DanceCard.unf.edu
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament
Dance Card

 

 

Dance Card Rankings for 2008 (FINAL)


At right are rankings of all NCAA Division I men's basketball teams through the games of Sunday, March 16, 2008 (i.e., all regular season and conference tournament games) according to the "Dance Card" formula developed by Jay Coleman of the University of North Florida and Allen Lynch of Mercer University, and published in Interfaces (a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences). 
The Dance Card is a formula designed to predict which teams will receive at-large tournament bids from the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee.

The Dance Card correctly predicted 30 of the 34 at-large selections (missing on Villanova, Oregon, St. Joseph’s, and Kansas State), for a 2008 accuracy of 88%A Method to the Madness?

(The RPI figures at right reflect the old RPI formula, in which wins on the road and losses at home are weighted equally.  This is the version of the RPI on which the Dance Card was originally developed, and the version used to generate the predictions in all past years.)

Dance Card rankings for other seasons can be found by clicking on the appropriate link below:

2007        2006        2005        2004        2003        2002        2001

Accuracy and Performance of the Dance Card


The Dance Card has missed on more than three spots in only two seasons (2007 and 2008).  Over the last 14 years, the Dance Card has correctly predicted 476 of the 512 available at-large Tournament slots (or 93%).  Over the 9-year period (2000 through 2008) for which the Dance Card has been used since its initial development in 1999 (based on 1994 through 1999 data), it has correctly predicted 284 out of the 307 available at-large Tournament slots (92.5%).

The formula's best years were in 2001 and in 2005, when it correctly predicting 33 of the 34 available at-large Tournament slots (or 97% accuracy). 

The Dance Card can only be as accurate as the Selection Committees are consistent; it is an estimate of the Selection Committees' (not the authors') decision criteria.  The high level of accuracy and consistency of the model is strong evidence that the Selection Committees (which differ in composition each year) are actually quite consistent from year to year.
 

 

General Description of the Dance Card


The Dance Card is a formula derived by Coleman and Lynch as an estimate of the decision rule that the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee uses when picking the teams that will get at-large bids to the NCAA men's basketball tournament.  Using the decisions of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee from the years 1994 through 1999, and 42 pieces of information (e.g. RPI rankings, number of wins and losses, conference records, etc.) for all teams that were candidates for at-large selections in those years, Coleman and Lynch devised the Dance Card formula as an estimate of which pieces of information were most important to the Selection Committee, and the weights that the Committee placed on those pieces of information.  The Dance Card formula suggests that only six pieces of information about each team are highly important in determining whether it gets an at-large Tournament bid:

RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) Rank
Conference RPI Rank
Number of wins against teams ranked from 1-25 in RPI
Difference in number of wins and losses in the conference
Difference in number of wins and losses against teams ranked 26-50 in RPI
Difference in number of wins and losses against teams ranked 51-100 in RPI
 

Data Sources


In order to build the Dance Card formula, Coleman and Lynch used data, including estimates of the RPI for each team, from CollegeRPI.com, the web site of Jerry Palm of Palm Sports Resources, Inc.  The authors are extremely grateful to Mr. Palm for his work to provide this information.

In order to use the Dance Card to develop the rankings shown, the authors use game scores from Ken Pomeroy to determine values for all the Dance Card inputs listed above.  The authors are very thankful to Mr. Pomeroy for his generous and invaluable service.

Special thanks also go to Kenneth Massey for including the Dance Card rankings on his basketball ranking compilation page.

Dance Card Authors


Jay Coleman
is the Richard deR. Kip Professor of Operations Management & Quantitative Methods in the Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida. Allen Lynch is Associate Professor of Economics & Quantitative Methods at the Stetson School of Business and Economics at Mercer University.
 

Special Thanks to SAS!!


