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NCAA March Madness spells social media 'Sweet 16' success

NCAA Tournament success translates to social media success.

After one of the wildest weekends of March Madness ever, the Sweet 16 teams are set and there are surprises all over the brackets. Social media exploded over the weekend with more than 1.4 million posts about the NCAA Tournament from the first tip off on Thursday through Monday morning, according to international social media analytics firm Talkwalker.

The absolute peak of chatter was Friday night between 11 p.m and midnight EDT, when 142,569 social media posts mentioned March Madness and it was all because of the historic upset by 16th-seeded UMBC over number one seed Villanova. This Tweet from the NCAA totaled more than 30K engagements. Over the past 24 hours, the top trending hashtag is #MarchMadness with 149.7K in that time period and more than a million mentions since Thursday. With the Sweet 16 set, the top trending hashtags among teams in the past 24 hours are: Purdue’s #BoilerUp (3.7K), Nevada’s #BattleBorn (3.6K), Nevada’s #TheHunt (3.5K), Michigan’s #GoBlue (3.1K) and the lovable 16 Seed #UMBC (2.2K). So which Sweet 16 team is winning the social media wars? According to Talkwalker over the past 48 hours, it’s Syracuse – a team many pundits said didn’t even belong in the tournament. The top 10 teams getting mentioned on social media are: Syracuse (14K mentions), Michigan (13.8K), Florida State (10.9K), Purdue (10.4K), Texas A&M (10.3K), West Virginia (7.5K), Clemson (7.3K), Duke (6.9K), Kansas State (6.7K) and Texas Tech (6.6K). Two unlikely social media heroes of March Madness are Sister Jean, the 98-years-young chaplain of Loyola-Chicago and “Gonzaga Grandma,” who is coach Mark Few’s mother . Sister Jean has been mentioned 37.8K times in social media, with the peak being 7 and 8 p.m. on March 17 with 2.8K mentions. This Twitter video is worth a thousand words.

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