SBJ/March 24-30, 2014/Colleges

Social madness: Ranking the tourney teams

North Carolina was a No. 6 seed entering this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, but the Tar Heels ranked No. 1 across the field of 68 when comparing networks of support for the schools’ basketball teams on various social media platforms.

According to a school-by-school review of this year’s tournament participants, the Tar Heels were joined by Kentucky, Duke, Michigan and Kansas as programs with more than 400,000 supporters across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as of March 19.

North Carolina has a strong following across both Twitter and Facebook for its basketball program. Instagram, meanwhile, is the least used of the platforms across the schools, but the emerging social media site has been used to great effect by Duke, which has more than 100,000 followers, twice as many as No. 2 Kentucky and well more than other schools in the field.

Some top-name programs, including Syracuse and Cincinnati, do not have basketball-only accounts (thus knocking them down in the rankings here), but they do have large followings for their overall athletic department social media sites. All numbers were compiled based on fans of the official basketball program accounts for each school participating in this year’s tournament.



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