Twitter’s NCAA Men’s Basketball MVPs

April 8, 2015

Twitter’s NCAA Men’s Basketball MVPs

This year’s NCAA March Madness tournament has drawn to a close, having brought with it another thrilling array of bracket-busting upsets (for some), down-to-the-wire nail-biters, and buzzer-beaters that will be shown on highlight reels for years to come. However, the crowning of Duke’s young, talented team as National Champions has put the spotlight on the increasing tendency for top student-athletes to head to the NBA after just a year or two in college. With this in mind, CLS Strategies took to Twitter to examine which players made the biggest impression on viewers this tournament, and which names you can expect to see in the first round of NBA draft picks later this year.

1. Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin

With mentions in over 10,000 tweets over the course of the tournament, it is clear that the AP Player of the Year won over viewers with his versatility, ability to sink the longest of long three-pointers and impressive dance moves:

 

While it is unclear whether “Frank the Tank” will be one of the top five NBA draft picks this year, it is clear that the senior now has a national fan base that will be watching closely for his next move.

2. Jahlil Okafor, Duke

Close behind Kaminsky, with over 9,000 overall tweets, fellow Illinoisan Jahlil Okafor solidified his reputation as “the next Tim Duncan” with his power, quickness and impressive dunking skills. Though second on CLS Strategies’ Twitter ranking, many are predicting he will be this year’s number one draft pick.

3. RJ Hunter, Georgia State

Despite his team’s relatively early exit from the tournament, Hunter landed in our number three position due to his impeccably-timed game-winner to upset Baylor in the first round. Even after controlling for mentions of his father and coach, Ron Hunter, RJ was still the subject of nearly 5,600 tweets.

4. Sam Dekker, Wisconsin

Another newly-minted household name is Wisconsin junior Sam Dekker, whose impressive tournament performance – he shot 50 percent from three-point range in the first five games – earned him over 5,300 tweets throughout the tournament and more than one prediction of future success:

 

5.Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky

Although expected by many to be this year’s number one draft pick going into the tournament, Towns did not inspire the avid tweeting some of his other tournament peers did. However, he may have been a victim of high expectations more than anything else, as he showed his versatility on offence and defense in game after game, proving we will definitely be seeing more from this talented player.

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