March madness is one of my favorite events of the year. As a Big Ten alumni I always hope that my school will make it to the finals and I follow the games closely. It is also fun to see how these games drive social conversations online. Between rabid sports fans and passionate alumni, these games create lots of excitement and discussions!
While I have my personal favorites (hint: Michigan and Indiana), we used Visible Intelligence to take a look back at the second round leading to the Sweet Sixteen. We know who won in our basketball brackets, but what about the Twitter tournament? Who was mentioned most and who won the the social hearts and minds of basketball fans?
As you can see in the infographic below, created with ExactTarget, there were winners, losers, cinderella stories and underdogs.
- In the top two regions, Oregon and Michigan (Go Blue!) are always among the top schools when it comes to social media in college sports
- Duke and North Carolina are huge rivals with huge fanbases, so it’s no surprise that these two schools are popular on Twitter
- In the bottom half of the bracket, Gonzaga (the ultimate Cinderella and often fan-favorite) had the most mentions in the west region
- Marquette (who won on a buzzer-beater) had the most mentions overall
What happens on the court may not always reflect who wins on Twitter. Teams with large fan bases and active social media accounts did well. Games with high drama and exciting finishes had more mentions. Bring on the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight!