For Pete's Sake

Here is how the NCAA Tournament might be cure for the flu

There’s a cure for those flu symptoms: basketball!
There’s a cure for those flu symptoms: basketball! Tribune News Services

Right off the bat, let’s just admit this is not a scientific study. But it does provide an interesting hypothesis: could the NCAA Tournament be a cure for the flu?

It seems that across the country there was a spike in the number of tweets about the flu on March 15, but the number decreased by 60 percent the next day (from 27,700 to less than 11,000). What happened then? That’s when the NCAA Tournament started in full. Naturally, the number of tweets about March Madness jumped on that day.

The Twitter numbers were compiled by Sports Betting Experts (hey, again, this is not a scientific study). They even made a fun visual that shows the number of tweets about the flu throughout the country from March 8-16.

 

Did you see how the tweets went down? That’s where the March Madness connection comes into play. The number of tweets about the tournament jumped from 46,200 on March 15 to 112,300 the next day.

Here is the map again when the tweets about March Madness (in blue) are included. Those tweets about the flu are swamped out by hoops.

The flu is eradicated! Well, tweets about the flu were.

 

Yeah, I know. It’s a leap to say the NCAA Tournament is a cure for the flu, but at least those who were sick had something to take their mind off their woes.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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