March Madness 2022: Best social media trolls of the men's and women's NCAA tournaments

ByWilliam E. Ricks ESPN logo
Saturday, March 26, 2022

March Madness 2022 is pretty wild. Brackets, Cinderellas, a little trolling? The men's and women's NCAA basketball tournaments have it all, and things will only get more interesting.

The conference tournaments and the Big Dance have elicited numerous reactions from celebrities, school alumni and more. With them have come a healthy dose of trolling, jokes and heckling.

Here are some exceptional instances of social media trolling during the men's and women's hoops tourneys:

Sweet 16

Saint Peter's Peacocks men's basketball

The Peacocks' Cinderella run continued Friday after defeating the 3-seed Purdue Boilermakers to become the first 15-seed to reach the Elite Eight. They have two victories against top-three seeds this tourney, more than Purdue and Gonzaga against such competition in the last 20 NCAA tournaments, per ESPN Stats & Information.

The door is closed on a potential championship for the Boilermakers, and Saint Peter's post on Twitter is a harsh reminder.

Duke Blue Devils men's basketball

Kansas City Chiefs quarterbackPatrick Mahomes is a Texas Tech alum and a huge supporter of the team on Twitter. Unfortunately for him, the No. 3 Red Raiders lost to the No. 2 Blue Devils in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night. Even more unfortunately for Mahomes, Duke's social media team went way back in time to dig up a photo of him wearing a Duke jersey and invited the former NFL MVP to the Blue Devils' Elite Eight matchup on Saturday. Brutal.

Arkansas Razorbacks men's basketball

No. 4 seed Arkansas defeated No. 1 seed Gonzaga to advance to the Sweet 16. It's the third-largest upset in the Sweet 16 since 1985 (+9.5). The Razorbacks are also the first team to defeat the AP top-ranked team during the regular season (Auburn on Feb. 8) and postseason (Gonzaga) in the same year, per ESPN Stats & Information research.

Taking down the No. 1 team provided the perfect time for Arkansas to troll its competition.

Round of 32

UConn Huskies women's basketball

This trolling started with a college football rivalry that has practically no consequences. The Civil ConFLiCT between UCF and UConn has a weird, sordid history. TL;DR version: It was made up by then-UConn football coach Bob Diaco when UConn and UCF joined the American Athletic Conference in 2013. It has a trophy that, in 2016, UCF didn't want despite winning the game. The trophy was thought to be missing.

A purported imposter trophy then showed up at UCF after the Knights won the 2021 football game.

The Knights then tweeted a picture of the trophy ahead of the women's NCAA tournament Round of 32 against UConn. The No. 2-seeded Huskies won the game and asked to have the trophy left in Storrs, Connecticut.

North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball

Down goes No. 1 Baylor.North Carolina needed overtime, but it knocked off the defending champions 93-86on Saturday to advance to the Sweet 16. Tar Heels guard R.J. Davis led the way with 30 points and six assists. It's the school's ninth win against a No. 1 seed, tying Duke for the most all time since tournament seeding began in 1979.

How does it feel upsetting the champs? UNC's Twitter account posted a fitting reaction postgame.

First round

Princeton women's basketball

Kentuckyhad won 10 straight entering its first-round contest against Princeton, including a victory over top-ranked South Carolina in the SEC championship game.

On Saturday, however, the Wildcats felt the pain of being on the losing side of a huge upset.

Aided by 29 points from guard Abby Meyers, the 11-seeded Tigers knocked off the 6-seed Wildcats 69-62.It's Princeton's second NCAA tournament win in school history.

Only one feline reigned supreme in the Tigers' minds after the buzzer sounded.

Draymond Green

The alma maters of Golden State Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Green faced off in the round of 64 Friday night. Davidson gave Michigan State all it could handle, but Tom Izzo's squad emerged victorious 74-73. Izzo will meet Duke's Mike Krzyzewski for the final time on Sunday in the round of 32.

After the Spartans' win, Green let Curry know about the outcome via his Instagram story.

Saint Peter's men's basketball

Strut on, Peacocks. No. 15 seed Saint Peter's outlasted No. 2 seed Kentucky in overtime to take down the Wildcats 85-79.Daryl Banks III and Doug Edert led the way with 27 and 20 points, respectively. According to ESPN Stats & Information, it's the 10th 15-2 upset since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

Read more: What happened and what's next for the Wildcats

New Mexico State Aggies men's basketball

A 12-5 upset came courtesy of New Mexico State. Junior guard Teddy Allen scored 37 points, the most by any player in an NCAA tourney game in NMSU history, per ESPN Stats & Information research. He was the only Aggie to hit double figures in that department and his sensational night helped defeat UConn 70-63.

Unlike the Huskies', the Aggies' dreams of dancing to a championship are still alive.

Richmond Spiders men's basketball

Iowa was fresh off a Big Ten tournament championship and entered the tournament as a No. 5 seed. None of that mattered to No. 12 seed Richmond, however.

The Spiders pulled off the famous 12-5 upset, defeating the Hawkeyes 67-63. Per ESPN Stats & Information research, 85.6% of ESPN brackets had Iowa winning its round-of-64 matchup, the second-highest percentage for any non-top-4 seed in the tourney.

For Richmond, it's the school's ninth win as a 12th seed or lower, the most since tournament seeding began in 1979. After the upset, the Spiders reminded social media of their knack for busting brackets.

Longwood Lancers

Longwood University, located in Farmville, Virginia, earned a No. 14 seed in the men's tourney and a 16-seed in the women's bracket. The University of Virginia, roughly 60 miles north of the Lancers' campus, however, didn't have a basketball team in either NCAA tournament this season.

So Longwood's Twitter account decided to post a thread explaining why UVA fans should root for its squads during March Madness.

Reason No. 5 references men's basketball coach Griff Aldrich's history against the Cavaliers. In 2018, he was the director of recruiting and development for the UMBC Retrievers, the first 16-seed to defeat a No.1 seed (Virginia) in the men's NCAA tournament.

The Lancers' No. 1 reason was simple: They aren't Virginia Tech. Simple reasoning for the Hoos out there.

First Four

Notre Dame Fighting Irish men's basketball

Notre Dame's First Four matchup against RutgersWednesday night was a double-overtime thriller. Senior Paul Atkinson Jr. scored a putback layup with a second left on the clock to propel the 11-seeded Fighting Irish to an 89-87 win. Atkinson finished with 26 points on 13-of-15 shooting.

The game lasted until the early hours of Thursday morning, also St. Patrick's Day. Maybe the luck of the Irish was on Notre Dame's side after midnight. Regardless, coach Mike Brey was in the spirit during his postgame interview.

Conference tournaments

Kentucky Wildcats women's basketball

Kentucky's women's team played David toSouth Carolina's Goliath, defeating the top-ranked Gamecocks in the SEC championship game. ForwardDre'una Edwardsscored a 3-pointer with five seconds on the clock to give the Wildcats their first postseason tournament title since 1982.

Led by senior guard Rhyne Howard, Kentucky knocked off three top-20 opponents en route to its tourney championship. The team's Twitter account had the perfect bedtime story for those who slept on the Wildcats during the tournament.

Related Video