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Top 10 College Basketball Teams: #9 Arizona Wildcats

Coming in at number 9 in FanWide’s Top 10 College Basketball Rankings is the Arizona Wildcats. While the Wildcats have not won a national championship since 1997, they have had a lot recent success. Ever since Arizona hired Sean Miller as the head coach in 2009, the Wildcats have seen an uptick in tournament appearances and regular season wins. Not only has Miller been able to drastically improve Arizona’s winning percentage, he has also had a lot of success recruiting the top high school basketball players. Former top recruits and current NBA stars such as Deandre Ayton, Stanley Johnson, Lauri Markkanen, and Aaron Gordon have helped stabilize and improve an Arizona Basketball program on the rise. With a top-3 overall recruiting class (which includes top point guard Nico Mannion) for 2019, the Arizona Wildcats future looks very bright. Because of Arizona’s recent success and their massive fanbase, the Wildcats place 9th in FanWide’s Top 10 College Basketball Team Rankings.

Arizona Wildcat fans celebrating their team / Photo courtesy of zonazealots.com
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Top NFL Teams: #3 New England Patriots

At #3 in FanWide’s Top NFL teams ranking is the New England Patriots. The Patriots have been the epitome of success for the better-part of the 21st century. Recently, the Patriots, otherwise known as the Pats, have had an incredibly high success rate. In this decade the patriots have a regular-season winning percentage of 74%. What New England has done is unlike anything else in sports. The New England Patriots were the laughing stock in the NFL in the 1980s, but quite a lot has changed. The Pats have created a dynasty like no other in which a playoff win seems to be guaranteed every year along with a Super Bowl appearance. The reason for the Patriots’ recent success is because of the brilliance of head coach Bill Belichick, the magnificence of future-hall-of-famer Tom Brady, and caring owner in Robert Kraft. Many may hate the Patriots for their cheating allegations, but no person can take away the dominance and greatness from the Patriots in the 21st century. Tom Brady is still going strong at 41 years old, along with the Patriots’ chances of winning.

Patriots fans in Houston, Texas celebrating after a big play.

Photo Courtesy of the Boston Globe

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Introducing the Top 10 College Basketball Teams

More colleges participate in men’s basketball than any other sport. Because of this, with more than 1,000 men’s basketball teams currently competing in the NCAA, college basketball is one of the most competitive sports at any level. Still, among these 1,000+ teams lie a handful of programs that always seem to perform at a level above the rest. In college basketball, continued success is partially reliant on consistently landing talented high school players. As a result, team popularity and fan engagement are closely related to victories on the court. Nevertheless, there are always some teams which remain popular, no matter how well their season is going.  FanWide is using its own fan engagement data alongside traditional measures of success to quantify program popularity. Read below to get an inside look at how FanWide is cultivating a top ten list that uses its proprietary fan data to rank teams based on more than just production on the field.

Top 10 (Check back here periodically to see the updated list)

10. Wisconsin Badgers

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Top NFL Teams: #4 Pittsburgh Steelers

Coming in at number 4 in FanWide’s Top 10 NFL Team rankings is the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers, also known as the Black and Gold, have a history like no other. The Steelers have won six Super Bowls and have had a lot of star-power since the dominance in the 1970s. Superstars such as Joe Greene, Franco Harris, James Harrison, and Ben Roethlisberger are the backbone of the Steelers’ special legacy. The Steelers have always been known as a team of toughness and grit, and that will always be their reputation in the NFL. The Steelers have the second strongest fan base according to FanWide and one that is very loyal. The Steelers have lost two superstars in Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, but there tenacious play will continue. Do not be surprised if the Steelers make a deep run in the playoffs this season.

Photo courtesy of steelersbars.com

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Top NFL Teams: #5 Philadelphia Eagles

Coming in at number 5 in FanWide’s Top 10 NFL Team rankings is the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have a very storied past which includes many Super Bowl appearances and NFL legends. Superstars such as Reggie White, Brian Dawkins, and Randall Cunningham played with pride for the Green and White and will forever be remembered by the NFL community. These players set the tone for future Eagles players and fans. The Eagles play with a certain type of swagger and fury that is unprecedented in the NFL. This mindset extends to the bleachers. The Eagles have one of the most loyal and hardcore fan bases in the NFL and are always cheering for their team from Eagles game watch parties around the country, which is why it made FanWide’s list.

