North Carolina Rumble as Duke Remains Favorite College Basketball Team while UNC is Back to Number Two

NEW YORK , N.Y. – March 26, 2013 – The bracket busting is happening… Basketball fans are mumbling things like who are FGCU??? under their breath and everyone is waiting to see who ends up in Atlanta in the Final Four. And, in the midst of the Madness that is March, for the fourth year in a row, the Duke Blue Devils are America’s Favorite Men’s College Basketball team. After a drop to number three last year, Duke’s rivals, the UNC Tar Heels are back up to number two; Ohio State leaps up from the number 10 spot last year to the number 3 spot this year.

Rounding out the top five favorite college basketball teams are Michigan, claiming the number 4 spot alone after sharing it last year, and UCLA, returning to the list at the number 5 position after a two year absence.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,276 adults, of whom 570 follow college basketball, surveyed online between March 13 and 18, 2013 by Harris Interactive.

At the number 6 spot on the top ten is a new entry to the list, Gonzaga – a number one seed in the tournament who lost in the round of 32; then, at number 7, Illinois returns to the list after a one year absence. The team that FGCU beat, Georgetown, returns to the favorite college basketball list at number 8, and Texas, who tied for number 8 last year, is at number 9 this year. Rounding out the top ten is last year’s number 2 and the 2012 National Champions, Kentucky.

Four teams dropped off the favorite men’s college basketball team top ten this year: Michigan State, who tied last year for number 4; Syracuse, previously at number 6; Missouri, previously at number 7; and Connecticut, who tied last year for number 8.

Women’s College Basketball

Connecticut remains America’s Favorite Women’s College Basketball team again this year, while Tennessee, after a drop to number 3 last year, returns to the second spot for 2013. Baylor, last year’s number 2, drops one spot to number 3, and Notre Dame (number 4 last year) and UNC (number 6 last year) are tied for the number 4 spot. After a one year absence from the top 10 list, Stanford returns to the list at the number 6 spot. Kentucky retains the number 7 position on the list, and Rutgers returns to the list at number 8 after a three year absence. Remaining at number 9 this year is Texas, and dropping from the number 5 spot to the number 10 spot is Maryland.

Dropping off the women’s top ten are Duke (was number 8) and Purdue (was number 10).

NCAA Tournament Winners

There are still a few games left to play, but one in five college basketball fans (21%) believe Duke will be cutting down the nets in Atlanta after it’s all over and 19% say it will be Indiana. On the women’s side, one-quarter (26%) say Baylor will win it all, followed by 7% saying it will be Connecticut and 6% believing it will be Tennessee.

So What?

College sports are big business and every March, the eyes of sports fans turn to basketball. Some businesses seem to shut down on the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament and many more just give in, showing the games in a communal area for employees. Among all adults, one-quarter (26%) follow men’s college basketball and just under one in ten (8%) follow women’s college basketball. But, as brackets are and strategies laid out to win it all, it seems like a lot more people may follow college basketball this time of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE 1

FAVORITE MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TEAM: RANK ORDER

Which is your favorite men’s college basketball team?

Base: Follow college basketball

1993

1995

1996

1997

1998

2003

2004

2005

2006

Duke

1

2

2

3

2

1

1

1

1

North Carolina (UNC)

2

3

7

2

3

7

2

3

2

Ohio State

8

9

4

 

 

 

 

 

4

Michigan

4

8

3

4

 

2

 

 

 

UCLA

 

5

 

5

5

4

7

7

8

Gonzaga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illinois

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Georgetown

9

7

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

7

Kentucky

5

1

1

1

1

5

2

4

 

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Duke

2

1

2

1

1

1

1

North Carolina (UNC)

1

2

1

1

2

3

2

Ohio State

3

 

4

6

3

10

3

Michigan

8

 

 

 

 

4

4

UCLA

5

4

3

8

 

 

5

Gonzaga

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

Illinois

 

 

6

 

7

 

7

Georgetown

7

6

 

 

 

 

8

Texas

6

 

5

4

9

8

9

Kentucky

4

9

7

6

4

2

10

Not in the top 10.

 

Dropped out of the top 10 this year

(Last year’s rankings)

Michigan State (tied for No. 4), Syracuse (No. 6), Connecticut (tied for No. 8) and Texas (tied for No. 8)


 

TABLE 2

FAVORITE WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TEAM

Which is your favorite women’s college basketball team?

Base: Follow college basketball

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Connecticut

1

2

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

Tennessee

2

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

2

3

2

Baylor

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

4

2

3

Notre Dame

6

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

4

North Carolina (UNC)

 

6

10

7

3

7

3

 

5

6

4

Stanford

 

4

4

 

 

4

 

 

7

 

6

Kentucky

 

5

 

 

 

10

10

 

7

7

7

Rutgers

 

 

 

9

 

 

9

 

 

 

8

Texas

5

8

6

 

 

 

4

3

 

9

9

Maryland

 

 

 

 

5

4

5

 

 

5

10

Not in the top 10.

 

 

Dropped out of the top 10 this year

(Last year’s rankings)

Duke (No. 8) and Purdue (No. 10)

TABLE 3

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL CHAMPION

What team do you think will be the men’s NCAA champion this year?

Base: Follow college basketball

Total

%

Duke

21

Indiana

19

Gonzaga

7

UNC

4

Kansas

3

Note: Other teams mentioned all received 2% or less

TABLE 4

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL CHAMPION

What team do you think will be the women’s NCAA champion this year?

Base: Follow college basketball

Total

%

Baylor

26

Connecticut

7

Tennessee

6

Notre Dame

5

Stanford

3

Note: Other teams mentioned all received 1% or less


TABLE 5

COLLEGE Sports Followers

Do you follow any of these sports?

Base: All adults

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

FOLLOW COLLEGE SPORTS (NET)

41

41

44

42

41

43

44

College football

33

34

36

35

32

35

37

Men’s college basketball

24

23

26

26

25

25

26

Women’s college basketball

8

7

8

9

7

9

8

College baseball

6

8

8

9

7

9

8

College hockey

4

3

5

6

3

4

5

Other college sports

8

7

7

8

6

7

9

I follow none of these sports

59

59

56

58

59

57

56

Note: Multiple-response question.

 

 

 

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between March 13 to 18, 2013 among 2,276 adults (aged 18 and over), of whom 570 follow college basketball. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

J39773

Q805, 810, 815

The Harris Poll ® #15, March 26, 2013

By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll and Public Relations, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive

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