# Figure the Winner

Subject: Mathematics

Brief Description

Students use math to predict the winners of the NCAA basketball tournaments.

Objectives

Students practice calculating percentage, average, mean, median, and mode.

Keywords

basketball, math, mean, median, mode, percentage, average

Materials Needed

Tournament pairings chart for men and/or women (copied from a local newspaper)

Lesson Plan

• Copy the tournament bracket chart for the men's and/or women's teams onto 8 1/2- by 11-inch paper. Provide each student with a copy. Have students put their names on their copies and save them throughout the tournament.
• Explain how the tournament works and what the numbers on the chart mean. Tell students they are going to use the numbers to predict the winning team.
• Before the first round of the tournament, have students calculate each team's winning percentage; they should use the win-loss records shown on the chart to perform this calculation. Ask students to pick the teams they think will win the first round of the tournament and circle their picks on the tournament chart.
• Before the second round, have students research each coach's win/loss record for each season of his or her college career. Have students calculate the percentage of games each coach has won during his or her college career. Ask students to pick the teams they think will win the second round of the tournament and circle their picks on the tournament chart.
• Before the third round, have students use the figures from the first two rounds to calculate the average offensive score, defensive points allowed, and the greatest spread between offensive average and defensive average for each remaining team. Ask students to pick the teams they think will win the Sweet Sixteen round of the tournament and circle their picks on the tournament chart.
• Before the fourth round, have students use the figures from the first three rounds to rank the offensive averages of the remaining teams from high to low and calculate the mean, median, and mode for each. Ask students to pick the teams they think will win the next round of the tournament and circle their picks on the tournament chart.
• Before the final two rounds, have students use the figures from the first four rounds to rank the defensive averages of the remaining teams from high to low and calculate the mean, median, mode, and range for each. Ask students to pick the team they think will win the tournament.

Assessment

Evaluate students on the results of their mathematical calculations.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Linda Starr

Originally published 03/19/2001
Last updated 03/17/2017