The NCAA Final Four: Social Media Showdown
It’s that time of year again. March means that basketball fans come out in droves to watch the best of the best at the college level in what is appropriately known as March Madness. For almost a month the NCAA basketball teams have been battling it out in the tournament and now we’re down to the final four. Saturday night we’ll see University of Kentucky play University of Louisville and Ohio State University face off against University of Kansas. The winner of these two games will face each other for the title of champion. But who’s it going to be?
We’ve done this very non-scientific research before with sports, but today we’ll be using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, to look at chatter around the four remaining teams and see if social media can predict a winner. To do this I ran a search for each university along with the terms ncaa OR basketball OR “march madness” OR marchmadness over the past month. Doing so revealed that Kentucky was mentioned 216,460 times, Louisville was mentioned 62,194 times, Ohio State was mentioned 153,124 times and Kansas was mentioned 168,711 times.
Trended out over time we get the popularity chart below. Looking at this we can see that the University of Kentucky had a bit more talk going on about it before the tournament actually started than any of the other teams. We can also see that talk about University of Louisville never spiked quite as high as any of the other teams.
When I looked at the sentiment around each of the teams I found some interesting results. Ohio State, while being third in terms of level of talk, actually had the greatest amount of positive talk (47%) and the least negative talk (14%). On the other hand, the University of Kentucky had the most amount of talk, but it tied for third place in terms of positive talk (41%) and had the second most amount amount of negative talk (19%).
Looking at this data makes it very hard to pick a clear winner. The University of Kentucky clearly has more people talking, but they’re also being talked about more negatively. If we went by just sentiment, Ohio State could be declared the favourite, but they were far from having the most amount of talk. As well, University of Kansas had the second most amount of talk, but the most amount of negative talk.
I can’t declare a winner in this contest, so I’ll end this post with two questions; who do you think won this social media battle? And which team do you think will win the actual tournament?