Sports Reference Blog

Find Any College Basketball Matchup Since 1950

Posted by Mike Lynch on January 13, 2016

We're excited to announce a new Play Index feature at College Basketball Reference, which allows users to search for results of all matchups between Division I schools since 1949-50: the Matchup Finder.

There's a lot of cool new searches you can make with this tool, so let's show some examples:

In conjunction with the addition of the Matchup Finder, we have also enhanced the Team Game Finder. The Team Game Finder allows for more specific statistical searches than the Matchup Finder, but it only goes back to 2010-11 (the first season for which have all box scores) rather than 1949-50. The enhancement we've now made to this feature is that the AP Rankings are also synced into the search table. So you can now find things like best FG% against the AP #1 team since 2010-11. Or most wins vs ranked opponents since 2010-11.

The other addition we've made with syncing of the AP Rankings are matrices for each season showing all of the ranked vs ranked games. For instance, here's the Top 25 Matchups matrix for the 2014-15 season. Click on any of the hyperlinks to be taken to a matchup finder link showing the list of games in that season fitting the criteria. These matrices go all the way back to 1950.

We'd also like to mention a few inaccuracies we uncovered in the NCAA Record Book in preparing this tool. The record book lists all of the wins over AP #1 teams. However, it includes 2 wins which were actually over schools ranked #2 by the AP at the time of the game (DePaul's win over St. John's on January 17, 1950 and Virginia Tech's win over Memphis State on January 10, 1983). Consequently, we've removed those two games from our list of wins over AP #1. The record book also lists every meeting of #1 vs #2 in the AP Poll. However, it is missing the 1999 Final Four matchup between Michigan State and Duke, which can be found with our tool.

We should mention, however, that in dealing with such a large dataset, there are probably some minor inaccuracies in this data. This is likely mostly with dates, since schools often publish dates that are odds with one another in media guides. If you notice any issues, please let us know and we will work to confirm and fix. Another wrinkle is that prior to 1995-96, the games are almost exclusively limited to Division I vs Division I. We added Virginia's December 1982 loss to Chaminade manually, but you won't be able to find things like Georgetown's "rivalry" vs St. Leo. If you're looking for the Hoyas against Syracuse, though, we've got you covered.

One Response to “Find Any College Basketball Matchup Since 1950”

  1. Rhett Green Says:

    Hey Mike,

    Outstanding addition, congratulations. I appreciate you all putting these updates on here to the college sites. Can you guys add a total winning % componet for any range of these years, to this new Matchup Finder feature, as you already have on there for the "Team Finder" feature from the '10-'11 season to the present? That's about the only other thing I can think of right now that could be added to this, but you may have more in mind.

    Thanks for your time, and keep up the good work,

    Rhett Green