Political correctness, selection bias, and the NCAA basketball tournament

Rodney J. Paul, Mark Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Allegations of selection bias toward the major conferences and teams with committee representation have previously been levied on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Basketball tournament selection committee. We illustrate the source of this bias is political correctness. When using the computer ranking of Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), which uses only wins and losses in its analysis, bias in the selection process seems evident. No bias is revealed when the Sagarin ‘‘Predictor’’ rating is substituted for RPI. The Sagarin ‘‘Predictor’’ rating uses margin of victory and results compared to expectations in its analysis; the selection committee appears to use the same factors when determining at-large bids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Sports Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Basketball
  • Bias
  • Computer ratings
  • Corruption
  • Expectations
  • Sports economics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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