Madness or Genius? How We’re Predicting the NCAA Champs

Can I tell you something?

I am a HUGE sports fan:

  • My dad is an Auburn graduate, my mom is an Alabama graduate, I’m a Kansas graduate. School pride runs diverse and deep in my family home
  • I grew up in Kansas City, which means I’m attached to the Royals and Chiefs
  • Former Kansas players drew me to the OKC Thunder (plus the lack of an NBA team in KC)
  • My two-year stint in Chicago (pre-Stanley Cup) led me to a deep-seated adoration of the Chicago Blackhawks.

I’m also extremely social. So I’ve always brought the best and worst of my sports fandom out on Twitter.

Sound familiar? This clearly isn’t a huge leap for most sports fans—whenever huge sporting events take place, Twitter goes wild with @ mentions and hashtags from fans cheering on their favorite teams and calling out opponents.

Something interesting keeps happening though. At Spredfast, we pull data for all kinds of sporting events—the World Cup, MLB playoffs, and the NCAA men’s football championship games. In all three of those particular cases, the team with the most social buzz... ended up winning.

Coincidence or not? We’re not positive, but the trend is certainly interesting. We decided to test this by building Social Bracketology. We’ll measure social conversations for every Sweet 16 matchup to see if the most buzzworthy teams win. We’ll continue to measure conversation volume for the Elite 8, Final 4 and, ultimately, measure social buzz for the NCAA Championship Game on April 6.

If you are into superstitions, it might be worth taking these trends seriously and rallying your fellow fans to set the odds in your favor. How can you be true to your school? Stay up to date on the numbers for your favorite team and Tweet your support—every Tweet counts!

Laura Baker's picture

Laura Baker

Laura is the Senior Manager of Digital Strategy, leading strategy and analytics for Spredfast's digital channels. A Kansas City native, Laura loves barbecue, Jayhawks, Boulevard Beer and Bo Jackson. In her free time, Laura trains dogs at a local animal rescue, writes for a classic movie review blog and tweets (frequently) at @SnackMantis.