The NCAA Championship game is upon us tonight, and believe it or not, 3 of us ISLers have Louisville winning it all in our own brackets. Not too shabby for a bunch of nerds!
Although none of us could craft the perfect bracket, we were able to find some interesting Twitter data around mentions of Final Four teams from the past 3 years.
Although Cinderella story Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) couldn’t muscle up enough prowess to beat Butler and move on to the championship game, it surely won on Twitter. Mentions of #vcu peaked at a whopping 124,187 tweets during the tournament – an 8,000% increase from its typical monthly showing.
Not surprisingly, the month of April saw UConn, the inevitable champion, and Butler, the runner-up, as the tweet leaders.
Kentucky stayed on top on and off the court during the 2012 March Madness. Led by Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky won its six tourney games by nearly 12 points per contest. Nothing could stop them and the mentions just poured in, garnering almost 150k mentions by championship time – more mentions than all of last year’s Twitter activity combined.
If Twitter mentions is any indication of future success, as it has been for years past, it looks like the Wolverines may take the cake this year. They rocked almost 400k mentions during the month of March, which is twice what Louisville pulled in.
Some lessons learned:
- Hail to the victors: Winners get more mentions than losers. Since 2011, winners of their Final Four game as well as the championship games scored the most mentions. One exception: VCU, an #11-seed Cinderella story who won the hearts, and tweets, of Americans across the country.
- Football schools get a little bit more love throughout the year. Look at Ohio State. Look at Michigan. Where other Final Four team spikes come March from an otherwise non-existent fan base, schools with prominent football programs see a steady level of activity 6 months out of the year.
- Twitter is still gaining popularity [#duh]. In 2011, we were seeing 230 million tweets per day. Last year, it went up to 400 million tweets per day. So although it looks like March Madness keeps getting more popular – especially with more than 2 million #marchmadness tweets seen over the past 30 days – it’s really Twitter in general that is the popular one.
Data collected with Topsy Pro <3