The month of March brings all manner of madness. There’s the spate of cabin fever after being locked indoors during arctic blasts and polar vortices. Even the weather can’t make up its mind if it wants to hang on to dull winter grays or pop out in frilly pastels. For fans of NCAA basketball, March also means the annual Division I NCAA Tournament. Those who follow the media circus surrounding this annual win-or-go-home competition series, with fantasies of winning big bucks or bragging rights, will be delighted to know that there are several great March Madness apps out there to keep you on your game.
6 Great March Madness Apps
These six mobile apps should help make your March Madness experience even better this month.
If you can only have one, then the could be it (featured picture). It tops most of the “top apps” lists published this week. It’s also free and available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Kindle Fire. Being a direct extension of the broadcast program, the app does require that you have a mobile account connected to your Cable TV provider in order to take advantage of the features. However, it also allows you to watch every single game of the tournament.
Downside: Unless you’re watching on Wi-Fi, it could eat up a lot of your data plan. Sometimes there can be technical difficulties that come with connecting a mobile device to a cable account.
For a straight mobile app, Thuuz has a simple, sleek design that’s pretty intuitive for anyone who has ever used Facebook. You can’t actually watch the games with this particular iOS or Android app, but you can see highlight clips almost immediately as they appear in your newfeed. It also has a Fantasy Integration feature for armchair managers to keep track of their players.
Downside: Relatively “no frills,” and does seem to cover a lot of the same ground as similar apps.
For interactivity, this one tops the list. This app for iOS and Android gives you the chance to earn “rewards points” during the game and turn them in for some pretty decent prizes. Throughout the live broadcast, the app periodically sends out opportunities to earn points, either through “catching” a moving icon or correctly predicting the outcome of a particular aspect of the game.
Downside: The prizes are mostly “other app” related. It’s also a bit of a solitary activity, as there’s not any social function.
CBS Sports may be the most comprehensive of the March Madness apps. It features box scores, breaking news, analysis, tweets, and even live video streams. This app also has a Live Game Tracker that lets you follow the action, even without the benefit of video. It also has a Bracket Challenge that allows you to compete with friends or other challengers across the nation. Probably the best thing about this one is that it allows you to personalize just about every feature to suit your interests, even set push notifications, and share information through social media.
Downside: Because this one can be set up just about any way you like, and includes information in every mobile-optimized format, it’s hard to see a downside.
If you’re more inclined toward Disney-produced content, the ESPN SportsCenter app is a nice alternative. It’s very similar to the CBS Sports app, but a bit less versatile in terms of ability to personalize.
Yahoo! Sports is another straight app, but this one is pretty in-depth for what is essentially a compendium of sports news feeds. It features detailed game summaries and analysis, individual player pages and stats, box scores and even standings. This one also has some nice social media sharing opportunities, but Yahoo! Sports also boasts a way in to the widely advertised Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge. Choose the perfect bracket at the beginning of the tournament and you’re an instant billionaire.
Of course, there are loads of other apps out there, many of which are just a way to keep track of your own bracket selections throughout the tournament. That’s great if that’s all you’re looking for or if you’ve paid into the office pool. For the truly mad about the NCAA tourney, these March Madness apps, which are also compatible with tablets, are just the ticket to an exciting month of competition.