The authors would like to give a hearty and special thanks to all the good people at SAS Institute Inc., the maker of the software package used to develop the Dance Card.  In particular, we thank Mike Nemecek, Anne Milley, and Trent Smith, each of whom have been an absolute delight to work with.
 

Links of Interest

 

Ken Pomeroy (kenpom.com)
CollegeRPI.com
Kenneth Massey (mratings.com)
Inst. for Opns. Research & the Mgt. Sciences (INFORMS)
Interfaces
National Collegiate Athletics Association

 

SAS Institute Inc.
NCAA Final Four Page
University of North Florida
Coggin College of Business at UNF
Mercer University
Stetson School of Business & Economics at Mercer

 

 

E-Mail Addresses


Jay Coleman
Allen Lynch
Sharon Ashton, Assistant VP of Public Relations, University of North Florida
Barry List, Director of Public Relations for INFORMS  

Disclaimers


This web site and the research reported herein is not affiliated in any capacity with, or endorsed by, the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).  SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc., in the USA and other countries. indicates USA registration.

 

 

Please forward all comments to jcoleman@unf.edu

Jay Coleman's Home Page

This page last updated on October 31, 2008 at 2:55 p.m.

 

Rank

Team (@=auto. bid)

Dance Card

RPI Rank

1

@North Carolina

11.7246

1

2

@UCLA

10.4297

4

3

Tennessee

9.4631

2

4

@Kansas

9.1027

7

5

@Memphis

8.6112

3

6

Duke

8.4017

6

7

Texas

8.3563

5

8

Georgetown

7.2449

8

9

@Wisconsin

7.0113

10

10

Xavier

6.5183

9

11

Indiana

6.1155

21

12

Stanford

6.1034

15

13

@Drake

6.0414

12

14

Louisville

5.7574

11

15

@Butler

5.5270

17

16

@Kent St.

5.3812

27

17

Michigan St.

4.9334

19

18

Clemson

4.7649

18

19

Notre Dame

4.0223

26

20

@Nevada Las Vegas

4.0217

23

21

Southern California

3.8956

24

22

@Pittsburgh

3.8828

14

23

Brigham Young

3.8393

29

24

Washington St.

3.6998

22

25

Vanderbilt

3.5943

13

26

Oklahoma

3.4984

25

27

Gonzaga

3.4588

32

28

Marquette

3.1517

20

29

Connecticut

3.0163

16

30

@Davidson

2.7674

37

31

West Virginia

2.5470

28

32

South Alabama

2.4229

40

33

Illinois St. (Miss)

2.1948

36

34

Purdue

1.8992

50

35

Arkansas

1.8198

30

36

Mississippi St.

1.5543

38

37

Miami FL

1.2699

35

38

Texas A&M

1.2395

33

39

Arizona

1.2213

34

40

Kentucky

1.2020

45

41

Baylor

1.1996

39

42

Dayton (Miss)

1.0703

31

43

@Western Kentucky

0.8062

42

44

@Temple

0.6796

48

45

St. Mary's

0.3667

44

46

Ohio St. (Miss)

0.1612

46

47

Massachusetts (Miss)

-0.1998

49

The Bubble Bursts Here

48

Villanova (Miss)

-0.2174

52

49

Oregon (Miss)

-0.2922

56

50

Virginia Commonwealth

-0.4860

57

51

Virginia Tech

-0.5349

55

52

UAB

-0.5805

58

53

Florida St.

-0.7317

54

54

@Oral Roberts

-0.7576

65

55

Saint Joseph's (Miss)

-0.7672

51

56

Kansas St. (Miss)

-0.7711

43

57

Southern Illinois

-1.1225

59

58

@Boise St.

-1.2212

77

59

Mississippi

-1.2612

47

60

@George Mason

-1.3347

68

61

Charlotte

-1.5344

66

62

Syracuse

-1.6130

41

63

Creighton

-1.6213

53

64

@Cornell

-1.7026

78

65

Arizona St.

