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It’s Been A Wild Ride To The Sweet 16, But What Was THE Craziest March Madness Moment So Far?

The first two rounds of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament reminded sports fans across the country why this month is known as March Madness. So far, No. 11 Xavier took down sixth-seeded Maryland and third-seeded Florida State, 11-seed USC beat No. 6 SMU, and No. 11 Rhode Island defeated No. 6 Creighton. But what was the craziest upset of all?

TV[R]EV teamed up with Canvs, the emotion analytics company, to see what was the craziest game so far. And the verdict is in…

Drum Roll Please!!!!

South Carolina Upsets Duke

When 7-seed South Carolina ended No. 2 Duke’s tournament dreams, it sent Twitter into a frenzy. The game prompted nearly 100,000 Emotional Reactions (ERs), more than 2.5 times the second-most emotionally resonant game (No. 8 Wisconsin upsetting top-seed and defending champ Villanova).

Canvs detected more than 11,200 crazy ERs throughout the game, which was three times higher than the next closest game. Overall, crazy accounted for 11.6% of emotions, but it seemed like everyone watching was just waiting for that classic late-game resurgence from Duke and Coach Krzyzewski. But, that moment never came.

When it finally became apparent that this was the end of the road for Duke, viewers could not believe their eyes. In the closing moments, crazy spiked, accounting for 20.7% of ERs, with more than 740 emotionally charged comments expressing crazy pouring in per minute (during a five-minute span).

What Does This Mean For Advertisers?

Traditionally, sporting events are a solid bet for advertisers’ marketing budget. Unless the game is a total blowout, viewers are typically glued to the tube for the entirety of the program. For example, the average view rate (AVR) for March Madness ads thus far is 88.36%, according to iSpot.tv. iSpot.tv is the real-time TV advertising measurement and attention analytics company with data from 10 million smart TV screens.

AVR helps paint the picture of why this ad inventory is a hot commodity for marketers. For the Duke-South Carolina match-up, 65 brands ran 89 different spots 100 times, for a total estimated media spend of $10.7 million. These ad airings generated a total of 339 million TV ad impressions, which is a noticeable up-tick from another prime-time Sunday game, UCLA vs. Cincinnati, which only generated 115.6 million TV ad impressions.

Not surprisingly, males far outweighed females in terms of viewership, where 64.16% of viewers were male. Of the viewing population, the largest demographic represented was the 35-54 age group, which accounted for 35.93% of the viewing audience. 55+ was the second largest demo, accounting for 34.75%.

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What Can We Expect Next?

As March continues, more and more teams will be weeded out of the tournament, resulting in the convergence of viewership as games become increasingly important. As a result, fans are sticking around for ads, meaning hundreds of millions of impressions for just one game. We can definitely expect advertisers to keep spending big on March Madness, especially when the games evoke extreme emotions like this for each surprising upset. I mean why wouldn’t they? It seems to be a slam dunk so far.