This Is How We Wish NCAA Brackets Were Designed

This tournament design is space-efficient and attractive. So why are we still using brackets in our bracketology?

Even those of us who don’t follow college basketball on a day-to-day basis can get caught up in the fever of bracketology. Office pools. The lure of Cinderella stories. And just filling out brackets with random guesses can be fun.

Click to zoom.

But why aren’t brackets radial, like this poster from Hyperakt? Technically, it was designed for the 2011/2012 Champions League—the mega annual soccer tournament that’s only superseded by the World Cup—but it’s so much more elegant (not to mention space efficient) than those doublewide NCAA brackets. For example, looking at it, you can immediately get a sense for each team’s path to the final. And you could fit all 64 teams in the typical NCAA tournament bracket by adding on just two more rings onto Hyperakt’s design.

If only the NCAA would adopt the circle, businesses everywhere could stop buying legal paper. People could project their winners by playing darts. And, practically speaking, we’d finally have a bracketology interface that would be inherently touchable on mobile devices. It’s a mess to interact with brackets on any screen. Meanwhile, Hyperakt’s design has built-in buttons. Alas, the NCAA, ESPN, and the patrons of Hooters are likely stuck in their ways. So while we all dream of radial NCAA brackets, we’ll have to settle for this soccer version.

In all seriousness, Hyperakt’s smart poster is seeking funding on Kickstarter now. A print will run you $20. And don’t worry, soccer fans, they do plan to update the image to reflect any winner who is not Barcelona.

Buy it here.

Add New Comment

4 Comments

  • Ian

    The only problem I see with this is that it's not very easy to write in the spaces, compared to your typical tournament bracket. For showing results, though, it's a neat solution.

  • Amy

    I love this poster and have the 2010 World Cup version hanging on my wall, but I have to disagree with you on using it as a touch interface on mobile devices. I can't imagine doing the pinch zoom over and over with a full NCAA bracket on my phone. And, I don't patronize Hooters. I don't even like chicken wings.