It turns out that there is no correlation between the quality of a state’s campaign finance disclosure laws and its basketball teams in the NCAA Tournament.
Knowing nothing about college basketball, I was looking for a quick and painless way to fill out my bracket. So I turned to the good people at the Campaign Disclosure Project who graded each state based on criteria like their electronic filing system, content accessibility, usability, detail requirements, and filing schedules. I picked teams from states with comprehensive disclosure laws over those with weak ones.
I probably should given up when I realized that this method would result in the first round elimination of North Carolina (#1 in the East but a D+ on disclosure) by Eastern Kentucky (#16 and a C+ on the disclosure scale). I managed to get B+ rated Florida to the Final Four, but otherwise, it was a massacre.
In case you’re looking for the New York hook, one of my few successful picks was Virginia (rated a B) over Albany (D+) in the first round. Unfortunately, California’s B+ led me to bank on underdog Long Beach State making an appearance in the Elite Eight, knocking out Virginia in second round.
The silver lining is that campaign finance disclosure does trump partisanship, at least in this respect. My colleague who filled out her bracket by favoring blue states over red states ended up even closer to the bottom of the pile.