Trending: Spellings of Rick Pitino's name

Sometimes spelling counts, sometimes not so much.

Former NBA star and current diplomat Dennis Rodman was fired from NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” for misspelling the name of Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, Sunday.

Monday, Rick Pitino gained entrance to the Basketball Hall of Fame hours before leading Louisville to its 82-76 NCAA title game victory over Michigan. That win makes Pitino the first coach to lead two different men’s Division I basketball teams (Kentucky was the other) to an NCAA championship.

So what was his reward on Twitter?

“Rick Petino” was the No. 8 trending topic in the United States just after midnight ET Tuesday. Various versions of Pitino’s name, including its proper spelling, and even “Patino” were top-10 trending topics in the hour after the game.

“It's interesting to see people trend worldwide with their names spelled incorrectly. Even though the people are generally referring to the person in good faith, taking a few extra seconds to ensure the person's name is spelled correctly would be beneficial,” Tariq Ahmad, social business manager for IBM and social media adjunct professor at Columbia University, told Playbook Tuesday. “I've seen 49ers CB Nnamdi Asomugha trend worldwide on several occasions with his full name spelled correctly, a hard name to spell at first.”

Monday’s postgame celebration also left Pitino a little shaken, as he initially ducked when fireworks were exploded inside the Georgia Dome. That was not missed on Twitter.

#NCAAChamp was among the topic trending Twitter topics throughout the game.

Final Four Most Outstanding Player Luke Hancock was not a top 10 nationally trending topic on Twitter after the game, but his effort was definitely noticed in social media.

Naturally, the officiating always leaves someone unhappy.

It wasn’t just the spelling of Pitino’s name that threw off some fans. Getting his current team correct proved a bit of a challenge for at least one celebrity.

Kentucky fans probably don’t feel like celebrating today.

A total of 3,246,580 NCAA-championship-game-related Tweets were sent from three hours before until three hours after Louisville’s victory, according to figures from Social Guide provided to Playbook.

Among the top trending game-related topics, Michigan’s Trey Burke’s last name appeared in 309,898 Tweets, Social Guide said. A total of 380,098 Tweets referred to injured Louisville guard Kevin Ware in that same span. Pitino’s last name, spelled correctly (as opposed to Petino or Patino) appeared in 218,300 posts, Social Guide said. The #NCAAChamp hashtag showed up 48,516 times.

Louisville and Michigan were the top keywords during the game, Social Guide said. Louisville won that battle as well, with 979,735 Tweets compared to 843,527 for Michigan.

More than 4.1 million relevant Tweets (4,183,583 to be exact) were posted about the NCAA championship game all day Monday into early Tuesday, according to data provided to Playbook by Crimson Hexagon.

Crimson Hexagon broke down the sentiment expressed on those Tweets. Overall, 66 percent expressed positive sentiment about Monday’s game and the tournament, with 47 percent expressing enthusiasm for Michigan or Louisville and 19 percent of the positive trend focusing on the game or tournament in general.


• John Cena beat Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for the WWE title at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, and has nearly 6 million more combined Twitter and Facebook followers. But Johnson won their numbers head-to-head battle on Twitter Sunday.

There were 302,981 mentions of “The Rock” on Twitter Sunday, according to data from the Hootsuite WWE Command Center. “John Cena” had 188,075 during the same span. Cena won hands down when it came to positive Twitter sentiment. Cena’s sentiment in areas such as “affection friendliness,” “enjoyment elation” and “amusement excitement” was at 51.62 percent through Sunday, while Johnson’s positive sentiment was at 33.3 percent.

The two had been running roughly equally in sentiment before the fight, with Cena gaining in that area throughout last week.

Less than 12 hours after Cena defeated Johnson, Cena stopped by the set of "LIVE with Kelly and Michael" in New York. Host Michael Strahan started talking trash about Cena and the title belt he won. Cena, who just happened to be backstage at "LIVE," surprised Strahan and Ripa by walking onto the set -- complete with his belt -- asking Strahan to apologize for hurting his feelings. Cena had stepped out of the ring during his bout with Johnson Sunday to shake Strahan's hand.

• To many fans, baseball team names are natural parts of their lives. They can't remember a time when they didn't root for the Phillies, Cubs, Yankees or Dodgers. But if you or your kids have wondered how the Phillies became the Phillies, or the Dodgers became the Dodgers, Jon Lindenblatt's new book “Trolley Dodgers, Pinstriped Yankees and Wearing Red Sox: How MLB Teams Got Their Names” has the answers. The book is officially licensed by Major League Baseball and is the first illustrated book to explain the origins of all 30 MLB team names.

“You can imagine my surprise when I realized there were no books that presented these facts in a format that would appeal to children. That’s my inspiration,” Lindenblatt said.

The book was funded via the crowd-sourcing site kickstarter.com and can be purchased through Mascot Books. Lindenblatt's kickstarter campaign in July 2012 raised $11,497, or 127 percent of his $9,000 goal.

Bill Speros is an ESPN.com contributor. He can be reached on Twitter @billsperos or via email at bsperos1@gmail.com.