Sean Merriman, BTN.com web editor, March 25, 2015
When it comes to social media conversations pertaining to the college sports world, Facebook is undoubtedly a popular destination. That includes this year's NCAA Tournament, which is set to resume on Thursday with the Sweet 16.
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Two Big Ten teams, Wisconsin and Michigan State, have advanced to the Sweet 16. The Badgers defeated Coastal Carolina and Oregon in the opening rounds and will take on North Carolina in a West Regional matchup at 7:47 p.m. ET on Thursday. The Spartans got by Georgia and Virginia in their opening two games and are set to battle with Oklahoma in a East Regional matchup at 10:07 p.m. ET on Friday night.
Facebook recently created a U.S. Map graphic that shows which Sweet 16 teams are generating buzz across the country.
According to Facebook, a total of four million people have generated more than 32 million posts, comments and likes on Facebook about this year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, from Selection Sunday through the Round of 32, which concluded on Sunday evening. The "Sports on Facebook" team mapped out the social conversation across the nation to show a county-by-county break down of which college basketball teams folks are talking about through Facebook. Each county is color-coded based on which team had more people on Facebook talking about them between the dates of March 15 and March 23, 2015.
As you can see, the state of Wisconsin is dominated by Wisconsin Badgers conversation, and the state of Michigan is dominated by Michigan State Spartans conversation.
It looks like there is also a good amount of Wisconsin conversation taking place in Minnesota, which of course borders the Badger State.
It is surprising that you don't see more Wisconsin and Michigan State conversation taking place in the state of Illinois. Chicago has one of the largest Michigan State fan contingents in the nation, and the same is true for Wisconsin. Lisle, Illinois, is also the home of Badger star Frank Kaminsky.
Kentucky is dominating the conversation throughout the U.S., while Duke is generating a good amount of buzz on the East Coast, as well as some buzz in Midwest states such as Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which is part of Big Ten country.