Which Final Four Game Was Most Exciting?

Bradford Winkelman
Read Time: 2 minutes apprx.
data science social media data sports text analytics

Which Final Four game was the most exciting? The question is difficult because any person who has an opinion is likely heavily influenced by personal loyalties. One objective way of answering the question is to conduct sentiment analysis of Twitter data. The plots below show the total number of tweets per minute* throughout each of the three final games. While the most exciting game is not obvious, the least exciting game is clear. Duke was the clear favorite going into a game against an over-achieving Michigan State and held a sizeable lead throughout most of the game. On the other hand, both the Wisconsin/Kentucky and Wisconsin/Duke games were off the charts (literally- we capped at 3000 tweets per minute) in tweets per minute. Interestingly, while both games garnered comparable positive (blue) attention on Twitter, the Wisconsin/Kentucky game had a much more significant amount of negativity (red). There were two high-impact missed calls, a poorly chosen post-game comment, and extreme disappointment among the fans of a team that had higher expectations than any team in recent history.