March Madness Final Four Fandom Visualized through Sales

Another year of March Madness has held the attention of the sporting world for weeks now. This weekend, as we turn to April, it narrows further and the end of this marathon tournament will come into view. The Final Four are ready to battle this Saturday. South Carolina and Gonzaga will face off first, followed by Oregon and North Carolina. The winners will face one another on Monday, April 3, for the National Championship. For students, alumni, and basketball fans of all stripes, it’s one of the best sports times of the year. Here at Fanatics, we’ve compiled the data and crunched the numbers to get an idea of where loyalty for the remaining four teams lies around the country by measuring which school was the top seller in merchandise sales by state.

Check out a map of our results below:

It comes as no surprise that each school carried their home state. But given that each team is close in proximity to one of the other remaining teams, there are some sharp dividing lines. The possibility of an all-west coast or all-Carolina championship must be tantalizing to fans on either side of the country.

The UNC Tarheels, one of basketball’s legendary programs and led by Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams, is seeking their sixth national championship and their third under Williams. They, unsurprisingly, would seem to have the edge among national fans. They carried 25 total states, including the vast majority of states east of the Mississippi. The 1 seed out of the South region, they are the favorites for many around the country.

One of the surprises of the tournament, the 7 seeded South Carolina Gamecocks took their home state, neighbors Georgia and Florida, as well as Maryland and Rhode Island. They are in their first Final Four in program history. From last week to this week, sales for South Carolina merchandise is up over 600% as fans have bought into the belief that this Cinderella run can end in the ultimate prize under the leadership of coach Frank Martin.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs were the top seller in 11 states, good for second in total states carried. They took their home state of Washington as well as the big sky states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Despite being a 1 seed in the tournament and entering the weekend with still only one loss on the season, Gonzaga the biggest jump in merchandise sales from last week to this one with sales up over 800% as Bulldogs fans hope longtime coach Mark Few can lead the team to glory in their first Final Four appearance.

The Oregon Ducks, the 3 seed out of the Midwest region, handily beat their region’s top seeded team, the perennially dangerous Kansas Jayhawks, to advance to their first Final Four since 1939 and second overall. They carried their home state and neighboring giant California, as well as Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas, and, miles and miles away, the states of Maine and Hawaii.

Whoever you’re rooting for, remember that Fanatics has you covered with all of the top Final Four gear you’ll find online.

 

Best Places to Watch The Final Four

Watch-Final-Four-Header

The Gonzaga Bulldogs, North Carolina Tar Heels, South Carolina Gamecocks, and the Oregon Ducks stand alone in the Final Four of the 2017 NCAA March Madness Tournament. With each school looking to punch their ticket to the big dance, college basketball fans around the country are about to be treated to some exciting matchups.

In fact, in the teams’ home cities – Charlotte, North Carolina; Columbia, South Carolina; Eugene, Oregon; and Spokane, Washington – ardent supporters are ready to gather with fellow students, faculty, staff, and alumni to cheer on their teams from afar. Here are just a few of the places the most excited fans will be this weekend to wear their colors with pride, cheer on their teams, and consume delicious bites and brews.

Charlotte, North Carolina – University of North Carolina

Picasso’s Sports Cafe

DUCK FUKE 🐑🏀

A post shared by Chelsea Hammill (@chelshamm) on

Plenty of happy Tar Heels fans have made Picasso’s their preferred watering hole, and with a killer wings and tots combo, who can blame them?

Priorities!! #Chicken and #Algebra

A post shared by Jemini June (@jeminijune) on

Draught

If you want some fantastic food options, like a pork belly taco, at a place that’s been excited about March Madness since there were 64 teams, Draught in Charlotte should be right up your alley.

Spokane, Washington – Gonzaga University

EPIC at Northern Quest Resort & Casino

Home for the next 3 days… 🏀🍀🎲🍺🙏#staycation

A post shared by Todd Reinbold (@reinbold78) on

While it’s connected to the Northern Quest Resort & Casino, EPIC offers ginormous video displays and several different types of foods to satiate any fan, such as Kobe meatloaf and a burger named Gut Buster.

