If you’ve been on a college campus, watched ESPN, took a plane, or grabbed a drink at a sports bar or pub over the last week, you know that the NCAA College Men’s Basketball tournament is heating up! March Madness is ubiquitous, dominating both TV and social media. While player stats, underdog status, buzzer beaters, and Cinderella stories are dominating coverage, we’re interested in how the enthusiasm and social media mentions of brands, fans, and players . 

The on court standing of teams sometimes echoes social media mentions, and sometimes doesn’t. Unfortunately for them, the rabid positive mentions that the Kentucky Wildcats have received on Twitter and Facebook won’t correlate to an NCAA victory; the Indiana Hoosiers have already defeated them in Round 32. The Syracuse Orange’s vaunted 2-3 zone defense led them to victory over Middle Tennessee State; their fan base is feeling the excitement, catapulting them to a win in overall Twitter mentions. 

As for brackets, Obama is dominating in much the same way he dominated the SXSWi keynotes, a full 7% points over Kermit the Frog. Both of those brackets are doing better than Twitter’s and Instagram’s, who respectively each have 70% compared to Facebook’s lagging 62%. In this competition, Facebook can still feel good that it’s doing slightly better than Katie Couric’s 60%. 

So beyond the tournament champion, who will take the largest share of voice in brand mentions? Who will go home with the most Instagram posts? Who will triumph with the biggest community growth? Since it’s the first time we’ve held the (soon-to-be annual) Meltwater 2016 Social Media March Madness Brackets, we’re curious about which platform will come closest to predicting the Final Four and ultimately, the winner. Check back as we track brand mentions and social chatter as the tournament progresses.

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