Facebook Catches March Madness

By David Cohen Comment

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Facebook is embracing March Madness, with temporary custom frames for profile pictures for teams in the 2016 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship tournament highlighting its efforts.

The social network said it worked with the NCAA’s social media and digital team to design the custom frames, and fans can search for their teams here, after which they can specify when their profile pictures will revert back to “normal.”

Facebook Live videos will also take to the court, as the social network said in an email to SocialTimes that teams, including the University of Oregon, University of Virginia and Duke University, will tap into the live-video-streaming feature, as will college basketball legends such as Grant Hill. Several examples are embedded below.

Facebook Messenger is tournament-bound, as well, with the social network providing the following ways for the app to be incorporated into users’ March Madness experiences:

  • Show your team spirit with customized group chats: College basketball season is a time for friends and families to come together and for rivals who went to schools with a slightly different shade of blue to taunt. Within Messenger, you can set a “team” name for your group chat, change the chat’s colors to those of your favorite team, change the Like emoji from a “thumbs up” to a basketball (or whatever else might be appropriate!) and give your buddies nicknames like “slam dunk king” or their favorite player’s jersey number. Anyone in the conversation can customize the group, meaning that there’s lots of potential for back and forth.
  • Get organized with Payments: Don’t waste your time chasing your friends down for their shares of the tab after you go out to watch the games—or for their shares of snacks and drinks if you’re staying in. Ask everyone to settle up through Messenger by sending the person who covered the tab his/her share. Here’s where you can learn more.
  • Get excited with basketball stickers: Do some trash-talking or celebrate the slam dunks with basketball-related fun using the Sports Talk sticker pack.

Finally, the social network offered the following NCAA Tournament-related statistics:

Only two universities involved in this year’s tournament have seven-digit like totals: University of North Carolina (1.1 million) and University of Kentucky (1 million).

Top four head coaches in the 2016 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship tournament, by likes:

  1. John Calipari, University of Kentucky, 559,000
  2. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University, 140,000
  3. Mark Turgeon, University of Maryland, 4,000
  4. Cuonzo Martin, University of California Berkeley, 2,000

Power conferences, by likes:

  1. Southeastern Conference, 625,000
  2. Big Ten Conference, 288,000
  3. Pac-12 Conference: 214,000
  4. Atlantic Coast Conference: 170,000
  5. Big 12 Conference: 88,000
  6. Big East Conference: 11,000

No. 1 seeds, by likes:

  1. University of North Carolina, 1.1 million
  2. University of Kansas, 362,000
  3. University of Oregon, 46,000
  4. University of Virginia, 29,000

No. 2 seeds, by likes:

  1. Michigan State University, 74,000
  2. Villanova University, 56,000
  3. University of Oklahoma, 47,000
  4. Xavier University, 29,000

No. 3 seeds, by likes:

  1. University of Miami, 437,000
  2. West Virginia University, 101,000
  3. Texas A&M University, 23,000
  4. University of Utah, 18,000

No. 4 seeds, by likes:

  1. University of Kentucky, 1 million
  2. Duke University, 368,000
  3. Iowa State University, 77,000
  4. University of California Berkeley, 13,000

No. 5 seeds, by likes:

  1. Indiana University, 291,000
  2. Baylor University, 147,000
  3. University of Maryland, 51,000
  4. Purdue University, 31,000

Readers: Which teams do you have finishing atop your brackets?

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