Rounding out the top five teams are University of Connecticut at number three and Texas and Maryland who are tied for the number four spot on the list. In the bottom half of the top 10 favorite teams are Ohio State and Kentucky, both tied for the sixth spot on the list, UCLA at number eight, Purdue at number nine and Wisconsin at number 10.
Maryland returns to the list after a seven-year absence, having last been in the number nine spot in 2003. Wisconsin also returns to the list after dropping off last year and Purdue is a brand new addition to the favorite men’s college basketball list. Dropping off the top ten this year are Illinois (was number six), Boston College (was number eight) and Florida (was tied for number nine).
Favorites Favored for National Championship
The four number one seeds for this year’s men’s NCAA college basketball tournament are also the four top choices to be the men’s NCAA champion. Almost one in five of those who follow college basketball (18%) believe Kansas will be cutting down the hoops on April 5th, while 15% say it will be Kentucky, 11% believe it will be Syracuse and 7% say Duke. No other team was chosen by more than 2% of college basketball followers to win the tournament.
College Sports Fans Find Football Appealing
Despite the attention being given college basketball as the NCAA championship tournament gets underway this week, college football is the favorite college sport by a wide margin. Thirty-five percent of adults say they follow college football. Men’s college basketball comes in a distant second with 26% of adults calling themselves followers. Women’s college basketball and college baseball tied for third with 9% of adults calling themselves followers.
Forty-two percent of adults say they follow college sports, and 58% say they do not.
Football Runs Up the Score with Pro Sports Fans
On a professional level, football is favored by a wide margin among sports fans who follow more than one sport, according to another recent poll from Harris Interactive. Of those who follow one or more sport, more than one-third (35%) say professional football is their favorite, an increase of four percentage points from last year. Baseball comes next, favored by 16% of sports fans, trailed by college football, with a 12% number-one rating. Men’s college basketball received a 3% rating.
About the Survey: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the U.S. March 1-8 , 2010 among 2,320 adults aged 18 and older, of whom 627 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.