Jack & Dan’s Bar and Grill

@ anyone who thought Gonzaga wouldn't even beat Northwestern 💃🏼🏀🎉 #BetterEliteThanSweet #tbt

A post shared by Victoria Miller (@victoriasmiller) on

Locals love Jack and Dan’s, and you’ll find an incredible Bloody Mary to enjoy during the game. You may need the whole first half to finish one!

Columbia, South Carolina – University of South Carolina

Tin Roof

Gamecocks flock to the Tin Roof for good times with great friends and delectable offerings, such as brisket cheddar mac & cheese.

GAMECOCKS ARE FINAL FOUR BOUND!! ❤️🐔🏀

A post shared by meagan early cockfield (@meagancockfield) on

Yesterdays Restaurant & Tavern

Happy Pi(e) day! Have you tried our Apple Pie? #3.14

A post shared by Yesterdays Restaurant & Tavern (@yesterdayssc) on

It’s not all about the main course when selecting a place to watch the game – sometimes it should be about the dessert. Yesterdays boasts an amazing apple pie that looks like it should have won a blue ribbon prize at a state fair.

And now they only say Congratulations 🏀🐔 #eliteeight #gococks

A post shared by dominique fay (@dominiquefay) on

Eugene, Oregon – University of Oregon

The Bier Stein

Here’s a place that offers more than just wings for game time; they even have offerings for those with different diets. Yes, that includes some delicious-looking vegan nachos.

Bill & Tim’s Barbeque & Tap House

If you’re looking to stock up your house for a watch party, you’ll want to grab your food from Bill & Tim’s Barbeque & Tap House. They offer up some excellent barbeque for the discerning carnivore.

Awesome #bbq lunch in #Eugene #Oregon. #tourlife #promolife #travel

A post shared by Ash Land (@ashland1218) on

Bite-Sized Buckets

Whether you’re getting barbeque or comfort food, there are plenty of options to select from when it comes to planning your game day. What doesn’t need a second thought? Determining where to buy that next jersey or sports accessory for your school. Fanatics is the best place for officially licensed NCAA Men’s College Basketball merchandise.

Sources

 

The University of North Carolina Mascot: Rameses the Ram

Go Tar Heels!

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill prides itself on being the first state school to open in the nation. After being chartered in 1789, the university opened its doors to the first class of students in 1795. UNC was the only institution to award specialized degrees to the rising generation of the 18th century.

The university is widely known for its unusual nickname – the Tar Heels. According to UNC officials, the school’s nickname (which also applies to all North Carolina citizens) can be traced back to two stories. First dating back to the Revolutionary War, it was logged that North Carolinians would place tar in the rivers to immobilize British troops. The second story stems from the Civil War era when soldiers threatened retreating comrades with sticking tar on their boots – forcing them to stay in battle.

No matter the story behind the moniker, students and faculty alike represent their nickname with pride. There to spread this pride is team mascot Rameses the Ram, a rapturous ram that hypes up Tar Heel fanatics at major sporting events on campus.

Rameses the Ram

While the use of a ram for a mascot may seem unusual for a team nicknamed the “Tar Heels,” #TarHeelNation nevertheless views the four-legged headbutter as their glorious mascot. The ram came into play in 1924 after head cheerleader Vic Huggins had decided the university needed a mascot to represent the face of UNC. During the search for a new symbol, Huggins recalled the school’s 1922 football squad, which achieved a 9-1 record that season. Star fullback Jack Merritt was frequently referred to as the “Battering Ram” for his aggressive play style. This unique title caught Huggins attention and influenced the cheerleader to order UNC’s first mascot from Texas for a mere $25!

The first Rameses was present for the UNC-VMI game in 1924 – a time when the football program was in a slump – and was credited with the team’s victory due to his presence. Since then, a long line of rams (all known as Rameses) has witnessed Tar Heel games near and afar.

Serving as a primary source of luck, Rameses has traveled from New York to Jacksonville for many Tar Heel showdowns, including the Carolina-Notre Dame game in 1949 and multiple appearances in Carolina’s Gator Bowl games.

U-N-C!

North Carolina Tar Heels Midnight Mascot T-Shirt – Black

North Carolinians, if you’re looking to support the UNC squad alongside Rameses the Ram like a true Tar Heel, you must look the part. Make your way over to Fanatics.com to explore a wide variety of light blue and white merchandise and fan gear.

