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Sweet 16 runs give Ohio schools desired national publicity

Ohio Bobcats bench reacts to a late three point score as they defeated University of South Florida Bulls during their men's NCAA basketball game in Nashville

Ohio Bobcats bench reacts to a late three point score as they defeated University of South Florida Bulls to advance to the Sweet 16 during their men’s NCAA third round basketball game in Nashville, Tennessee, March 18, 2012. REUTERS/Harrison McClary (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)


One of the perks of a school playing deep into the NCAA tournament is the extra advertising they get to do without spending a dime.

It’s long been known that successful athletic teams can boost the popularity of a school, and that’s what the four Ohio-based schools still playing are counting on.

Clearly Ohio State gets enough national (and international) publicity as a result of their athletic department, but this week can be critical for a smaller school like Xavier or one that’s easily confused with OSU like Ohio.

Ohio University president Roderick McDavis noted as much in speaking with the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, saying that the added exposure allows those unfamiliar with the school (other than it being the top-ranked party school according to the Princeton Review) to learn more about Ohio.

“I always felt and said athletics can be a window to your university,” McDavis said. “Athletics are fun and entertaining and open the door so people can see what else your university is all about.”

Ohio has experienced a 16% increase in visits to the school website as compared to last year, and Xavier has seen a 75% increase in its total reach on Facebook.

Those numbers may not be a big deal to schools that are either larger in size/alumni base or used to playing on this stage (Xavier has reached the Sweet 16 in four of the last five years), but the economic boosts that can come from March success are more than welcome.

College applications increase and it becomes easier to get alums across the country to donate to the school, allowing schools whose teams “survive and advance” to thrive as well.