Tuesday, December 13, 2011

HoopUcation: College Hoopdom Map Complete!

After six weeks of mapping and plotting, the 2011-12 College Hoopdom Map is complete! My four-year-old son and I had a great time talking about geography, team colors, and the like. While he learned a ton about American geography, he also learned about persistence. Working through 345 teams takes some time. He also learned about population and space, as jamming all of those team-colored circles into the New York City/New Jersey area was not easy. Dad had to do most of those and let the boy draw the circles and write in the in the roomier spaces in the great midwest and the Rocky Mountains. In the end, the most burning question for my four-year-old was this: why doesn't Alaska have a team? It was puzzling to him. Travel, weather, and distance concerns aside, to my son, it just was not fair.

What did I learn? Well, for starters, I find it odd that Minnesota has only one DI basketball team. I guess I knew this, but this is hard to explain on a DI-Hoops-Per-Capita level. For example, Nebraska has just 1.9 million people. But, Minnesota? It boasts 5.3 million people strong! It is similar in population to states like Maryland (eight DI teams), Missouri (five), Wisconsin (four), and Colorado (four). Further, other one-team states are low-population states and not one of them play in a Big 6 league: Hawaii, Maine, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Vermont, and Wyoming. Minnesota, by a wide margin, has the lowest DI-hoops-per-capita in the United States.

All that to say, here is the completed map followed by a couple of regional photos. A big thanks goes out to the Blue Ribbon Basketball Yearbook and Crayola.

Ye Realm of Hoopdom.

Concentration. It helps with free throws, but lives on the East Coast.

More hoops go here.