Ben Arnold, Fanscape’s Sr. Manager, Digital Promotions and a general lover of all things sports, compiled some bracketing tips and other cool tidbits for your March Madness enjoyment.
Pick Your Bracket
Everyone has their thoughts on who will win. President Obama picked last year’s winner and this year he is going with the Kansas Jayhawks to win it all. While choosing the tournament winner requires some knowledge of college basketball, the beauty of the 64-team tournament is that there are so many unknown teams and shocking upsets. Therefore, picking each game is a crapshoot. Of course, there are experts who think they know the upset specials and Cinderella teams. CBSSports.com has some upset predictions and Final Four picks, and CollegeHoops.net has plenty of news and analysis to help you out. It’s worth doing a bit of research before filling out your own bracket.
Create a Pool
All of the major sports sites offer online brackets that you can fill in with your picks. If you want to set up a pool for your friends or co-workers, I recommend using Yahoo! Sports or CBSSports.com. Both make it very easy to set up free pools and offer all kinds of tools to help with filling out your bracket and tracking your march to dominance. In addition, Yahoo! Sports is again hosting their yearly Tourney Pick’em game, where a perfect bracket will net $1 million.
Now that your bracket is all set, you need to watch the games to see if you made the right picks! CBS and the NCAA have once again teamed up to offer free online streaming of all of the first round games. Choose between Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight (for higher quality) and enjoy this year’s new features, such as picture-in-picture highlights of other games that you can see without leaving your current game and the ability to pull tourney stats in real-time.
Follow on Your Phone
Last year CBS Sports Mobile debuted the NCAA March Madness On Demand iPhone app that streamed all 63 tournament games live. This app is back this year, broadcasting every game except the opening round play-in game live via Wi-Fi and AT&T’s 3G network. The app carries a higher price tag this year ($9.99 vs. last year’s $4.99 price) but will offer added benefits such as scores and alerts, including notifications for when a game is close or headed to overtime, or when there’s an upset in the making. You can also try out PocketBracket, an iPhone and Android app that allows you to create and track brackets, organize pools and follow the progress of the tourney, all for the cost of $1.99. You can set up pools among friends, or compete with others on the PocketBracket network.
Relive Tourney Memories
As you patiently wait for the tournament to kick off on March 18th, you can browse the past ten years of March Madness glory on the NCAA Vault. Check out full games and highlights, and share with your friends via the Twitter and Facebook integration. Make sure to share the clip of Adam Morrison’s emotional meltdown as UCLA came back to beat Gonzaga in the 2006 Regional Semifinals. It never gets old.
Good luck and enjoy the tourney!