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article imageDuke still tops the list as favorite men's basketball team

By Tim O'Brien     Apr 1, 2012 in Sports
As college basketball gets ready to crown its champion Monday night, it seems that a team that got beat early on is the favorite team, according to recent Harris Poll.
That team is also one of the most hated teams as well. Much like the New York Yankees in professional baseball, Duke gets the same treatment in college basketball. But, they can claim the favorite team this year, says Harris.
One would have to wonder how this survey would shape up after the tournament is over when either Kansas or Kentucky will be the champion. By the way, Kentucky, right now is No. 2.
The Duke Blue Devils are No. 1 for the third year in a row. North Carolina was last year's No. 2 but now, once again, that is for Kentucky.
Here is the list for 2012
1. Duke
2. Kentucky
3. North Carolina
4. Michigan
5. Michigan State
6. Syracuse
7. Missouri
8. Connecticut
9. Texas
10. Ohio State
Taking a look at this list finds a few tidbits to take away. One is Syracuse is high up on the list despite their troubles over the past year. Fans of Ohio State, which was one win away from a title try, is perhaps, breathing a sigh of relief, as the basketball team took the spotlight off the football team's troubles of late. The other team on the final game, Kansas, is not in the Top 10.
Dropping out of the Top 10 this year were three teams from The Big Ten (Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa). Another was Pittsburgh.
One may wonder if this matters, but seeing how March Madness is such a huge business, it has to. Plus, the survey says, among all adults, 25 percent follow men's college basketball. Meanwhile, 9 percent follow women's college basketball.Companies also see a spike in sick days during the first two days of the tourney, Harris indicates.
The women's favorites are:
1. Connecticut
2. Baylor
3. Tennessee
4. Notre Dame
5. Maryland
6. North Carolina
7. Kentucky
8. Duke
9. Texas
10. Purdue
The Big Ten also took a hit here, too, as Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State dropped out. Stanford was the other team that dropped out.
One more part of the survey took college sports and how they fared. Here are the results.
1. College football
2. Men's college basketball
3. College baseball
4. College hockey
5. Others
The interesting note on the list could be that 57 percent indicated they do not follow any of them. That beats out college football (43 percent).
* This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between March 12 to 19, 2012 among 2,451 adults (aged 18 and over), of whom 615 follow college basketball.
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