-1.7517

67

66

New Mexico

-1.8163

63

67

@Siena

-1.8717

69

68

Stephen F. Austin

-1.9740

76

69

Maryland

-2.3049

61

70

Oklahoma St.

-2.4900

64

71

IUPUI

-2.5400

88

72

Akron

-2.5431

71

73

Wright St.

-2.8071

81

74

@Belmont

-2.8071

94

75

Texas Tech

-2.8131

62

76

Utah St.

-2.8606

86

77

Georgia Tech

-2.8832

72

78

Florida

-2.9635

60

79

Cleveland St.

-3.0632

75

80

Houston

-3.3609

70

81

@San Diego

-3.5614

85

82

Nebraska

-3.5888

79

83

UC Santa Barbara

-3.5910

91

84

@Cal St. Fullerton

-4.0073

84

85

@American

-4.0237

102

86

@Portland St.

-4.1075

115

87

@Georgia

-4.1935

83

88

@Austin Peay

-4.3388

107

89

Nevada

-4.6701

92

90

Miami OH

-4.7566

80

91

San Diego St.

-4.9538

82

92

California

-5.2478

74

93

Robert Morris

-5.4576

129

94

Tulsa

-5.5217

103

95

@MD Baltimore County

-5.5630

112

96

Valparaiso

-5.8043

101

97

Wake Forest

-5.9385

93

98

New Mexico St.

-5.9404

116

99

Rhode Island

-5.9415

73

100

North Carolina St.

-6.0052

87

101

Ohio

-6.2499

90

102

Cincinnati

-6.3470

106

103

Middle Tennessee

-6.5285

109

104

Wagner

-6.5454

131

105

Cal St. Northridge

-6.5963

123

106

@Winthrop

-6.6733

117

107

Sam Houston St.

-6.6923

114

108

Illinois

-6.7327

95

109

Richmond

-6.7438

119

110

Bradley

-6.7510

104

111

Minnesota

-6.9165

98

112

Utah

-7.0039

99

113

Old Dominion

-7.2385

122

114

Boston College

-7.4003

96

115

Rider

-7.4062

128

116

Northern Iowa

-7.6385

121

117

Texas El Paso

-7.7394

111

118

Washington

-7.7689

108

119

NC Wilmington

-7.8511

134

120

Providence

-8.0430

97

121

Southern Mississippi

-8.2951

125

122

Alabama

-8.3296

89

123

Morgan St.

-8.4296

151

124

Missouri

-8.5347

100

125

Western Michigan

-8.5429

144

126

Brown

-8.5968

126

127

Niagara

-8.6592

136

128

South Carolina

-8.7134

113

129

Seton Hall

-8.8030

105

130

Virginia

-8.8223

110

131

Pacific

-8.8405

147

132

Northern Arizona

-8.8536

140

133

NC Asheville

-9.0094

145

134

Marshall

-9.0461

127

135

Indiana St.

-9.2586

132

136

Marist

-9.3519

124

137

North Texas

-9.3940

139

138

St. Louis

-9.5081

120

139

Loyola MD

-9.8427

159

140

Georgia Southern

-9.8790

141

141

Chattanooga

-10.0567

135

142

@Mount St. Mary's

-10.1348

164

143

NC Greensboro

-10.2052

137

144

Penn St.

-10.2241

133

145

Sacred Heart

-10.2569

172

146

@Texas Arlington

-10.2834

149

147

Duquesne

-10.3584

130

148

Lamar

-10.5345

163

149

Missouri St.

-10.5815

118

150

Illinois Chicago

-10.7347

143

151

UC Irvine

-10.8710

156

152

Appalachian St.

-10.8786

162

153

William & Mary

-11.1458

166

154

Hampton

-11.2655

165

155

Wisconsin Green Bay

-11.3509

153

156

Central Florida

-11.4685

148

157

East Tennessee St.