Photo courtesy of philly2hoboken.com
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Top European Soccer Teams: #1 Real Madrid

Real Madrid is the top team in FanWide’s European soccer rankings. From their 33 domestic league titles to 207 million aggregate social media followers to 13 Champions League titles and beyond- Real Madrid’s numbers speak for themselves. Few teams have the ammunition to form meaningful rivalries with Real Madrid. Barcelona, FanWide’s #3 team, is one of those teams. Games played between Real Madrid and Barcelona, nicknamed “El Clásico,” are consistently some of the most viewed sporting events in the world. While Barcelona currently leads the all-time rivalry (the overall record is 115-99-61), games between the two giants in La Liga are much closer. The all-time El Clásico record in La Liga games is 72-72-34. The rivalry goes beyond soccer- Real Madrid is said to represent Spanish pride while Barcelona is said to represent Catalonian pride. Cristiano Ronaldo, who is tied as the second leading all-time El Clásico goal scorer with Alfredo di Stefano (behind Lionel Messi), was a major part of the rivalry. Now that Ronaldo has moved to Juventus, it will be interesting to see how the rivalry sways. Ballon d’Or winner Luca Modric will have to continue stepping up big for Real Madrid for reasons that go beyond just their rivalry with Barcelona. Real Madrid has begun a new era. Time will tell if Real Madrid flourishes post-Ronaldo, but if history repeats itself, they’ll do just fine. There’s a reason Real Madrid is FanWide’s #1 European soccer team.

The Real Madrid Los Angeles is the largest Real Madrid supporters group on the West Coast. | Photo courtesy of realmadridlosangeles.com
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Top NFL Teams: #7 San Francisco 49ers

Coming in at #7 in the FanWide Top NFL Teams Ranking are the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers, also known as the Bay Bombers, have a history like no other. The 49ers have had two of the best quarterbacks in NFL history in Joe Montana and Steve Young. In addition, the Niners have also had two of the best receivers in NFL history in Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens. The star power of Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Ronnie Lott are essential in why the 49ers have won five Super Bowls. Those five Super Bowls were all won between a thirteen year period (1981-1994). The Bay Bombers have a fan base like no other, considering the fans are still as passionate today as they were in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Even though the past five seasons for the 49ers have been underwhelming, the wit of Kyle Shanahan and the talent of Jimmy Garoppolo will scare many opponents in this upcoming season.

49ers fans go crazy as their team makes a game-changing play. | Photo courtesy Sandiegouniontribune

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Top European Soccer Teams: #2 Bayern Munich

With 28 domestic titles, Bayern Munich is the most decorated football club in Germany. While there are contenders every year, there is no match for Bayern Munich in their home country. They compete in the Bundesliga, Germany’s first division league, and in this league, they have won 4 times as many titles as the second most decorated club, 1. FC Nürnberg. Both of these clubs are located in Bavaria, the largest state in Germany. Currently, the team that most challenges Bayern Munich is Borussia Dortmund which is located in a different German state- North Rhine-Westphalia. The geographic and cultural differences between the homes of the current top Bundesliga competitors heightens an already natural rivalry. Each Bundesliga title is more than a trophy- teams compete for the pride of their hometown, and currently, citizens of Bavaria have the right to feel pretty proud. While their success on the international stage does not quite match their success within Germany (nobody’s does), they are not far off. Bayern Munich is consistently one of the most feared football clubs in the world, having won the Champions League 5 times. The club ranks within the top 5 across each and every one of FanWide’s ranking metrics. From fan attendance to team value to star power and beyond-it is hard to find a weakness in Bayern Munich’s resumé. Bayern Munich is the runner up in FanWide’s European soccer team rankings, coming in at #2.

The Chicago Supporters of FC Bayern Munich meet for every home game. | Photo courtesy of fcbchicago.com
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Top NBA Teams: #1 Golden State Warriors

And now…at the number one seed in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams rankingthe Golden State Warriors!!!!!

Although a majority of this organization’s success has been focused on the past five years, there is a great amount of historical value to the Warriors franchise. A majority of current Warriors fans are younger NBA fans who are attracted to the extreme levels of success the team is having yet many are blind to the fact that many legends have once represented Golden State. Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond, Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond, Tim Hardaway, Chris Webber, Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, David Lee, Jason Richardson, and Bernard King are only some of the names that have represented the Warriors. Currently, their roster is stacked out with Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, and Demarcus Cousins. It is hard to find an organization that has had as much talent as the Warriors throughout history. Let’s get into the nitty gritty on how the Golden State Warriors took home the crown in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking.

Image result for korea warriors fan club

Korean Warriors Fan Club watch party. Photo courtesy of KPIX CBS SF Bay Area.

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Top NBA Teams: #2 San Antonio Spurs

When will their fire and power ever dissolve? Every year they manage to maintain their reputation of being one of the most threatening teams across the league. They are the San Antonio Spurs. It is easily agreed upon that the Spurs have built the steadiest and most successful NBA franchise over the past 20 years. Starting with David Robinson and Robert Horry, then transitioning to the Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili phase, then Kawhi Leonard, and now DeMar DeRozan, the talent never seems to end. The man behind the plan that has gifted the Spurs the immense amount of success they have had in the past 20 years is head coach Gregg Poppovich. With all of this, and more, the Spurs were able to land the #2 spot on FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams rankings. Let’s find out more about how the Spurs got second.

Spurs watch party at the AT&T Center. Photo courtesy of San Antonio Magazine.