If Google Searches Determined the NCAA Finals, It'd Be Syracuse vs. Davidson

The Marketer's Almanac for March Madness

By Published on .

Last year AdAgeStat tried to do a bracket based on social-media buzz. And while last year was a bracket-busting kind of year, ours failed so spectacularly that we're not even going to link back to the old post. Granted, it's Twitter's fault, not ours. We just report the facts.

This year, we worked with Google to create a bracket based on fastest-rising search terms. In this case, Syracuse beats … Davidson. We're guessing not too many of you picked that . Which is good for you, since Davidson already lost in the first round to Louisville.

Based on Google data as of March 13, here's the Marketer's Almanac for March Madness.

  • Number of search results in Google search for "March Madness": 618 million
  • Of the top 20 fastest-rising search terms on Google on National Bracket Day (Monday, March 12), number of spots that were related to the NCAA: 12
  • Percentage rise in Google search queries for "March Madness" -- week through Selection Sunday (M-Sun): 423%
  • Top 10 states, by search volume for "NCAA bracket": Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana, West Virginia, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Montana
  • Top 10 states, by search volume, for "spring cleaning": Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington, Minnesota, Michigan, Colorado, New Jersey, New York

  • Top searches for school basketball jerseys, week through Selection Sunday: Baylor, Harvard, Duke, UNC, UMich, Syracuse, UConn, Marquette, Notre Dame, Georgetown
  • Top searched-for school, by volume, week through Selection Sunday: Georgtown
  • No. 2 searched-for school, by volume, week through Selection Sunday: Harvard
  • Last time Harvard basketball was in the NCAA tournament: 1946
  • Percentage difference in "Harvard" vs "Yale" searches on National Bracket Monday (March 12): 250%

  • Most searched-for NCAA player on Sunday, March 11: Anthony Davis (Kentucky Wildcats)
  • Number of G+ users who have Kentucky Wildcats Athletics in circles: 51, 519
  • Number of "Kentucky Wildcats" videos posted on YouTube: 2500+
  •   14,500+ total minutes of video
  •   3 million combined total views
  • Percentage of basketball fans on YouTube: 57% [source: Nielsen @Plan Q3 '11]
  • Percentage of basketball fans on YT who have rented a movie in the past 30 days: 65% [source: Nielsen @Plan Q3 '11]
  • Percentage of shoppers who watched an auto video on YouTube before purchasing a car: 56% [source: compete/polk/google]
  • Top advertiser category for March Madness: Auto [source: Kantar Media ]
  • Top week of search activity for "Buick" so far this year: Week of March 5th

  • Number of "March Madness" apps available on Google Play: 290+
  • Percentage increase, searches for "ncaa streaming online" -- week leading up to National Bracket Monday, 2011 to 2012: 128%
  • Percentage of searches for Super Bowl TV commercials during the 2012 game that originated from mobile devices: 41%
  • Increase during SB game (vs. week before) of Super Bowl ad-related searches by device: Desktop: 200%, Tablets: 970%, Smartphones: 2700%

  • Date on which "March Madness" searches overtook "Linsanity" searches: Feb 24
  • Date on which "March Madness" searches overtook "Mad Men" searches: Feb 27
  • Date on which "March Madness searches overtook "spring break" searches: March 10
  • Date (in 2011) on which searches for President Obama's March Madness bracket overtook "Obama birth" searches: March 13, 2011
  • Winner of the 2012 tournament, according to a "Google Bracket" of fastest-rising school-search queries, week through Selection Sunday: Syracuse (beating Davidson)

If you wondered who Davidson was when they picked up the first seed, you weren't alone. The school quickly became one of the fastest-rising searches on Google.

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