Predicting the NCAA Tournament on Social

Published on Mar 15th, 2016

by Jack Weinstein

Update, April 1:

If the NCAA Tournament were decided by social engagement, Kansas would face North Carolina for the national championship. But it didn't work out that way. Top-seeded Kansas was knocked off by Villanova, who will face Oklahoma on Saturday. The winner of that game will square off against the winner of North Carolina and Syracuse.

North Carolina is the favorite on the court and social media. The Tar Heels more than doubled the engagement generated by the Orange since the end of the last round of the tournament.

Update, April 4:

Our pick for social media engagement national champion is: University of North Carolina.

Update, March 28:

Using NCAA Tournament teams' Facebook, Twitter and Instagram engagement, we've correctly predicted three Final Four teams. We only missed on Kansas, the tournament's No. 1 overall seed, which fell to Villanova on Saturday. Overall, we've used social engagement to correctly pick 67% of the tournament games.

Check back Friday for our Final Four predictions.

Update, March 24:

We updated our bracket to reflect how well Facebook, Twitter and Instagram engagement has predicted which NCAA Tournament teams would advance. So far, we've successfully predicted 69% of the tournament games using engagement up to the Sweet 16, which starts tonight.

Where engagement didn't match up with the teams' performance on the court, we listed the actual winner above the team we predicted to win.

Original post:

We’ve created a social engagement bracket again this year in an attempt to predict which college basketball team will win the NCAA Tournament on social media.

After each round, we’ll update the bracket based on which team generated the most actions (likes, comments, shares and retweets) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’ll measure the engagement from the day each round concludes through the day before the next game. The team that wins on social advances in the bracket.

And we’ll publish an update the morning after the conclusion of each round on the Shareablee blog .

Almost every team in the tournament has its own social media pages. However, some only have pages for their school’s athletic departments. And not every team has a page on each social platform. But we prioritized measuring engagement from basketball team pages where we could.

Our predicted winners based on social engagement are highlighted in blue.


Check back with updates to this post throughout the tournament.

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