Round of 32: Blow-outs, buzzer-beaters, and upsets!

Our opening round of competition featured blow-outs, buzzer-beaters, and upsets! Thirty-two conferences battled in the first round, and only 16 will continue on to the second round.

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In first round action, the conferences competed on the total number of basketball-related publications* in their collective collections. The Big Ten, Big West, and Northeast conferences cruised to blow-out victories over their opponents, with the Big Ten enjoying the largest margin of victory in the first round. We also had some squeakers! American Athletic and Summit League “beat the buzzer” and scraped into the second round on razor-thin margins of victory – American by 45 publications, and Summit by a mere 20 publications!

We had some bracket-busting upsets in the first round, too! Sure, larger collective collections tend to have more basketball-related publications than smaller collections. But Big South, American Athletic, Conference USA, Summit League, and Ohio Valley all proved that smaller collections can’t be overlooked in this tournament – these tenacious collections all scored upset victories over larger collections. We anoint Big South as the official “Cinderella” of the tournament! Big South engineered the biggest first-round upset, claiming victory with a collective collection less than half the size of its opponent’s.

WorldCat contains more than 20,000 basketball-related publications – books, movies, periodicals, and more. How many does your favorite conference have in its collective collection? Check the table below for individual conference scores.

By the way, in case you were wondering …

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… so the tournament mega-collective-collection – the collective collection covering all the tourney participants – includes about 40 percent of the basketball-related publications in WorldCat. These conference collective collections definitely “got game” when it comes to basketball!

Bracket competition participants: if your conference took an early exit from the tournament, all is not lost! Remember, if no one picked the tournament Champion, all entrants will enter a random drawing for the big prize!

The tournament is just heating up! Stay tuned for second round action – results will be posted March 27.


*Number of basketball-related publications determined by identifying all publications in WorldCat with the string “basketball” present in a FAST topical subject heading. Conference totals reflect the number of these publications held by at least one conference member. Data is current as of January 2015.

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