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Posted by Joe Marriott on March 18, 2014
Excitement for the upcoming March basketball tournaments is building. But as you’re choosing favorite teams and comparing players’ jump shot stats, have you considered the environmental impact of these travel-intensive sporting events?
For the second consecutive year, Booz Allen has released an interactive tool that allows fans to measure the carbon footprint of their men’s and women’s bracket picks. Simply visit the online tool, make selections and see, in real time, how different picks alter the total carbon footprint of the tournament bracket. The model focuses on the greenhouse gas emissions associated with team and fan travel between each respective school and their tournament site. (More details about the methodology and data crunching available here.)
New this time around: the Booz Allen team analyzed 2014 tournament data to show how optimizing teams’ placements could have potentially reduced the overall competitions’ carbon footprints. We found that minimizing travel distance to the second and third round games, while maintaining teams’ seed levels reduces greenhouse gas emissions by almost 10 percent for the men’s bracket and 20 percent for the women’s bracket.
Optimizing tournament brackets in the future might have the same likelihood as a No. 16 seed player making a game-winning shot against a No. 1 seed powerhouse. Nonetheless, this exercise is one way to demonstrate how data can inform decisions. Government and commercial clients count on Booz Allen’s data science teams every day to help improve their operations by applying this sort of thinking.
As the tournaments progress, we’ll perform new calculations to show the actual carbon footprint of winning teams. Follow us at @BoozAllen for updates.
Booz Allen’s sports analytics work continues to evolve. The firm is helping professional leagues train better and improve their in-game decisions through the interpretation of data and analytics. Booz Allen data science teams are also exploring how to mitigate injuries and researching the use of predictive models that can identify optimal shooting zones for teams, among other things.
Visit http://www.boozallen.com/insights/insight-detail/2014-College-Basketball-Tournament to fill out your brackets. Then use #GHGbracket to share your results and follow along with others’ picks. May the best team win!
Calculate your picks for the Men's Bracket
Calculate your picks for the Women's Bracket
Calculate your picks for the Women's Bracket