Niche Madness College Tournament: Round 1


The end of the year is winding down, and while many publications are releasing their “best of” lists, we’re leaving ours up to you.

Niche editors picked 16 colleges and cities to face off in the first-ever Niche Madness Tournament, and your voting will determine the winners in both brackets on December 29. (The colleges and cities were selected based on discussion among the Niche experts, with criteria including colleges and cities to watch, underrated gems, and interesting rivalries.)

From Monday at 12 p.m. EST to Sunday at midnight, the polls will be open. Vote below in the Niche Madness College Tournament bracket (then check out our City bracket).


Battle of the ‘Almost Ivies’

Stanford and Duke often get confused for Ivy League schools, but if it really came down to one or the other, which one would you pick? The California institution or the Southern basketball mecca?


Highest-Ranking Liberal Arts Colleges

In Niche’s Best Overall ranking, the two highest-ranking liberal arts colleges include Bowdoin College (No. 13) in Maine and Pomona College (No. 21) in California. Which one deserves a shot at No. 1 in this tournament?


New-School vs. Old-School Design

One was founded in 1978 and has a mascot named “Art the Bee.” The other was founded in 1877 and has a mascot that’s … interesting. Which design school will prevail: SCAD or RISD?


Most Liberal College vs. Most Conservative

Evergreen State College and BYU – Idaho came out on top in our Most Liberal and Most Conservative college rankings. But in the battle of the donkey versus the elephant, what animal will triumph?


“Don’t Call Us That” Schools

Students at either of these schools are resentful—only because people confuse their universities for each other. With one in Boston and the other outside of Chicago, which will be the one that gets remembered: Northeastern or Northwestern?


Biggest Sports Schools

University of Florida and University of Alabama are Niche’s top two schools for Best Athletics, with top-notch facilities, competitive teams, and thousands of fans packing stadiums to support the Gators and the Crimson Tide. But in a bracket match of these powerhouses, which fans will turn out to support more?


One of the Most Heated Fan Rivalries

If you have a “Penn State” or “Ohio State” bumper sticker and park in the opposing school’s parking lot, you may come back to a vandalized car. That’s how deep the rivalry with Penn State and Ohio State goes.


War on the Range

Hawkeyes versus Huskers. In this battle in the plains, what colors will remain: black and gold of University of Iowa or scarlet and cream of Nebraska?


Polls open Monday December 1 at noon and close Sunday December 7 at midnight.

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  1. Tal

    Ohio State and Penn State are DEFINITELY not rivals.. Penn State hates Ohio State but Ohio State is indifferent towards Penn State. Ohio State is in one of the most well known (or so I thought) and most intense rivalries with the University of Michigan.

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