March Madness is well upon us, with the Final Four games being played on Saturday starting at 6:09 pm—and merchandise sales are booming.
This year’s tournament has seen its fair share of upsets, arguably more so than in years past. Middle Tennessee busted brackets across the country by beating Michigan State in the first round, Yale trumped Baylor, and 10 seed Syracuse bested one seed Virginia for a trip to the Final Four. Each of the teams in the tournament have their own local fan bases, but the tournament helps each team gain national athletic notoriety.
The UNC Tar Heels, who this writer is proud to call her alma mater, had sold the most gear since the tournament began on Mar. 17, according to Fanatics, the official fan merchandiser of the NCAA.
The team is followed by Final Four opponent—and fellow ACC team—Syracuse, and then Villanova and Oklahoma, who are also playing in the Final Four. The weakest one seed (according to many sports analysts), Oregon, closes out the top five in terms of merchandise sales.
Fanatics declined to offer percentage differences between each schools’ sales, or sales numbers for each respective college.
Since they punched their ticket to the Final Four on Easter Sunday, Syracuse’s sales have increased 750% on Fanatics from the same time last week. They hold the coveted top percentage increase of all schools on the site. Since the same date, UNC’s sales have increased 200%.
For all schools except Oregon, the top selling item on Fanatics is the Final Four shirt printed for the four respective teams. Since Oregon is not playing in the Final Four, their top seller is the Elite Eight shirt.
UNC has a 38% chance of being crowned the NCAA champion, followed by Villanova (28%), Oklahoma (22%), and Syracuse (11%), according to FiveThirtyEight. Syracuse is one of only four double-digit seeds (10) to make it to the Final Four in the tournament’s history.