When the confetti finally settles, the 2016 NCAA Championship between North Carolina and Villanova will go down in history as one of the greatest moments in sports of all time. The hype for Villanova’s first National Championship run in 31 years was palpable to almost everyone around the country except Tar Heel fans. But how can you actually quantify the emotions behind Villanova’s March Madness storyline?
With science and technology.
One of the NCAA’s official partners, the deodorant brand Degree, teamed up with the wearable tech company Lightwave to measure fan movement during the Final Four and NCAA Championship games. To record biometric data, Degree and Lightwave attached wearable human sensors to about a hundred different fans with different cheering allegiances in NRG Stadium. Think about it like having a very delicate Fitbit on your wrist that captures data 10 times per second. Using a number of factors as Lightwave data points — i.e. movement, audio, excitement, and passion — Degree was able to make conclusions about all four Final Four fanbases. The results are actually the first study of its kind to take place in-stadium.
The conclusion from all the physiological data? Villanova had the most insane fans of the Final Four teams.
‘Nova now has bragging rights of having one of the best Sixth Men in college basketball.
From a data standpoint, the moment Kris Jenkins hit the game winning shot, Villanova fans spiked to an average G-force of 1.9. For context, the folks at Degree tell us that’s the force equivalent to “a Bugatti going from 0 to 60MPH in 2.5 seconds.”
Here’s a visualization of just how hyped Nova fans were in that final minute of game play in the Championship:
In addition to that massive adrenaline spike, Degree and Lightwave were able to conclude that Villanova fans had the most energy pre-game out of all four fan bases. According to Lightwave data, the UNC student section was technically louder, although Nova fans moved more. The final calculation for measured fan movement almost ended in a tie: UNC, 105k, and Nova, 114k, based on a second-by-second tally of average movement over the game.
During Saturday’s Final Four game, Villanova also dominated fan passion. They nearly doubled in movement and excitement compared to the corpse-like Oklahoma fans during Nova’s 95-51 beat down.
Look at how those fan engagement numbers compare to the Syracuse-UNC game on Saturday. ‘Nova fans blew all other fan bases out of the water with their levels of excitement.
‘Nova fans came loud and stayed loud. They can now pride themselves on being the most measurable savages in college basketball.
Charles Barkley’s own reaction to Perkin’s buzzer-beater says it all:
Side note: They attached one of these devices to me on Saturday and measured my excitement while watching the game. Here’s what my read-out looked like. Probably have to step it up for my in-game movement next time. 1% movement makes it look like I was a bigger corpse than the barely-there Oklahoma fans.