March Madness Final Four: The Twitter Favorites are In

Guess what: The iPad launch isn’t the only thing happening this weekend. The last two games of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament before the finals are going down this Saturday, and the Final Four have been getting lots of buzz on Twitter all week. Which kind of makes us think: Can you use social media as a predictor for tournaments like this one? And if so, who would win, according to the Twitter crowd?

It looks like it all comes down to Duke vs. Butler, at least measured by the number of tweets sent out over the last week, according to data provided by Trendrr. The Duke Blue Devils seem to be slightly more popular with the Twitter crowd, peaking at 44,373 tweets per day at the beginning of this week, but the Butler Bulldogs are following relatively close behind with a peak of 27,638 tweets.

Looking at Twitter data also reveals some other interesting tidbits about March Madness. You might assume that sports events like this one are attracting a predominantly male audience, but at least the people chattering about it on Twitter are almost evenly distributed along gender lines, with 53 percent of all March Madness tweets coming from men and 47 percent coming from women.

The overall sentiment about March Madness has been slightly more negative than positive, which could be explained by the fact that many people have seen their teams lose (and in turn their dream of winning the office pool shatter).

All in all, March Madness has had a good run in social and online media. Trendrr tracked more than 17,500 stories on Google News and more than 12.5 million blog posts on the subject, with the majority of those posts and stories coming in during the last few days.

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