Another year of March Madness has held the attention of the sporting world for weeks now. This weekend, as we turn to April, it narrows further and the end of this marathon tournament will come into view. The Final Four are ready to battle this Saturday. South Carolina and Gonzaga will face off first, followed by Oregon and North Carolina. The winners will face one another on Monday, April 3, for the National Championship. For students, alumni, and basketball fans of all stripes, it’s one of the best sports times of the year. Here at Fanatics, we’ve compiled the data and crunched the numbers to get an idea of where loyalty for the remaining four teams lies around the country by measuring which school was the top seller in merchandise sales by state.
Check out a map of our results below:
It comes as no surprise that each school carried their home state. But given that each team is close in proximity to one of the other remaining teams, there are some sharp dividing lines. The possibility of an all-west coast or all-Carolina championship must be tantalizing to fans on either side of the country.
The UNC Tarheels, one of basketball’s legendary programs and led by Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams, is seeking their sixth national championship and their third under Williams. They, unsurprisingly, would seem to have the edge among national fans. They carried 25 total states, including the vast majority of states east of the Mississippi. The 1 seed out of the South region, they are the favorites for many around the country.
One of the surprises of the tournament, the 7 seeded South Carolina Gamecocks took their home state, neighbors Georgia and Florida, as well as Maryland and Rhode Island. They are in their first Final Four in program history. From last week to this week, sales for South Carolina merchandise is up over 600% as fans have bought into the belief that this Cinderella run can end in the ultimate prize under the leadership of coach Frank Martin.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs were the top seller in 11 states, good for second in total states carried. They took their home state of Washington as well as the big sky states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Despite being a 1 seed in the tournament and entering the weekend with still only one loss on the season, Gonzaga the biggest jump in merchandise sales from last week to this one with sales up over 800% as Bulldogs fans hope longtime coach Mark Few can lead the team to glory in their first Final Four appearance.
The Oregon Ducks, the 3 seed out of the Midwest region, handily beat their region’s top seeded team, the perennially dangerous Kansas Jayhawks, to advance to their first Final Four since 1939 and second overall. They carried their home state and neighboring giant California, as well as Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas, and, miles and miles away, the states of Maine and Hawaii.
Whoever you’re rooting for, remember that Fanatics has you covered with all of the top Final Four gear you’ll find online.