MAP: If the election were decided only by states with the best basketball schools

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer
If it were a college basketball nation of only the top-ranked teams, who would've won? (AP)

Have you recovered from the election coverage yet?

Do you hate when sports and politics mix?

Do I have the quickie little post for you. Don't worry, it's all hypothetical, so let's just look into an alternate dimension and see what life could be like if things were arranged the way they should be: basketball states being the most important ones in our country. The only ones, even.

What if there weren't 50 nifty United States based off 13 original colonies? (You know it: sing along!) What if our great nation was only a conglomerate of 20 federations inside one border? And, say, those states were drawn by the decisions made from the CBSSports.com preseason top 25 (and one), making up a map that basically voids the Pacific Northwest, the Northeast and swaths across the Rockies?

(All the stoners have obviously left the country if this is the case.)

And since we're really just giving ourselves way too much credit already, I wondered, if it was just those 26 2012 preseason-ranked school representing 20 states, would Barack Obama still have won a second term Tuesday night? If the Electoral College totals were the same, what would the outcome have been?

Let's find out. First, our 1-26 teams that we've unveiled over the course of the past month. Kentucky and Lousville are clumped together because the final reveal over who gets No. 1 comes Thursday on CBSSports.com. I'll list them alphabetically, for suspense's sake.

1 and 2

Kentucky (Kentucky: 8 electoral votes).
Louisville (Kentucky already accounted for).

3. Indiana (Indiana: 11 electoral votes).

4. Kansas (Kansas: 6 electoral votes).

5. Michigan (Michigan: 16 electoral votes).

6. Michigan State (Michigan already accounted for).

7. Syracuse (New York: 29 electoral votes)

8. Arizona (Arizona: 11 electoral votes).

9. UCLA (California: 55 electoral votes).

10. North Carolina (North Carolina: 15 electoral votes).

11. Missouri (Missouri: 10 electoral votes).

12. UNLV (Nevada: 6 electoral votes).

13. San Diego State (California already accounted for).

14. Florida (Florida: 29 electoral votes).

15. NC State (North Carolina already accounted for).

16. Duke (North Carolina already accounted for).

17. Ohio State (Ohio: 18 electoral votes).

18. Memphis (Tennessee: 11 electoral votes).

19. Gonzaga (Washington State: 12 electoral votes).

20. Baylor (Texas: 38 electoral votes).

21. Wisconsin (Wisconsin: 10 electoral votes).

22. Minnesota (Minnesota: 10 electoral votes).

23. VCU (Virginia: 13 electoral votes).

24. Creighton (Nebraska: 5 electoral votes).

25. West Virginia (West Virginia; 5 electoral votes).

26. Notre Dame (Indiana already accounted for).


The tally:

Red-state schools: 14

Blue-state schools: 12

Electoral College total

Blue: 198

Red: 120

In our beautiful, hoops-dominated topography, Obama is still the leader of the free world, which kind of makes sense given how the man loves his basketball.

And how about this: Even if you're a staunch Republican who wants to take Florida for the reds (since it's still not technically called as of this post's publishing), go ahead; that still wouldn't change the outcome, as the total spits out favoring Democratic-leaning states to a 169-149 margin. What's more, if you deal with recent hoops news, the republic gets one state bigger and the margin widens for liberals.

We could kick out Notre Dame -- No. 26, which repeats Indiana's representation anyway -- and put in Maryland. Why Maryland? The Terps now have Dez Wells and could very well make a case for being preseason top 25-worthy. If that's the case, Maryland's 10 electoral votes widen for our College Basketball Fatherland to a 208-120 outcome.

So, there you go. In our obliterated-then-retraced map of the new U.S., Obama's still running the show and the best schools are still part of college hoops and this fine, tempo free-lovin' country. The downside? Illinois and Oklahoma State are the two best historical programs who've been exiled, and basically more realignment is on the way because the sport's lost nearly half its Division I programs.

No matter, though, because nothing short of a meteor slamming into the planet will ever halt realignment from happening, and even then I'm not sure, because it's not our big boss president, but the college presidents who forever hold the real power in this sovereign state.

 
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