Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
The Men’s 2022 NCAA March Madness Tournament officially kicked off this Tuesday, with the first two of four play-in games. All tournament long, we will be tracking the social activity of the tournament, including tournament handle mentions and mentions of all competing teams to capture the biggest and brightest moments on social.
Notre Dame vs Rutgers 2OT Thriller
It didn’t take long for us to get our first thriller of the tournament, as Notre Dame and Rutgers supplied just that in the last of the four play-in games. After trailing by five going into half time, Notre Dame bounced back in the second half to tie the game and take it into overtime. One overtime wasn’t enough for these two teams, as they were still knotted up at 79 points a piece, taking the game in 2OT. Notre Dame ultimately prevailed with the comeback, taking the game with a final of 89-87.
Social media was buzzing for this game, as saw the first social media activity peak of the tournament after build up of bracket talk and the first batch of play-in games to start the week.
Upset In The Opener
The 11-Seed University of Michigan and 6-Seed Colorado State University tipped the tournament off on Thursday, and it was must-watch madness. Falling behind as much as 13 points, Michigan stormed back in the second half to cap off the upset to advance to the Round of 32.
Michigan ranked 4th in Twitter impressions from posts mentioning the program’s handle with 4,605,243 total impressions. This post below from SportsCenter was the top earned post, generating 1.4M impressions and nearly 5K engagements.
Richmond Pulls off the First 5/12 Upset
In the Round of 64, fans are always looking for the famous 5/12 upset. According to the NCAA, “In 31 of the last 36 years, the 12 seed has won at least one first-round game.” Well, it didn’t take long to get our first of the tournament.
Thursday afternoon, the University of Richmond Spiders walked into KeyBank Center and knocked off the Iowa Hawkeyes in a back and forth battle.
On Thursday, Richmond’s program generated the 3rd most Twitter impressions from mentioned posts, about 200,000 more than Michigan, with a total of 4,881,726. Could they pull off another win Saturday and be this year’s Cinderella team? We shall see!
Another 5/12 Upset?
Did we mention that 5/12 upsets are among the most popular upsets in the Round of 64? Because New Mexico State showed up to prove this right once again.
The Aggies must have been watching the earlier game in the KeyBank Center, because they stepped don the court and did exactly what Richmond did, pulling off the 5/12 upset over Big East powerhouse UConn.
The Aggies prevailed on social, ranking 6th on the day in Twitter impressions with 3.8M total impressions.
If you weren’t familiar with the Saint Peter’s Peacock’s program before Thursday, you sure are now.
Coming off their first conference tournament championship since 2011, the last time they appeared in the March Madness Tournament, Saint Peter’s came up not only to make a statement, but to make history. Becoming only the 10th 15-seed to knock down a 2-seed, the Peacocks sent the University of Kentucky Wildcats home, defeating them 85-79 in overtime.
The Saint Peter’s victory was the story of the day, as the team generated over 10 million impressions, 3 million more than the next highest school, and over $154K in earned social value, nearly $53K more than the next highest school. Twitter… VERIFY THEM!!!
Tarheels Knock Off Baylor For a Trip to the Sweet 16
Saturday afternoon, the 8-seed North Carolina Tarheels faced up against 1-seed Baylor Bears. The Tarheels played spoiler in this one, making the Bears the first 1-seed to be sent home in this year’s tournament and punching their ticket to the Sweet 16. ESPN’s tweet of the upset was one of the top tweets of the weekend, generating nearly $39K in social value.
Saint Peter’s Plays Cinderella and Dances into Sweet 16
Coming off their huge win against 2-seed Kentucky, the newly Twitter verified Peacocks faced off against Murray State for a trip to the Sweet 16.
The Peacocks showed up to play, carrying a five-point lead into half and extending it by another five in the second half to take the game 70-60.
In the first weekend, the team earned over $580K in earned social value on Twitter from mentions of the program.
Big Blue Pulls Off a Big Win
The University of Michigan basketball team upended Colorado State in the opening round for an upset, setting them up against 3-seed Tennessee on Saturday.
Trailing by five at the half, the Wolverines stormed back in the second half with 44 points, taking the game 76-68, punching their ticket as another double-digit seed in the Sweet 16.
The program generated the 5th most impressions over the weekend of Sweet 16 qualifying teams, drawing in 18.9M earned impressions on Twitter.
Coach K vs. Tom Izzo
All eyes are on Duke right now, as Coach K is giving it one last run for a title before his retirement. Sunday night, the Duke Blue Devils squared off against another coaching icon, Tom Izzo and Michigan State.
Over the weekend, Duke’s account generated just shy of $300K in social value on Twitter, with a lot of content focused around their legendary head coach.
1200K 🐐🕺🕺🕺🕺🕺🕺💙😈— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) March 20, 2022
(most all-time) pic.twitter.com/wTLhb1tabt
Overtime Thriller in San Diego
9-seed TCU and 1-seed Arizona closed out the round of 32 Sunday night in San Diego, and it was quite the seal on opening weekend.
TCU went for the upset bid on Arizona, with the game needing more than regulation and headed to overtime late Sunday night.
Pac-12 Player of the Year Bennedict Mathurin showed up big for the Wildcats, hitting the game-tying three in regulation to send the game to OT and then scoring six more in OT to put the cap on the game sending the Wildcats to the Sweet 16.
First Weekend Recap
Analysis of Sweet 16 qualifying teams during First Weekend
Championship Comeback for Kansas
Following an exhilarating weekend of Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games, including another surprise win for Saint Peter's, Kansas and UNC came out of the Final 4 for the National Championship game.
UNC was dominant for the larger part of the game, until late when Kansas came storming back, outscoring the Tar Heels 47-29 in the 2nd half for a 72-69 victory.
On Tuesday, our Zoomph feed saw over 17 THOUSAND mentions of the @KUHoops handle, generating over 39.5 million impressions and $616,000 in social value. In comparison, this is nearly DOUBLE what the program generated over the first two weekends of the tournament ($352,000+). That is the power of winning a national championship.