A Climate Leader Showdown

April 3, 2017

This past weekend a moment in history was made – The Final Four consisted of only Climate Leader schools. With the all the noise echoing back and forth, we felt this really made a statement. For all of Saturday, the four most watched and praised schools were the same institutions leading the fight against climate change. Tonight will be no different as Gonzaga and UNC head onto the court to fight for the title.

Gonzaga stars in its its first national championship in school history and UNC leads in after it defeated Oregon by a tight margin of 77-76. Gonzaga and UNC are showing the country they aren’t just schools that care about basketball, they care about what is going on in the world.

We’ve been making predictions all through the tournament, always rooting for the Climate Leadership (CL) school. You can see the win results for CL schools at the below table.

Climate Leadership (CL) School Tracking Board
RoundCL Win RateNon-CL Win RateWin Rate CL vs Non-CLNCAA Men’s Tournament Carbon Footprint (mtCO2e) (First flight through home)
First53.1% (17/32)46.9% (15/32)65% (13/20)1,116 mtCO2e (including First Four)
Second62.5% (10/16)37.5% (6/16)80% (4/5)169.4 mtCO2e
Sweet Sixteen75.0% (6/8)25.0% (2/8)75.0% (3/4)320.8 mtCO2e
Elite Eight100% (4/4)none100% (2/2)80.42 mtCO2e
Final Four100% (2/2)nonenone109.4 mtCO2e
Running Total62.9% (39/62)41.1% (23/56)71% (22/31)1,782 mtCO2e

Now that we have a championship with two CL schools, we couldn’t base our prediction on who was a CL school and who wasn’t because we’d always be right! We figured it would be more interesting to make a prediction based on which school emitted more carbon on their travels throughout the tournament. Granted, this wasn’t their decision, they didn’t pick which stadiums to play in but, hey, carbon emitted is carbon emitted. So we followed them through their journey and you can check results of each school’s trips below.

Gonzaga (Green) = 1,748 miles traveled. 24.47 tons of CO2 emitted.

UNC (Blue) = 1,991 miles traveled. 26.75 tons of CO2 emitted.

Based on those numbers, we have to pick Gonzaga for the title, but only squeaking by about 2 metric tons of CO2. Only time will tell who will take it all home.

We’ve been following the tournament and tracking down the number of miles each team has traveled. You can check that out at our March Madness blog.