This morning we know that the Wisconsin Badgers and Duke Blue Devils will play for the NCAA basketball 2014-15 season title, and that the Kentucky Wildcats and Michigan State Spartans won’t. Which team’s fans showed their true colors with the most web visits?
First, we looked at the percent of ESPN users who visited Final Four team pages on the sports network’s website during the last 28 days (March 7 – April 3, 2015). During that time, ESPN garnered a total of 117.5 million website visits.
The Final Four At-A-Glance
Our research found that Kentucky Wildcats were the Final Four team that brought the most traffic to their ESPN team page, with 105,750 visits. They were followed by the Wisconsin Badgers, Duke Blue Devils, and last, the MSU Spartans:
- Kentucky Wildcats (105,750 visits = 0.09% of ESPN’s traffic)
- Wisconsin Badgers (94,000 visits = 0.08% of ESPN’s traffic)
- Duke Blue Devils (70,500 visits = 0.06% of ESPN’s traffic)
- MSU Spartans (58,750 visits = 0.05% of ESPN’s traffic)
Next, we examined which Final Four team fans were the most engaged on their schools’ sports websites during the same time period. The results were identical to what we found on ESPN.
Fans of the Kentucky Wildcats had the most visitors to their team website with nearly 800,000, followed by the Badgers, Blue Devils, and Spartans.
A glance at Final Four NCAA team web traffic below shows that fan visits gained momentum during the as their teams advanced to the next playoff round. Fan visits alone, however, weren’t enough to help the Wildcats win on the court.
NCAA Bracket Traffic
Predicting which college basketball teams will advance during March Madness is so popular that pages concerning NCAA Basketball Tournament brackets totaled 10.69% of all CBSSports.com web visits, 8.04% of all ESPN web visits, and more than 14% of all NCAA.com visits over the last four weeks.
Most searched team phrases and player names
Here are the Top 10 organic (non-paid) most searched for terms on the web that brought people to Final Four team websites in the last four weeks.
Clearly, the teams that made the Final Four were garnered momentum on the Web at every stage in the NCAA bracket. While the Kentucky Wildcats’ Web traffic held strong, its players were no match for the Wisconsin Badgers. The fact that more Badger players made the list of Top 10 searches for Final Four athletes may have had something to do with it. Let’s see what effect fan activity on the Web will have on tonight’s game!