Color Rankings :
NCAA Basketball Tournament Abstract

This system visualizes the results from the NCAA Basketball Tournament from 1985 to 2008.

Most people are familiar with the standard tournament bracket shown below. This bracket is structured to show matchups. In the next graphic, the Color Rankings method has been applied, color coding the different seeds. Finally the seeds are reordered from low to high.

After reordering the seeds, the bracket structure no longer applies, so instead the remaining seeds in each round are structured in a stack. Once this stack is created, the height of each round is equalized. The last graphic below shows how this quarter section of a full bracket fits into the full graphic for each year.

This graphic shows all 24 years of the 64 team tournament format. When grouped together, it's easy to spot the years when the high seeds didn't live up to the hype, and lower seeds were able to get deep in the tournament.

This final graphic combines all of the years into one single graphic representation. This configuration shows only the top 8 seeds. Only twice in 25 years did a team from outside the top 8 seeds play in the Final Four. (Denoted by the two white areas that extend half the height of the graphic in the upper right quadrant)