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ORU sees 'huge uptick' on social media as a result of NCAA Tournament wins

ORU sees 'huge uptick' on social media as a result of NCAA Tournament wins

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APTOPIX NCAA Oral Roberts Florida Basketball

Oral Roberts players celebrate their second-round victory over Florida last Sunday in the NCAA Tournament.

The surging Golden Eagles are in the Sweet Sixteen and play Arkansas this weekend

An anticipated perk of a team making a historic run in the NCAA Tournament: becoming the center of attention on social media.

Oral Roberts, which pulled off a pair of improbable upsets as a No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, has seen its men’s basketball account trend No. 1 on Twitter twice.

“As social media is concerned ... we’ve seen a huge uptick,” said Jarrett Hardwick, ORU’s director of athletic communications.

The account has existed since October 2012 but didn’t become verified on Twitter until Tuesday, when it reached 11 million impressions for the month. It has gained 8,000 followers since the start of the tournament, and one of its tweets received more than 45,000 likes.

According to Talkwalker, ORU had 40,000 mentions on Twitter during the tournament’s first weekend along with 630,000 engagements.

The team’s Instagram account has grown by more than 9,000 followers, and ORU’s athletic website has more than half a million page views in the past two weeks — about five times a normal month.

The Golden Eagles defeated Ohio State in the first round and Florida in the second round last weekend, and will face No. 3 seed Arkansas at 6:25 p.m. Saturday in Indianapolis for a spot in the Elite Eight.

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Sports Writer

I have covered college football and college basketball for the Tulsa World since 2012. I spend my spare time as an animal rescue volunteer, focusing on spaying and neutering community cats in the Tulsa area. Phone: 918-581-8452

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