The 2024 NCAA Tournament by the Numbers

RIViR Reads logoFor many years, March Madness fans tuned their TVs and brackets towards the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. This year, excitement for the women’s tournament is reaching fever pitch. According to Statista, 40% of the TV watching public will be following the men’s tournament, while 33% of viewers will be following the women’s games. The NCAA women’s basketball has increasingly become must see TV with 9.92 million viewers during last year’s rounds.

Highly competitive games, trash talk, and stars like Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark have made the women’s game the hot ticket this year. Prices for women’s tournament games are hitting $800 a seat and Marketplace Analytics is predicting 10.34 million people will tune in to watch. A 30-second spot for the 2024 women’s tournament will cost ad agencies $100,000. For the championship game the same 30-second slot costs $500,000, half of the $1,000,000 of the men’s tournament. I’m looking at you Title IX.

Dollars for this year’s women’s tournament are being spent beyond merchandise and ads. According to Caesar’s Sportsbook, the number of people betting on women’s college basketball games was 190% higher than last year, with 153% higher wagers taking place.

Tournament Bracketology

digital basketball
The NCAA women’s basketball has increasingly become must see TV with 9.92 million viewers during last year’s rounds.

This wouldn’t be a March RIViR Reads if we didn’t get into the brackets.

Disclaimer – I am not a fortune teller. This is for data analytics entertainment purposes only.

Everyone is wondering if LSU will defend their title, but what fans really want to see is if a rematch between Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese is in the cards since Iowa and LSU are playing in the same region. South Carolina is undefeated and ranked #1 overall in the tournament and expectations are high for them to win.

If you’re in an adjustment pool, here are some tips for switching up your bracket during the tournament. Offensive rebounds are THE key win predictor for evenly matched teams. The team with more offensive rebounds has won their tournament matchup a not-surprising 81% of the time. A team’s 3 point and free throw percentages hold less statistical significance in the tournament. Teams putting up massive point totals is what counts more. Keep that in mind when you’re selecting South Carolina and their 39.7 percent 3 point percentage.

Many of the same data science rules apply to the women’s tournament. Upset specials are few and far between. There are 4.2 upsets per year in the women’s tournament out of 34 games. 2 of those usually come in the first round.

Whether you’re cheering on Caitlin Clark as she’s dropping threes from downtown, rooting for Alissa Pili to run over defenders, or Ashlynn Watkins dunking on opponents, this year’s tournament is going to be exciting to watch. The buildup is reaching a fever pitch. Just like this year’s stars are shining a spotlight on women’s college basketball, RIViR helps you shine a spotlight on your business’ data analytics. If you need help analyzing your data don’t hesitate to connect with us. Good luck with this year’s bracket. The competition is fierce.

about the author

Will Mapp

As Chief Technology Officer, Will Mapp keeps a constant eye on the future and ensures Qlarant is at the forefront of the latest and emerging technologies. See all posts from Will Mapp, III.

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