News Response 1/22/18

The media and social media has made the NCAA basketball tournament into a huge phenomenon. During last year’s tournament, there were 98 million live streams of March Madness Live online and through the March Madness Live app.

On March 11th, Selection Sunday occurred where the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee officially announces which 68 teams qualified for the NCAA tournament, streamed on CBS sports as well as through the live app. With these 68 teams, a bracket is created for how the tournament will play out. Through digital media, the Capital One NCAA March Madness Bracket Challenge has made the tournament an even bigger deal. In 2017, almost 24 million people participated in the bracket challenge. Online, participants in the challenge select teams that they think will win each tournament game from round one all the way through the championship game and you receive point for each game you pick correctly. The grand prize for the person with the most points is a $10,000 Amazon Gift Card and a trip to the 2018 Maui Jim Maui Invitational.

The bracket challenge is so far reaching with over 13 million participants last year. Many celebrities and high-profile figures are also participating in the bracket challenge. So far, past president George Bush’s bracket is leading he other celebrity brackets with 43 points, putting him in the 98th percentile of all participants. Bush even tweeted about his success.

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Hashtags on Twitter that people tweeting about March madness are using to compile their tweets include #MarchMadness2018, #ncaatourney, #sweet16, #bracketbusted, etc.