The Contest Break-Down

Curious about what went on behind the scenes of the March Madness Bracket Contest? Want to know how many votes did so-and-so win by? Well, here’s the rundown on the statistical data of the March Madness Bracket Contest!

THE SET-UPbracket

Last year was our first attempt at a bracket contest, and in our humble opinion, it was a rousing success! However, this year we wanted to change it up a bit, and so we introduced a more “library-centric” theme: authors. And what better way to pit them against each other than a good ol’ fashioned battle of the sexes?

Rankings for each author were determined by a pre-vote held among the student workers at the library. A list of the top sixteen authors of both sexes were created, and the voters were asked to rank them, 1-16, best to worst, for both sides. Then, points were given to each author to determine their ranking, with those ranked #1-4 given 4 points, #5-8 given 3 points, etc. See the picture on the right to see an example of the sheet given to the voters.

Important Note: The authors chosen for the list were meant to be a mix of current and past writers; those considered “classics,” and those considered “popular”; and in general authors with considerable talent. None of these authors are “bad writers,” and so ranking them proved to be quite a challenge, as at the beginning, they were all on a level playing field.

1 C.S. Lewis J.K. Rowling
2 Edgar Allan Poe Mary Shelley
3 J.R.R. Tolkien Harper Lee
4 Mark Twain Jane Austen
5 Arthur Conan Doyle Suzanne Collins
6 Dr. Seuss Maya Angelou
7 F. Scott Fitzgerald Agatha Christie
8 Stephen King Madeline L’Engle
9 Lewis Carroll Alice Walker
10 James Patterson Virginia Woolf
11 George R.R. Martin Flannery O’Connor
12 Ernest Hemingway Kate Chopin
13 Langston Hughes Sandra Cisneros
14 Oscar Wilde Toni Morrison
15 Neil Gaiman Amy Tan
16 James Baldwin Julia Alvarez

WEEK 1 (March 18-25)

Match-Up Results – Male Authors:

  • By Aslan’s roar! C.S. Lewis (#1) soundly defeats James Baldwin (#16), 42 votes to 5.
  • Stephen King (#8) scares Lewis Carroll (#9) into submission, 31 votes to 16. Guess Carroll forgot to paint the roses red…
  • Not so elementary: in a shock, Ernest Hemingway (#12) beats Arthur Conan Doyle (#5), 33 votes to 14.
  • Mark Twain (#4) sails past Langston Hughes (#13), 32 votes to 15. Tom Sawyer is ready for the next adventure!
  • Elsewhere, Dr. Seuss (#6) crushes George R.R. Martin (#11), 38 votes to 9. I suppose Martin had his own “red wedding.”
  • One does not simply deny that J.R.R. Tolkien (#3) defeats Oscar Wilde (#14), 29 votes to 18.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald (#7) has no trouble against James Patterson (#10), 40 votes to 7. Drinks all around!
  • Quoth the Raven: Edgar Allan Poe (#2) absolutely destroys Neil Gaiman (#15), 44 votes to 3, much like the house of Usher.

Match-Up Results – Female Authors:

  • Accio win! J.K. Rowling (#1) casts her spell against Julia Alvarez (#16), 38 votes to 9.
  • In a bit of an upset, Alice Walker (#9) defeats Madeline L’Engle (#8), 31 votes to 16. She was no match against the color purple!
  • Suzanne Collins (#5) shoots down Kate Chopin (#12), 34 votes to 13. The odds were definitely in her favor.
  • Oh, Mr. Darcy! Jane Austen (#4) sensibly beats Sandra Cisneros (#13), 44 votes to 3.
  • Maya Angelou (#6) certainly knows how to defeat Flannery O’Connor (#11), 29 votes to 18.
  • No need to set a watchman: Harper Lee (#3) has no trouble beating Toni Morrison (#14), 40 votes to 7.
  • What a twist! Virginia Woolf (#10) takes down Agatha Christie (#7), 25 votes to 22, in a very close call.
  • Mary Shelley (#2) lets the monster loose against Amy Tan (#15), 35 votes to 12. Her luck definitely ran out.

Total Votes: 47 votes

WEEK 2 – SWEET SIXTEEN (March 26-March 31)

Match-Up Results – Male Authors:

  • C.S. Lewis (#1) floats past Stephen King (#8), 23 votes to 6. Sometimes, dead is better, but losing definitely isn’t.
  • It’s a farewell to Ernest Hemingway (#12) as Mark Twain (#4) beats him, 18 votes to 11.
  • In a very close match, Dr. Seuss (#6) advances past J.R.R. Tolkien (#3), 15 votes to 14. He – shall not – pass!
  • The party’s over for F. Scott Fitzgerald (#7), and Edgar Allan Poe (#2) continues onward, 22 votes to 7.

Match-Up Results – Female Authors:

  • The magic continues for J.K. Rowling (#1) as she beats Alice Walker (#9), 23 votes to 6.
  • Jane Austen (#4) out-favors the judges against Suzanne Collins (#5), 16 votes to 13. Guess that arrow was off-mark, just a tad.
  • Mockingbird wins out as Harper Lee (#3) advances past Maya Angelou (#6), 20 votes to 9.
  • Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf (#10)? Not Mary Shelley (#2) who defeats her, 19 votes to 10.

Total Votes: 29 votes.

WEEK 3 – ELITE EIGHT (April 1-8)

Match-Up Results – Male Authors:

  • The treasure hunt is over for Mark Twain (#4) as C.S. Lewis (#1) soundly beats him, 44 votes to 2.
  • Edgar Allan Poe (#2) takes down the Cinderella story, Dr. Seuss (#6), 27 votes to 19. Looks like someone’s going to have to eat his green eggs and ham after all…

Match-Up Results – Female Authors:

  • J.K. Rowling (#1) narrowly wins the House Cup against Jane Austen (#4), 26 votes to 20 – her first true struggle of the competition.
  • Same is true for Harper Lee (#3) who surprisingly flies past Mary Shelley (#2), 25 votes to 21.

Total Votes: 46 votes

WEEK 4 – FINAL FOUR (April 9-14)

Match-Up Results – Male Authors:

  • Edgar Allan Poe (#2) put up a good fight, but C.S. Lewis (#1) sends him to the pit (and the pendulum), with 33 votes to 13.

Match-Up Results – Female Authors:

  • J.K. Rowling (#1) is hit with a Confundus charm, allowing Harper Lee (#3) to snag the Snitch – and the victory – with 27 votes to 19.

Total Votes: 46 votes

WEEK 5 – LAST ROUND (April 15-18)

Winner: C.S. Lewis wins against Harper Lee, 29 votes to 12!

Total Votes: 41 votes

All in all, a very exciting contest this year, with a few surprises and interesting match-ups! The new strategy of creating the bracket seemed to work quite well, a much different experience from last year, so this is likely how all brackets will be decided for future contests.

Stay tuned next year for 2020’s March Madness Bracket Contest, as well as all things happening at the library until then!

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