March Madness 2.0: Free Apps to Upgrade The Experience
March Madness has become more accessible and interactive than ever before. Traditionally, the annual month-long overdose of hoops evokes an emotionally confusing mix of excitement and schedule conflicts. Despite the enthusiasm surrounding the basketball tournament, it often results in a workday spent helplessly aware that a buffet of afternoon games are set to tip off. Now, sports fans are able to track the tournament in a variety of ways, thanks to multimedia efforts that contribute to the creation of various apps that allow for different levels of fan participation and provisioning for the ensuing madness.
Last year users had to pay $3.99 for access to live games from computers and mobile devices. Now it’s free! Once logged in, users have the ability to watch games and replays, or review the official bracket. There’s also a “Boss Button” that allows users to hide their screen, just in case management happens to pay you a visit while you’re checking in on the game.
The only caveat is that users are required to log in through their cable TV service provider in order to access live games. However, most of the major cable companies such as Time Warner, Verizon FiOS and Xfinity are available.
The service also features free smartphone and tablet apps for Apple iOS and Google Android, in case you’re on the go.
Many fans look forward to March Madness for their opportunity to fill out their own bracket. The Bracket Bound app from ESPN lets users create and share up to 10 brackets. Fans can create new groups and compare brackets with friends, or join established communities. This application also features live scores, personal “My Teams” and “My Games” sections, as well as video breakdowns and Bracketology write-ups from ESPN’s college basketball analysts.
Part of the madness involves fan debates and arguments. Often the individual theories are based on the numbers. Followers take pride in exercising their statistical and analytical skills to predict the outcomes. STATSHEET is available as a database of over two billion statistics, offering insights and proprietary metrics surrounding the entire tournament. The app offers the full roster for every NCAA basketball team, in addition to full, sortable player stats. Metrics, such as StatRank, rank every player and team, and the StatRank app also gives stat-based grades for each game, for every player.
Proper pregame mental preparations are a good excuse for some shameless self-indulgence. Often, this takes the form of a giant basket of saucy wings, or a Jenga tower of cheese sticks. GrubHub is one of the best food delivery apps out there, and it’s free to use. Users can create online accounts and save payment information to make the process of ordering food even easier. The app allows people to search by location, restaurant, or cuisine, and also includes special instructions with orders.
It’s completely okay to get swept up in the excitement. A good way to capitalize on that energy is to locate an enthusiastic crowd. For those searching for the best place to catch March Madness games, Sports Bar Finder, by DIRECTV, may be of some assistance. The app uses GPS to find nearby bars that offer DIRECTV sports programming. This application allows users to sort by sports programming packages to see which locations may be offering the game you’re looking for. It also offers directions to locations along with an email invitation feature, enabling users to invite other people to join in the fun.