If March Madness were a Popularity Contest, eBay Crowns Oregon as the NCAA Champions

By: Adam Kohler, eBay News Team

Using eBay Data, we developed a March Madness themed bracket based on top search results.

Basketball may have been born in the northeast United States, but according to eBay data the most die-hard fans in the NCAA can be found 3,000 miles away in Eugene, Oregon. 

In our first ever March Madness Popularity Bracket – The Oregon Ducks edged out the Florida Gators to take home the inaugural title.  It’s the start of an uneasy weekend for Gator fans as their team sits firmly on the bubble going into selection Sunday. 

At eBay, we are narrowing down this season’s search data to provide you with an inside track on which teams are trending in the tournament, based on the popularity of search keywords on our platform.

Using data analytics for the most-searched teams from the opening of the college hoops season through March 6th, we determined the 64 most popular teams in the country.  Many of these teams will qualify for the real tournament, but for some teams, this is the closest they’ll get to the real NCAA bracket.

Selection Sunday is this weekend, when the 68 teams in “The Big Dance” are officially named. We'll leave the difficult job of seeding those teams to the selection committee, because we already know who is our winner.  Take a Look:

Inc MarchMadness eBay Full Rankings ebay.comClick to view full size.

With their bold designs and constantly updated uniforms, Oregon has an endless supply of gear options for their fans, particularly when it comes to shoes.  One eBay collector – affectionately known to eBay sneakerheads as AirKenny - has a good explanation for why Oregon topped many traditional basketball powerhouses. “The Oregon Ducks have set the standard for college sports influence within the sneaker culture,” said Kenny.   “Prior to the Oregon Ducks teaming up with Jordan Brand, collegiate sports played no role in the sneaker culture.”

Oregon may have won the title, but judging by the heat map of search results below, there’s certainly an East Coast bias when it comes to fandom.

map for ncaa 2016Click to view full size.

As you can see, at eBay, March Madness data is already flowing in, and at our Everything Madness page, you can get a glimpse of popular school merchandise and memorabilia moving on our platform now. 

Once the tournament begins, we’ll reseed the bracket with the real teams that are competing, and keep an eye on trends as the tournament progresses. Who will be this year’s Cinderella? Our data analytics may just give you the confidence you need to make that bold prediction.

Good luck filling out those brackets and see you in the stands!