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

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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 🐑🏀

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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

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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

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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

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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!! ❤️🐔🏀

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Yesterdays Restaurant & Tavern

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

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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

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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

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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.

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Rooting for the Underdog

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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

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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

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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

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Chalk It Up

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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?

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March Madness Winning Teams Color Analysis

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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The Beginners Guide to College Basketball – Become a Fanatic Overnight

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Guide to Becoming a College Basketball Fanatic

Every March, some co-worker swings by your desk with a piece of paper outlining a bunch of college names and lines, asking if you “want in the pool.” They’re definitely not talking about a pool party but rather March Madness and college basketball. Stop dodging their texts and avoiding the break room for an entire month; it’s time for an education on college basketball. Our Guide to Becoming a College Basketball Fanatic will give you back March for good!

B-Ball Basics

Over 300 college basketball programs make up the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Division I. There are 32 different conferences to better organize and ease scheduling of games, including the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the Big 12, the Big Ten, and the Pac-12.

Each team plays a regular season, matched mostly with in-conference rivals, with the hopes of being one of the 64 teams that makes it into the playoffs (commonly referred to as March Madness). This tournament is comprised of single-elimination games, reducing down to 32, 16, eight, and four schools with the ultimate goal of producing the two best teams and the championship title game.

Information Layup

College basketball games are shorter than those played by professionals in the NBA. Instead of taking place over four 12-minute quarters, college basketball takes place over two 20-minute halves. Teams transition quickly between offense and defense. Possession changes after a team scores or when the team on offense fails to score or is dispossessed by the team playing defense. This encourages teams to play quickly, moving the ball up and down the court, to take advantage of player mismatches.

If the game is tied at the end of regulation (two halves), an overtime period begins. Like the NBA, the teams play five-minute overtime periods until there is a winner.

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Five on Five

Each team has five players on the court, with no minimums or maximums for the number of each position on the court. It becomes important for coaches to think about match-ups when placing the best team on the court to win the game (do they need tall shot-stoppers or speedy playmakers at that moment?). These positions are also associated with numbers, which you might hear the announcers reference:

  • Point Guard (PG): 1
  • Shooting Guard (SG): 2
  • Small Forward (SF): 3
  • Power Forward (PF): 4
  • Center (C): 5

Here are a few student athletes that were lighting it up on the court for their respective college basketball programs during the 2015-2016 season:

  • Point Guard: Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Florida State; Bronson Koeing, Wisconsin
  • Shooting Guard: E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island; Malik Newman, Mississippi State
  • Small Forward: Svi Mykhailiuk, Kansas; Steve Vasturia, Notre Dame
  • Power Forward: James Webb III, Boise State; Troy Williams, Indiana
  • Center: Tyler Davis, Texas A&M; Damian Jones, Vanderbilt

Basket Weaving 101

When making a basket, a team can receive one, two, or three points depending on where the shot originates from:

  • 1 point: Shot from the free-throw line, and awarded when a player is fouled in the attempt to make a shot
  • 2 points: Any shot made from the field within the 3-point line
  • 3 points: Distance shots made anywhere beyond the 3-point line. In college, this distance is 20.9 feet (22 feet in the NBA)

Must-See Teams & Players

So you’re ready to hop on the court and start making threes, but hold on – you need to choose a team with exciting players to follow. We have a couple of recommendations:

  • Duke Blue Devils: Led by “Coach K,” Duke competes every single year. They’re a perennial favorite loved by fans and hated by everyone else (which tends to happen when you’re really, really good).
  • Kentucky Wildcats: The Wildcats, champions in 2012 and runners-up in 2014, stockpile plenty of talent but haven’t been able to come away with the title recently. What will Coach Calipari do to bring another title back to the Bluegrass State?
  • North Carolina Tar Heels: Coach Roy Williams has delivered two National Championships since he took over the program in 2003, with the last awarded in 2009. Does he have the squad to make a deep run in the tournament this year?

Final Buzzer

Culminating with March Madness and the NCAA Tournament, college basketball inspires passionate fans (and co-workers for the office bracket pool) across the nation. Show off your team spirit and score a slam dunk by getting the best official licensed merchandise and apparel from Fanatics.com.

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NCAA best selling Final Four team in each state

Fanatics analyzed the sales for the merchandise of the 2016 men’s college basketball championship sales this week.

NCAA final four sales per state

The map represents top selling teams, which are still playing in the tournament, in each state between March 27 until March 31 2016, where the sales of merchandise happened on Fanatics.com.

Yahoo reported:

Syracuse fans have ordered more than the rest—a lot more. Sales of Syracuse gear rose 750% in the five days from March 27 to March 31. That’s not just the biggest sales spike of the Final Four teams, or of teams that played in the tourney this year. It’s the largest sales bump by any college on the site, ever.

Syracuse Orange gear was the number 1 searched term on Fanatics.com across all sports for 3/28 & 3/29.  More people searched for Syracuse merchandise in these two days, than for the Golden State Warriors or popular NBA or MLB players.

Week over week growth numbers in sales for the final four are:

  1. Syracuse Orange +750%
  2. Villanova Wildcats +640%
  3. Oklahoma Sooners +300%
  4. North Carolina Tar Heels +250%

Although Syracuse is showing the largest peak in sales over the last couple of days, UNC is the number 1 seller in this year’s NCAA tournament.