-11.7923

155

158

Wisconsin Milwaukee

-11.8120

169

159

Oakland

-12.1188

176

160

Fairfield

-12.2552

179

161

Tulane

-12.4709

152

162

Holy Cross

-12.5085

154

163

Colgate

-12.5659

178

164

DePaul

-12.5668

146

165

Air Force

-12.6805

161

166

Arkansas Little Rock

-12.7237

173

167

St. John's

-12.7550

138

168

Jacksonville

-12.8457

182

169

Auburn

-12.9106

142

170

La Salle

-13.0225

171

171

Hartford

-13.0620

187

172

Louisiana Lafayette

-13.3726

177

173

New Orleans

-13.4248

168

174

Fordham

-13.4284

167

175

Iowa St.

-13.4833

150

176

Quinnipiac

-13.5003

194

177

Louisiana St.

-13.6178

158

178

Lafayette

-13.7459

180

179

Murray St.

-13.9171

190

180

Delaware

-13.9206

184

181

Weber St.

-13.9802

193

182

Michigan

-14.1364

160

183

Texas Christian

-14.1977

181

184

George Washington

-14.2294

174

185

Navy

-14.2597

213

186

Northwestern St.

-14.2609

197

187

Colorado

-14.2884

157

188

Yale

-14.5472

186

189

Iowa

-14.6713

175

190

Bucknell

-14.7867

199

191

Toledo

-14.8153

185

192

Vermont

-14.8377

203

193

Central Connecticut

-14.8641

205

194

Albany

-15.0422

208

195

Gardner Webb

-15.0881

206

196

Northeastern

-15.1097

188

197

Southeastern Louisiana

-15.1566

201

198

Alabama St.

-15.2333

227

199

Central Michigan

-15.3054

192

200

Bowling Green

-15.4193

196

201

South Florida

-15.5753

170

202

College of Charleston

-15.8093

195

203

North Dakota St.

-15.8214

207

204

Long Island

-15.8784

198

205

Army

-15.9674

214

206

Tennessee Martin

-16.4634

221

207

James Madison

-16.6463

202

208

East Carolina

-16.6717

218

209

Rutgers

-16.7563

189

210

Lehigh

-16.8696

229

211

Elon

-16.8841

209

212

Towson

-16.9003

204

213

Wofford

-16.9305

200

214

Wichita St.

-17.0061

183

215

Tennessee St.

-17.1137

226

216

Santa Clara

-17.2177

191

217

Delaware St.

-17.3308

233

218

Eastern Michigan

-17.4730

222

219

IUPU Fort Wayne

-17.6040

217

220

Wyoming

-17.6812

210

221

@Mississippi Valley St.

-17.7090

243

222

Texas San Antonio

-17.8234

219

223

Morehead St.

-17.8672

244

224

Columbia

-17.9352

228

225

Iona

-18.0152

231

226

Loyola Chicago

-18.0541

224

227

Cal Poly

-18.0724

220

228

Binghamton

-18.1480

241

229

Florida Atlantic

-18.1655

216

230

Boston University

-18.1660

245

231

Hofstra

-18.3908

234

232

Lipscomb

-18.4310

238

233

High Point

-18.7232

247

234

Montana

-18.9406

239

235

Montana St.

-19.1751

240

236

Pennsylvania

-19.4126

249

237

Drexel

-19.5131

215

238

@Coppin St.

-19.6344

248

239

Eastern Kentucky

-19.7939

253

240

North Carolina A&T

-19.8299

252

241

Fresno St.

-19.9121

212

242

San Jose St.

-19.9391

232

243

McNeese St.

-20.0028

251

244

Youngstown St.

-20.0315

223

245

Texas St.

-20.1514

254

246

Liberty

-20.2750

260

247

Southern Utah

-20.3139

235

248

Idaho St.

-20.3222

265

249

Chicago St.

-20.3680

236

250

Texas A&M Corpus Chris

-20.5500

255

251

Denver

-20.5726

259

252

Stetson

-20.5940

267

253

Norfolk St.

