NCAA bracket predictions using Klout scores

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Predicting a bracket is a relatively arbitrary process to begin with, and I don't follow college basketball, so let's use Klout scores to determine the Final Four and a national champion!

Pulling back the proverbial curtain a bit: Shortly before the brackets were announced on Selection Sunday, editors here at SB Nation were asked by the powers that be to come up with our own NCAA Tournament predictions. Looking to "leverage all of our talent," we're putting together a "pretty great set of predictions." This will not be one of those great predictions.

Surely, we will have some bracket projections that you should pay attention to -- notably, Chris Dobbertean's and Mike Rutherford's. But I cannot stress enough how ill-prepared I am to offer any sort of educated guesses as to what might happen over the next few weeks.

Besides a grand total of about four JMU games, I have watched roughly 20 minutes of college basketball during the 2012-13 season. That is not an exaggeration.

So, instead of trying to fake any kind of insight or analysis, I opted to take a nearly equally pointless path, and filled out my bracket based solely on the Klout scores of the athletic departement's Twitter accounts. I am SB Nation's Social Media Editor, after all.

klout bracket pdf

Klout scores and me trying to predict college basketball games: a perfect marriage of two meaningless exercises.

The Klout Score, a number that is between one and 100, "is a representation of your overall social media influence."

The science behind the Score examines more than 400 variables on multiple social networks beyond your number of followers and friends. It looks at who is engaging with your content and who they are sharing it with.

If two schools had the same Klout score, I used total followers as the tie-breaker.

Some notes from Social Media Madness:

  • Seeing Kansas and Notre Dame in the Final Four is not surprising, but having Cal and Cincinnati certainly is. The Irish and the Bearcats tied for the higher Klout scores -- 85 -- but @FightingIrish 50,000+ Twitter followers pushed them past Cincy.
  • JMU, a 16-seed playing in the First Round, shocked No. 1 Indiana and went all the way to the Sweet 16 on the strength of @JMUSports' 65 Klout score
  • Only seven schools had Klout scores of 80 or higher: Notre Dame, Kansas, Miami, Syracuse, Colorado, Cincinnati and California
  • The lowest Klout score belongs to Akron's @GoZipsUpdates, coming in at just 47.
  • @SouthernUSports only has 958 followers -- what's going on, guys?
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