Tweet Madness: Crowning the NCAA Basketball Champs by Twitter Handle

Last Updated on June 5, 2014

March Madness is finally upon us. That sweet time of year where our favorite college basketball teams go dancing and the rest of us fans meticulously fill out our brackets and begin to watch game after game until an ultimate NCAA Champion is crowned.

However, what if the champs were actually determined by their Twitter presence, as opposed to their ability on the court? Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at the various teams’ Twitter handles and determining who would move on in the Brackets as a result of their Twitter presence. The current Bracket will be used to determine the initial matchups.

Each team will be judged in the following ways:

  • Number of followers
  • Number of tweets
  • Klout Score
  • Peerreach score in Sports PeerGroup and Basketball PeerGroup – measures whether Twitter handles have the “right” followers and interact with people that make a difference (for some teams this data is not readily available)

Round 1

Matchup 1: 16 Albany vs. 16 Mount St. Mary’s

 Albany (@UAlbany_MBB)Mount St. Marys (@MountHoops)
# of Followers8241,073
# of Tweets682194
Klout Score5455
Peerreach Score (Sports)N/A#59,500
Peerreach Score (Basketball)N/AN/A


Although, Mount St. Mary’s has over 200 more followers than Albany does, the team has under 200 tweets and only started Tweeting 9 months ago (June 2013). Additionally, even though, Albany has had its current handle since September 2011, most of its tweets have occurred in the past 7 months (since August 2013). This means that, estimating roughly, Mount St. Mary’s tweets about 20 tweets/month, and Albany tweets about 90 times/month. Thus, despite Mount St. Mary’s having a higher Klout score, and having enough data to determine a Peerreach score in the Sports PeerGroup, Albany has clearly been tweeting more religiously. To me, that gives Albany the slight edge.

Winner: Albany

Matchup 2:  12 NC State vs. 12 Xavier

 NC State (@PackMensBball)Xavier (@XUAthletics)*
# of Followers28,3006,559
# of Tweets8,3667,705
Klout Score6962
Peerreach Score (Sports)#13,522#14,026
Peerreach Score (Basketball)#2,901N/A


In this matchup, NC State dominates in every single category.

This battle is the equivalent of a blowout.

Winner: NC State

Matchup 3: 16 Cal Poly vs. 16 Texas Southern

 Cal Poly (@CalPolyMBB)Texas Southern (@TXSOTigers)*
# of Followers8991,564
# of Tweets3722,863
Klout Score4950
Peerreach Score (Sports)#35,000#27,900
Peerreach Score (Basketball)N/AN/A


Although it may seem that Texas Southern wins every category, this is a hard matchup because we are comparing one school’s Men’s Basketball Twitter handle against the other school’s overall Athletics Twitter handle. Despite this, I am going to give the win to Cal Poly for a few reasons. First, Texas Southern’s handle only acknowledges that the team won the SWAC Tournament Championship Title, but has not yet congratulated the team for being selected for the NCAA Tournament, albeit it being almost a day since the Selection Committee created the brackets. Second, Cal Poly’s Klout Score is only one less than Texas Southern’s, even though its handle focuses only on one sports, as opposed to every sport at the school.

Winner: Cal Poly

Matchup 4: 11 Iowa vs. 11 Tennessee

 Iowa (@IowaHoops)Tennessee (@Vol_Hoops)
# of Followers35,70035,100
# of Tweets7,19611,600
Klout Score6869
Peerreach Score (Sports)#3,697#2,310
Peerreach Score (Basketball)#15,954#5,466


Except for a handful of Twitter followers, Tennessee beats Iowa in 4/5 categories. Perhaps most significant, is Tennessee’s Peereach score in the Basketball PeerGroup: it is in the top 5,500 of all Twitter handles focusing on Basketball, whereas Iowa is only in the top 16,000 of all Basketball Twitter handles. Another interesting point about Tennessee’s handle is that the website in the bio brings one to a Vizify (a personalized website that is based off one’s social media profiles) page about Tennessee Men’s Basketball, whereas the website in Iowa’s bio brings one to the Iowa Athletics page for Men’s Basketball. I think what Tennessee is doing on Vizify is unique.

Winner: Tennessee

Stay tuned for the next installment featuring the Second Round competitors. Leave a comment below on your opinion of the various team’s Twitter presences!

*Some schools do not have a separate Twitter for Men’s Basketball


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