Sources

NCAA Men’s Basketball Records

College-Basketball-Records-Header

As you get ready to immerse yourself in March Madness, don’t forget to do a little homework. You don’t want to be the only person at the party without some stats to share. Here are a few great records – some recently crafted and others left untouched on the shelf for years – to up your street cred wherever you’ll be watching NCAA men’s basketball this month.

From Downtown: 3-Point Shooters

College-Basketball-Records-Asset_1

Scoring close to 500 points for Davidson in the 2008 season with 3-pointers alone, Steph Curry enabled their 2007-2008 March Madness Cinderella run. While they ultimately lost to the eventual winners, the Kansas Jayhawks, the “Baby-Faced Assassin” made everyone aware of the talent he contained … and the Golden State Warriors took notice.

There have been challenges to the throne as recently as 2014 and 2016, however, with Akeem Richmond of East Carolina scoring 155 points. Unlike Curry, Richmond wasn’t able to parlay his long-range success in college to a career in the NBA. Buddy Hield, tied for third with 147 points, made a better transition on the back of his performances at the University of Oklahoma as the sixth overall draft pick by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2016.

Rejected: Blocked-Shot Specialists

College-Basketball-Records-Asset_2

At almost six blocked shots per game, it’s been hard for anyone to get close to replicating the work done by Keith Closs at Central Connecticut State during the 1995 and 1996 seasons. He struggled to translate these performances into the NBA, playing three season for the Los Angeles Clippers, largely in a backup role. Closs averaged just over one blocked shot per game in his NBA career.

Adonal Foyle, who trailed slightly behind Closs’s numbers, parlayed his time at Colgate between 1995 and 1997 as a blocked-shot specialist into a 12-year professional career. He played for the Golden State Warriors for a decade before stints with the Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies rounded out his NBA life span.

Free Points: Most Accurate Free-Throw Shooters

College-Basketball-Records-Asset_3

There are no perfect free-throw shooters in collegiate basketball, but Blake Ahearn has come the closest. He completed close to 98 percent of the free-throw opportunities he earned, 117 out of 120, for Missouri State in 2004. He wouldn’t get the same number of opportunities in the NBA, playing only 19 games in his career between the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, and Utah Jazz, but he continued to convert. Ahearn was 32 out of 33 for free throws in the NBA.

J.J. Redick, who scored over 90 percent of his attempted free throws for Duke, turned his college performance into a successful NBA career. Drafted 11th by the Orlando Magic, Redick currently plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, after a few games in between with the Milwaukee Bucks. Reddick has scored 1,366 of his 1,539 free-throw attempts in the NBA, or almost 89 percent.

Bountiful Buckets: Top Scorers

College-Basketball-Records-Asset_4

No player scored more in his NCAA career than Pete Maravich for Louisiana State University. He played for the school from 1967 to 1970 and scored 3,667 points. Known as “Pistol Pete,” the proficient scorer would go on to play in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans/Utah Jazz, and Boston Celtics, before retiring. He averaged over 24 points per game in the pros, and recently had his number retired by the Hawks. It had previously been retired by the Jazz, Pelicans, and LSU for Pete’s invaluable contributions.

The highest scorer in recent history, Doug McDermott, scored over 3,100 points for Creighton between 2010 and 2014. In his years in the NBA, between the Chicago Bulls who drafted him 11th overall and the Oklahoma City Thunder, “McBuckets” is closing in on 1,400 points scored. He’s completed almost 40 percent of his 3-pointer attempts too!

Laying It On: Highest Single-Point Games

College-Basketball-Records-Asset_5

You may not have heard of Kevin Bradshaw, but he holds the record for most points scored in a single Division I game with 72. He broke the record for U.S. International playing against Loyola Marymount, in turn sending Pistol Pete’s record of 69 to second place.

The @atlhawks retire #PistolPete Maravich's #44!

A post shared by NBA (@nba) on

Maravich actually owns two of the top five highest-scoring games, with 69 and 66 points each. He earned these records against Alabama and Tulane respectively. Pete actually has four total games where he scored more than 60 points, which has made attempts at catching some of his other records most challenging. He also owns the record for most games scoring at least 50 points (28 games).

