Facebook’s “Social Bracket” may not be the perfect model for filling out your own bracket, but it’s certainly a fun way to size up fan bases.
Using data from the two weeks leading up to Selection Sunday, Facebook compiled all references to each of the 68 schools represented in this year’s NCAA Tournament field and sized up the real matchups that are about to occur. The school with the higher number of mentions advanced to the next round, until one winner was decided.
And that winner was … the Duke Blue Devils, edging out the Florida Gators, who apparently care about basketball again.
The bracket below is basically a measure of the biggest and noisiest fan bases in college basketball. One thing you’ll notice is the lack of upsets in the bracket – aside from Nebraska’s incredibly deep run, the higher seed wins almost every time. That might say something about the bigger fan bases’ tendency to traditionally stay near the top of college basketball, while the schools who don’t have as many fans to pay for tickets and gear traditionally see less success.
As a Florida State basketball fan, it makes perfect sense. Being a part of an apathetic fan base means I see my team in the tournament less often than most other large schools, and when they do make it into the Big Dance, they’re usually a low seed and a long shot to make a deep run.
The bracket is below, and be sure to comment if you were surprised by any of the findings.