March Madness City Ratings Predictions: Men’s Sweet-Sixteen

March 27, 2019

New Orleans, LA


Do great cities for biking equal great cities for basketball?

It’s down to the Sweet-Sixteen in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, but how do the towns stack up when it comes to bike infrastructure? We’re predicting the outcomes of our favorite match-ups.

Here’s how our ratings work: we rank cities based on five factors — Ridership, Safety, Network, Acceleration and Reach. These game outcome predictions are based entirely on City Ratings.


Sweet-Sixteen Predictions

(Michigan State) Lansing, MI (1.7)
(LSU) Baton Rouge, LA (1.1)

Just over an hour up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, Baton Rouge has quietly been making big plans in the way of infrastructure. Working with Toole Design, they’re set to release a report that fully illustrates the economic value of bike infrastructure. There’s something to be said for a young team with this kind of new energy, but is it enough to beat Lansing, MI, a team that’s used to the pressure of the tournament? We’re guessing not. The PlacesForBikes City Ratings prediction: with a higher Safety rating, and more complete Network, Lansing will advance.


(Virginia) Charlottesville, VA (2.6)
(Oregon) Eugene, OR (1.9)

With a Ridership score of 2.8, Eugene certainly has a lot of people on bikes. But in a place with decently mild year-round weather, winning on Ridership alone is like advancing just on free-throws: it’s probably not enough. Charlottesville, VA seems to be asking the right questions when it comes to getting more people on bikes. And because of that, their Acceleration score is a whopping 2.4 over Eugene’s 0.6. Virginia is not only recruiting new bike riders, they’re also working to give people more confidence on bikes. The PlacesForBikes City Ratings prediction: Virginia’s 2.6 beats Oregon at 1.9.



(Florida State) Tallahassee, FL (2.3)
(Gonzaga) Spokane, WA (1.6)

With over 2,500 miles between them, these two cities couldn’t be much farther apart, and yet they share some similarities. They have identical Network scores (2.2), and very similar Ridership scores. However, Spokane can’t compete when it comes to Tallahassee’s speed. Florida enjoys great support from the local government and cycling community. The PlacesForBikes City Ratings prediction: Florida over Gonzaga, 2.3 to 1.6.


(Auburn) Auburn, AL (1.6)
(UNC) Chapel Hill, NC (1.5)

One of our closest match-ups of the tournament, North Carolina and Auburn will put on a show. While Auburn dominates in Ridership, Safety and Network, North Carolina stands about 2-feet taller in Reach with a score of 3.1 over Auburn’s 1.7. Both teams are rolling out new bike infrastructure strategies, though, so expect this game to be heated. The PlacesForBikes City Ratings prediction: a buzzer-beater finish with Auburn (1.6) over North Carolina (1.5).


Stay-tuned to see our Final-Four predictions!


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