Take On the Madness

Whether your team is a first seed, or dark horse candidate for a title challenge, make sure you’re wearing or flying those colors with the best officially licensed NCAA men’s basketball merchandise from Fanatics.com.

Sources

University of Kansas Mascot: Big Jay

Kansas-Header

The University of Kansas, in Lawrence, dates to 1866 and enjoys a long, storied history. In addition to being the largest university in Kansas, its basketball program is a perennial contender. Fans have savored nearly three solid decades of postseason play.

The university’s sports teams are known as the Jayhawks, but its mascots’ have seen the Civil War and beyond. Let’s look at Kansas athletics and how its mascots got their names.

Kansas Hoops Go Way, Way Back

Kansas’s basketball dynasty can be tracked back well over a century, when the inventor of basketball, James Naismith, was hired as KU’s first basketball coach in 1898. Since then, the Jayhawks have been crowned the regular-season conference champs many times, and are currently on a 12-season streak as champs in the Big 12 under coach Bill Self. Their recent success isn’t new to them, however, as they were regular season champs on an almost-regular basis when they were part of the Big 6, 7, and 8. They’ve also brought home the NCAA championship three times (1952, 1988, 2008).

Current members in the Big 12 (in addition to KU) are Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, UT Austin, Texas Christian, Texas Tech, and West Virginia. One of KU’s biggest rivalries over the years has been with Missouri, particularly in football – but they compete closely in all sports. This is a tradition that dates to the late 19th century. Since the Kansas City metropolitan area was situated between the two schools, the rivalry could even be seen within families. That link was broken, though, when MU went to the SEC in 2012. These days, same-state showdowns bring some heat when KU and K-State meet on the field or on the court.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk


KU was founded shortly after the end of the Civil War, and its mascot dates back even further. Kansas was a Free State during the time leading up to the conflict, and the territory experienced struggles between people who wanted Kansas to remain free (called free staters) and those who wished slavery was legal. People who caused general mayhem on either side were referred to as Jayhawkers, but the term stuck to the free staters and gradually became a symbol of patriotism.

Lawrence was a Free State stronghold, and the Jayhawk started to make its way into school chants in 1886 when it was first used as part of the now-famous Rock Chalk chant.

Dancing our way through the week #RockChalk

A photo posted by Kansas Jayhawks (@kuathletics) on

The Jayhawk is a mythical bird – a combination of the blue jay and sparrow hawk – and was first illustrated in the student newspaper in 1912. The present-day mascot was created by Harold Sandy 30-plus years later.

The costumed mascot cheered for KU alone for many years, but that changed in 1971. During homecoming, Big Jay, as he was later called, carted a huge egg to the 50-yard line. The egg “hatched,” and Baby Jay was born. Big Jay and Baby Jay take on cheering duties in tandem these days, with Baby Jay sporting a one-half symbol on her jersey.

Kansas-Shirt

Kansas Jayhawks Midnight Mascot Long Sleeve T-Shirt

If you’re headed out to Allen Fieldhouse or Memorial Stadium to watch your ’Hawks take on another season, be sure to get your favorite KU Jayhawks gear from Fanatics.com.

Sources

Rooting for the Underdog

Rooting-Underdog-Header

Building the Bracket

March Madness is officially upon us, as the first four teams duke it out this Tuesday and Wednesday for their chance to become NCAA champions. Villanova, last year’s champions, Gonzaga, and Kansas sit at the top three spots in the AP Top 25 poll. According to FiveThirtyEight’s predictions, these three also have strong chances at the championship trophy, with Villanova at the top spot of a 15 percent chance to win it all. Gonzaga is at 14 percent and Kansas is at a 10 percent.

Villanova had a big season this year, despite the Wildcats’ loss of key players: junior Jay Booth (who suffered from a knee injury after three games) and freshman Omari Spellman. Nonetheless, seniors Josh Hart, Jalen Brunson, and Kris Jenkins led their team in this strong season. Similarly, Gonzaga had a boastful 32-1 regular season led by USA TODAY Sports’ Coach of the Year, Mark Few. And once again, Kansas captured the No. 1 seed. This is the seventh time in the past eleven years that they have done so.