-20.6104

289

254

Northwestern

-20.8801

211

255

Troy

-20.9761

230

256

Southern Methodist

-21.0065

250

257

Samford

-21.0542

271

258

Hawaii

-21.1903

246

259

Evansville

-21.2440

242

260

Pepperdine

-21.2811

225

261

Florida A&M

-21.3361

268

262

South Carolina St.

-21.3548

281

263

Florida International

-21.5185

237

264

Utah Valley St.

-21.5965

261

265

Nicholls St.

-21.6137

258

266

Jackson St.

-21.7589

273

267

Coastal Carolina

-21.8272

277

268

Manhattan

-22.1586

275

269

Northern Colorado

-22.2899

283

270

Virginia Military Inst

-22.4272

286

271

Western Illinois

-22.4745

266

272

Eastern Washington

-22.4819

278

273

Savannah St.

-22.7356

274

274

Arkansas St.

-22.8946

276

275

Texas Pan American

-23.1657

293

276

Tennessee Tech

-23.1818

295

277

Georgia St.

-23.2866

279

278

Central Arkansas

-23.4200

282

279

Detroit

-23.6155

270

280

Alabama A&M

-23.6441

305

281

St. Bonaventure

-23.6995

256

282

Buffalo

-23.7541

257

283

Louisiana Monroe

-23.9498

263

284

UC Riverside

-24.0159

272

285

San Francisco

-24.0939

269

286

New Hampshire

-24.1771

302

287

Missouri Kansas City

-24.1829

280

288

Southeast Missouri St.

-24.2833

300

289

Monmouth

-24.5429

299

290

Western Carolina

-24.5674

284

291

Florida Gulf Coast

-24.6015

301

292

Radford

-24.6048

310

293

Harvard

-24.6849

291

294

Fairleigh Dickinson

-24.7006

288

295

Campbell

-24.8574

309

296

Southern

-24.9907

308

297

Furman

-25.0215

298

298

Centenary

-25.1019

290

299

Winston Salem St.

-25.1067

312

300

Oregon St.

-25.1723

264

301

Ball St.

-25.1830

285

302

North Carolina Central

-25.2103

292

303

Kennesaw St.

-25.2889

323

304

Dartmouth

-25.3522

303

305

UC Davis

-25.4248

294

306

Idaho

-25.4362

297

307

Colorado St.

-25.5351

262

308

Northern Illinois

-25.6134

287

309

St. Francis NY

-25.6742

313

310

Arkansas Pine Bluff

-25.7111

322

311

Mercer

-25.8664

319

312

St. Francis PA

-25.8859

316

313

Cal St. Bakersfield

-25.9576

317

314

St. Peter's

-26.1877

306

315

Charleston Southern

-26.2299

324

316

Longwood

-26.4161

328

317

South Carolina Upstate

-26.4235

314

318

Canisius

-26.5021

307

319

Bethune Cookman

-26.5378

325

320

Princeton

-26.5494

321

321

NJ Inst of Technology

-26.7854

341

322

Eastern Illinois

-26.9717

336

323

Portland

-27.0782

296

324

Rice

-27.1956

304

325

Grambling

-27.2393

331

326

Alcorn St.

-27.2561

338

327

Texas Southern

-27.4224

327

328

Stony Brook

-27.5264

326

329

Long Beach St.

-27.5268

318

330

Prairie View A&M

-27.7168

329

331

South Dakota St.

-27.7649

320

332

Maine

-27.8068

332

333

Jacksonville St.

-27.8468

339

334

Howard

-27.8742

330

335

Louisiana Tech

-27.9182

315

336

Sacramento St.

-28.2949

335

337

Presbyterian

-28.9818

333

338

Maryland Eastern Shore

-29.0832

337

339

Loyola Marymount

-29.1154

311

340

The Citadel

-29.4233

334

341

North Florida

-29.9936

340