All season long, the delightful and dedicated people of the college basketball section of Reddit have been updating the College Basketball Imperialism map. It’s a fairly simple concept: Each team in the country started the season controlling the county (or counties) closer to their team’s arena than any other arena. If you win, you take control of the land that belonged to the team you beat.
Here’s the preseason map.
As you might guess, it’s a bit of a mess, even with 27 of the nation’s 351 teams unable to claim any land due to the fact that they share a county with another school.
And here’s the map as of Wednesday morning, which has gotten much simpler to read, as control has been consolidated to just 17 teams.
HEY, ST. JOHN’S IS ON THAT MAP!
The Red Storm picked up land by beating Villanova on February 7th, thus awarding them the Wildcats’ land. They hadn’t suffered a loss since then, which means they maintained their control of the land.
Which brings us to Wednesday night, and as our friends over at Big East Coast Bias would say, “AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED?”
Marquette got the W over the Red Storm on Wednesday night, thus giving us a brand new map.
Looks pretty sweet, doesn’t it?
Marquette now controls most of Arizona, large swaths of New Mexico and Utah, southwestern Nevada, eastern Wyoming, western South Dakota, the southern tip and the north central area of Texas, a strip in the middle of Arkansas, southeastern and southwestern Iowa, west central Illinois, sections of the Louisiana bayou, and scattered bits and chunks all over the rest of the Eastern and Central time zones. Hilariously, MU does not currently control Milwaukee County, which is held by LSU. However, MU didn’t start with Milwaukee County, as the rules of the initial set up gave that property to UWM because Panther Arena is south of the Bradley Center. It does, however, appear that Marquette has regained complete control of the land that they controlled at the start of the season.
According to the day’s official entry, Marquette controls 349 counties, which is second only to LSU. Marquette’s 349 counties are split into 39 pieces or territories, tied with Arizona for the second most and trailing behind LSU. MU has the third highest population with 36,903,476 people, trailing both LSU and Arizona.
It’s the first time that Marquette has had land on the map since the second game of the season, when MU was forced to cede control of their land and the land gained in the season opening win over Mount St. Mary’s to Purdue. Marquette will not be able to gain any more land until the postseason, as they are the only Big East team that currently controls any territory.
Marquette returns to action on Saturday, when they put their Imperialism territory on the line on a visit to DePaul.
You can check out a GIF of the progression of the map since the first day of the season right here.