The West Region #SelectionSunday

A post shared by NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) on

While the big boys are expected to do well throughout the tournament, let’s take a look at some of the underdogs who could very well be this year’s “Cinderella Story” and bust some brackets in the process.

Bracket Busters

Rooting-Underdog-Asset1

Part of the excitement of March Madness is the possible chance of upsets, starting with the very first round. Number 10 seed Wichita State, currently on a 15-game winning streak, is expected to beat out number 7 seed Dayton. Number 9 seed Vanderbilt is also expected to win over Number 8 seed and tournament first-timer, Northwestern. There are a few close calls and potential upsets between Maryland (No. 6) and Xavier (No. 11), Arkansas (No. 8) and Seton Hall (No. 9), and Minnesota (No. 5) and Middle Tennessee (No. 12).

The South Region #SelectionSunday

A post shared by NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) on

Chalk It Up

Rooting-Underdog-Asset2

While these games are up in the air, we can always count on sure things between No. 1 and 2 seeds versus Number 15 and 16 seeds. We can expect No. 1 North Carolina, to win handedly over Texas Southern, Gonzaga over South Dakota, Louisville over Jacksonville State, Kentucky over Northern Kentucky, and Duke over Troy. While rivals No. 2 Duke and No. 1 North Carolina are both widely considered the favorites to win it all this year, potentially adding a sixth tourney win under Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s belt, Kentucky could make things difficult.

Let’s Ball

This year’s March Madness is sure to be thrilling as always. Why not pick up your favorite team’s gear at Fanatics.com before going to this year’s watch parties?

Sources

Mississippi State University Mascot: Bully the Bulldog

#HailState

In 1862, Congress passed the Morrill Act – providing land-grant entities to finance the establishment of state colleges specializing in “agriculture and the mechanic arts.” As a result, the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi was born in 1878. The new institution would receive its first class of students nearly two years later in the fall of 1880. The university is also dedicated to three broad purposes: learning, service, and research (which is also utilized as the school’s motto). The college gained accreditation in 1926 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. State legislature changed the school’s name to Mississippi State College in 1932 and again in 1958 to Mississippi State University.

The Bulldogs participate in 14 different sports with a long history of success throughout multiple programs. The program, which is known for their powerhouse football team, has appeared in a total of 20 bowl games; it’s emerged as the victor in 12 seasons.

There to cheer on the students, alumni, and faculty is the school’s mascot – Bully the Bulldog. Let’s look at how this canine came to be the mascot and focus on the impact he has on die-hard Mississippi State fanatics.

Bully the Bulldog

The athletic teams at Hail State earned the moniker “The Bulldogs” due to their tough and determined gameplay of student-athletes representing the maroon and white. An American Kennel Club-registered English Bulldog serves as the university’s official mascot with the name “Bully” bequeathed to each new pup.

The school’s teams, which date back to at least 1905, have been referenced as Bulldogs interchangeably with past titles such as the Aggies or Maroons. The name was formally adopted as the school’s athletic symbol after taking down their arch rivals, University of Mississippi, in a shutout performance and acknowledged by local newspapers for their “bulldog” style of gameplay. It wasn’t until 1961 that the Bulldogs became the official university title of State teams.

Over the years, Bully has been an attractive target to kidnappers, especially on the night before a major game. The most recent incident occurred in 1974 prior to the State-Ole Miss game which resulted in the Bulldogs basking in victory anyway (31-13).

🐶🏀 is coming … Bully is ready, are you?! #HailState

A photo posted by Mississippi State Athletics (@hailstate) on

Once upon a time, Bully could roam campus at his own discretion and even bunked with some fraternity brothers when needed. Nowadays, Bully has found a place to call home at the College of Veterinary Medicine – when he’s not hyping up the fans at a home football game, of course.

Mississippi State Bulldogs Midnight Mascot Long Sleeve T-Shirt – Black

Join Bully in representing the maroon and white by heading over to Fanatics for all your Hail State fan gear and essentials!

Sources

Baylor University Mascot: Bruiser the Bear

Baylor University Mascot Bruiser Header

Go Bears! Go Bears!

