team in Iowa?," I immediately answered with Drake. So, the Bulldogs got the first plot-point in Hawkeye State. His response: "Drake is my favorite team in Iowa, too." Brainwashing. Bias. These are hallmarks of excellent parenting.

This is such an enjoyable DIY project. Our tools include:
--this online map
--the hard copy Blue Ribbon Basketball Yearbook
--hard copy of Rand McNally's Road Atlas
--two sheets of paper from those giant pads you have probably used in workshops at your place of employment
--lots of Crayola markers

College basketball fuels curiosity on so many levels. Engage it. Embrace it. Map it. Drive it. Attend it. The best learning and deeper understanding occur when our passion produces something. Looking at the college hoops map? Good. Creating a college hoops map? Better. Watching the game on TV? Good. Experiencing the game in the arena and adding to the noise and atmosphere in that place? Better.

A four-year-old ponders and plots the Montana Grizzlies.

Mapping College Hoopdom project's current status.