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Breaking Down School Bragging Rights For All NCAA Men's State Vs Corresponding University Rivalries

Starting to play with some college hoops data to prep for March Madness and figured I'd start blogging on something completely meaningless but fun for rival college schools. The table above takes all D1 State Schools that have a corresponding University counterpart (let me know if I'm missing any) and compares their win percentages this season in order from top to bottom. Checkmark means that school is winning the battle of the… I don't know… State/U? Should we give the winner a stateu statue?  

We'll cover a few select rivalries of choice. South Carolina is dominating their state rival by 38 percent so I guess they have eyes on the stateu statue. But they're not alone in first place…

Northwestern vs Northwestern State

Let's break down the intricacies of this pairing because it's my favorite pretend rivalry in the game. 

Lot going on here. First, Northwestern is a school that isn't really in the north. And it's certainly not in the west. Yet very smart people go there. Curious. It's in what's known as the Midwest which, to be honest, isn't really west either - just mid. And let me tell you as someone who grew up there, it's every bit of it. Then we have Northwestern State. This is also a school that is not located in a northern nor western state. It's located in Louisiana which is about as not north as you can get and just as much not west as Northwestern. 


Now I'm sure plenty of you think I'm an idiot for pairing these two schools as rivals since they are not even in the same region of the country. I disagree. Given how confused both these schools seem to be geographically, I would be surprised if they didn't think the other as a rival. They're perfect for each other. Plus they pretty much have the same colors. And yes - they've played each other before. Once in 2004 and again in 2007 with Northwestern winning both due to the incredible home court advantage of not needing MapQuest. 

That's a rivalry baby. Let's move on to another. 

Michigan vs Michigan State

What happened to Michigan? I know they lost Hunter Dickenson this year but they started off with their heads over .500 going 6-5 before going 2-15 in their last 17 games kicked off from a heartbreaking double OT loss to Florida. Sounds like Juwan Howard is on the hot seat now as all hope is lost in having a same school men's football/basketball champion.

Meanwhile, Tom Izzo has Michigan State looking pretty good despite back-to-back losses. But they face the #2 ranked Boilermakers coming up in a few days before returning to East Lansing for a home game vs Northwestern. That is, if Northwestern is able to find the place. 

Utah vs Utah State

Shout out both of these schools because Utah is still killing it with a 16-11 record despite being down 22% in win overall percentage compared to Utah State. I say both teams go out and celebrate with their favorite brand of seltzer water. 

Iowa vs Iowa State

I see Iowa State is ranked #8 in both NET and AP. I have a couple of questions for anyone going there. First, how bad was Steve Prohm as a coach in 2020-21? You've come a long way from 2-22. Second, do you guys still play "Cyclone" after every good play? I remember how much my buddy hated it when I'd visit him there 15 years ago so I'm hoping that's still going strong. 

Let's move on to just the head to head results so far. Sure one school might be better than the other but it's when they face off that matters most for bragging rights.

* Northwestern/Northwestern State rivalry game must have been cancelled due to issues with directions

Wow. I haven't seen a couple turf war disasters in the deserts of the Southwest (an accurately named geographic location) since Walter White. And I can only imagine the atmosphere of a raucous student section in Ames when Iowa State whooped up on Iowa by 25.


On the other hand. Poor New Mexico State (again). Soon after getting obliterated by New Mexico they would have their chance at home only to lose by a single point. The court storming that was never meant to be. I'm sure Jay Bilas was proud. 

OK back to the lab to scrape more data to fuel future March Madness blogs that will make you no better prepared to fill in your brackets. 

- @Stathole