“Deep in the Heart of Texas” – or Waco, Texas, for those unfamiliar with the Lone Star State – students at Baylor University agree that everything is bigger, including their sports programs. Officially established in 1845 by Republic President Anson Jones, Baylor University participates in 17 varsity sports and enjoys a history of many significant accomplishments. In addition to the school’s football squad appearing in 23 bowl games, Baylor’s track and field division are recognized for producing several successful United States Olympians.

One week! #SicEm

A photo posted by Bruiser (@baylorbruiser) on

Bruiser the Bear for Baylor University

Aside from serving as a symbol for the university, the American black bear helps Baylor promote awareness for this essential wildlife furball. In 1914, students on campus voted to have the bear represent the school as their official mascot. Since then, Baylor has utilized the bear to spread school spirit across campus while rockin’ the green and gold. (Baylor’s official colors).

The university currently has two American black bears residing at the Bill & Eva Williams Bear Habitat located on campus. Judge Joy Reynolds, or “Joy,” and Judge Sue Sloan, “Lady,” are two biological bear sisters that encompass the heart and soul of Baylor University. They can be found playing with each other throughout the day near their “den” on university grounds. While these ladies are cute, it would be a little inappropriate to bring a nearly 300-pound bear to a home sporting game – this is where Bruiser the Bear comes in. 

This is our house and we will protect it! #SicTCU (📷: @austinmann)

A photo posted by Bruiser (@baylorbruiser) on


Bruiser the Bear is the school’s costumed mascot and can be found pumping up fans in attendance at most sporting events, pep rallies, and community events year-round! The spirit squad members under the bear suit consist of seven students who train at least twice a week – ensuring a mentally and physically healthy mascot to fan the flames of fandom.

Baylor Midnight Mascot T-Shirt

 

BAY-LOR! BEARS! BAY-LOR! BEARS! Before joining Bruiser and the rest of the spirit squad at Baylor’s next home game, be sure to come prepared in the latest green and gold swag. Head over to Fanatics.com today and get ready to “Sic ’Em Bears!”

Sources

March Madness Bracket Paths

NCAA-Tournament-Bracket-Path_header

It’s a time-honored tradition: filling out the March Madness bracket. Everyone has their own way of filling it out: advancing the highest rank teams, determining which mascot would beat the other in a head-to-head fight, or applying a “scientific method” with stats and graphs. If it’s just for fun, or as part of an office pool, here’s the information you need to chart a path to victory.

Here's your FIRST LOOK at the #FinalFour court!

A post shared by NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) on

Understanding the Madness

Sixty-four teams will vie to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Division I National Championship, but not all teams are created equal. There are four regions – East, Midwest, South, West – each with 16 different teams ranked No. 1 through No. 16. They will play head-to-head elimination games, pairing the highest ranked seed with the lowest ranked seed (e.g., No. 1 vs. No. 16; No. 2 vs. No. 15). Teams will continue to advance to the regional finals.

After the regional finals, the semifinals will take place, pitting the victors of the East, Midwest, South, and West against one another. The two teams that advance at this stage will play in the final. However, don’t look for many of those lower seeds, No. 9 through No. 16, to make it to the final game. As of 2000, the lowest seed to make it to a final was No. 8. In this same period, No. 1 seeds have made the final 16 out of the 32 possible times. No. 1 seeds have also won 11 of the last 17 tournaments.

Let's dance! #SelectionSunday

A post shared by NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) on

The Path of Champions

So maybe you know the teams that qualified this season and have watched more minutes than anyone else in your office. More likely you know some of the teams, at least those who are top ranked, but maybe not much else. Here’s a look at how likely, by seed, teams are to advance within the tournament.

While there is still the likelihood a surprise entrant makes it to the finals – like in 2014 when No. 7 Connecticut emerged from the East to beat No. 8 Kentucky out of the Midwest – fortune seems to favor the better-ranked teams. Anywhere from just below 20 percent to near 30 percent of the time the first ranked team advances forward to the second and third rounds.

In certain locations on the bracket (bottom right, for example), your No. 1 seed team almost goes to a 40 percent chance they’ll make it to the finals. Rolling the dice on a few sleepers may be a good idea, but don’t overthink it either. Those No. 1 seeds may be your ticket to your best bracket ever.

