This bodes well for both ticket and apparel sales.
As March Madness heads into the Sweet Sixteen, one of the top-seeded teams, the University of North Carolina (UNC), is named the nation's favorite basketball team by the latest Harris Poll. The No. 1 team for the past four years, Duke, not only took an early exit from the tournament this year, but dropped to No. 2 in the Harris Poll as well. Ohio State, another top seeded team, moves up one spot and is now No. 3. These are some of the results of a Harris Poll conducted online between March 6 and 13, 2007 by Harris Interactive(R) among a nationwide sample of2,223 U.S. adults, 565 of whom follow college basketball. Rounding out the top-five favorite teams are the Wildcats of Kentucky(No. 4), who return to the list after dropping out of the top-10 last year,and the Bruins of UCLA (No. 5). The remaining teams on the top-10 list are Texas (No. 6), Georgetown (No. 7), Michigan (tied for No. 8), Indiana (tied for No. 8) and Syracuse (No. 10). Only one school on our list (Syracuse) is not in the NCAA tournament.Of the remaining nine, there are two teams seeded one, two teams seeded two, and then one each of a four, six, seven, eight and nine seed. Four of the top-10 will be playing this week in the Sweet Sixteen (UNC, Ohio, UCLA,and Georgetown). Georgetown is returning to the list after a 10-year absence (last on in1996) while Michigan also returns, last having been on the list in 2003. Three teams have dropped out of the top-10 this year: Illinois, Connecticut and Villanova.