We’ve compiled data to come up with the most common bracket paths to victory. Use the interactive below to help you make some toss-up decisions, and help you do the unthinkable: Turn your bracket into a winner.

How Often a Finalist Might Emerge From a Given Game
How Often a Champion May Win a Given Game
How Often a Runner-Up May Win a Given Game
The Most Likely Path For Getting to the Finals
The Most Likely Path For a Runner-Up
The Most Likely Path For a Champion


The March Toward Glory

Even if you’ve never found success predicting the winner of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Division I National Championship, it’s still easy to root for your favorite teams! Equip yourself with the best officially licensed merchandise and apparel for your school with Fanatics.com. Don’t get caught wearing the wrong colors when March Madness kicks into full swing.

Source

March Madness Winning Teams Color Analysis

NCAA-Colors-Header

March Madness is beginning to amp up as the NCAA men’s hoops regular season winds down. While you’re sharpening your pencil to fill out your bracket after Selection Sunday, we here at Fanatics have taken a look at past champs and the runners-up. Specifically, we’re taking a gander at the color combos of their uniforms, and if there may be some prediction power behind them.

The Champs

NCAA-Colors-Asset1A

First, let’s look at every champion in NCAA tourney history since players first took the court and battled it out in 1939. At first glance, a few colorways stand out – namely blues, reds, and a little yellow and gold.

Top Ten Colors for NCAA March Madness Championships Winners

  1. White & Blue
  2. Gold & Blue
  3. Red & Black
  4. White & Red
  5. Red & Cream
  6. Red & Blue
  7. Orange & Blue
  8. Gold & Green
  9. Range & Black
  10. Red & Grey

The color blue, for example, is very well-represented among college hoops champs – with Kentucky hoisting the trophy eight times, Duke and North Carolina five times, and Connecticut four times. The most recent champion, Villanova, has won twice.

There are plenty of reds, also, in various combos (including alongside blue at KU and Arizona). Blue hooking up with gold is another highly popular championship colorway (especially considering  UCLA‘s gigantic winning streak in the mid’-60s through early ’70s).

Winning Color Combos

NCAA-Colors-Asset2A

Looking at both the champs and the runners-up, blue is definitely where it’s at. The blue and white color combo steals the show on both accounts. On the winning side, blue and white has won it all a whopping 24 times, followed by blue and gold, which comes in at 14.

Dropping off a bit further, the different combos with red start to make an appearance. For example, red and black teams brought the NCAA trophy home six times, as did teams wearing white and red. Red and cream-clad teams have won five times, and squads with red and blue threads have won four times.  

Colorways like gold and brown, gray and blue, orange, purple and black, purple, red and gold, yellow and blue, and yellow and green have all won the tournament one time.

On the runners-up side, the uniform colors are similar to (but not exact duplicates of) the color combos of the champs. Blue and white, again, comes out on top, with 20 second place finishing teams wearing those colors.

The numbers drop off steeply after that, with red and blue grabbing the title of runner-up seven times, as did white and red. Gold and blue came in second six times, followed by three colorways that came in second for a total of five times: gray and blue, red and gray, and yellow and blue.  

Breaking it Down

NCAA-Colors-Asset3A

Popping the championship teams into tidy slots based on their uniform color combos shows that, while blue colorways are the usual suspects when it comes to winning, and red combos aren’t far behind, they’re not the only colors that bring the trophy home.

Some of the outlier colorways include the gold and green of the San Francisco Dons, the gold and brown of the Wyoming Cowboys, the purple and black of the CCNY Beavers, the white and green of the Michigan State Spartans, and the orange and blue of both Florida and UTEP.

Some teams, like Syracuse and Holy Cross, are even more unique, as they don’t have an official second color.

Dressing Like a Champ

Do red or blue uniform color combos guarantee that a team will win the NCAA tournament? Not necessarily. While there is certainly plenty of variety in college team colors, blues and reds just seem to win more.

However, that doesn’t mean blue and red colorways are definitely going to bring the trophy home. Whether your favorite college hoops team dons red, blue, or another completely different color combo, you can head over to Fanatics.com to get your gear before Selection Sunday and root your team on during March Madness.

Sources