Press-Republican

March 22, 2013

Ready for March Madness? If not, get an app

Check out these cool apps for creating brackets and keeping up with all the games

By Daryl Nelson
ConsumerAffairs.com

— Let’s face it, during March Madness anything can happen.

It’s a time in college basketball where the playing field, or the playing court rather, is totally equal and everyone is able to start at square one. So, extreme underdogs and number one seeds essentially share the same space and have an equal opportunity to win it all.

In order to catch some of the action during this year’s March Madness, we picked out a few of the best apps to create your brackets and watch the tournament as it’s happening. With so many games being broadcast at once, it can be challenging to determine who beat who and which teams were upset by the team that wasn’t even supposed to have a chance.

The NCAA March Madness Live app is considered the official app for the tournament and it offers free streaming across all devices, so you can pick up games from stations TNT, TBS, truTV and CBS.

In order to access the service, users need to sign on to the March Madness website with their television service provider information, and from there, they’ll be able to view games, follow the in-between-game commentary and access a social and interactive feature that comes with the app.

Since the app directly links with the channels that will be playing the tournament, it’s probably your best bet for staying up to date on scores and game results as they unfold.

Bracket Picker

The Bracket Picker Madness app, for 99 cents, is really for the person who wants to create a bracket, but doesn’t want to research all of the stats and analytics that sometimes go into picking the final four teams.

Users can simply select which stats they feel will be most useful when teams face each other and the app automatically creates a bracket for you based on the data that you selected beforehand. 

The company behind the app will send you all of the statistics once you’ve download it, and from there, you’ll be able to tailor your bracket by simply choosing which stats are most important to you.

Bracket Picker Madness is ideal for those folks who want to put together their brackets rather quickly without a lot of research or searching for statistics.

For iPhone users, there’s the app Simple Bracket that allows users to not only select this year’s teams, but  compete with their friends and family members too, which many apps in the past weren’t able to do without a certain level of difficulty or limited use.

The newly developed app allows you to win certain badge awards if you’re able to successfully predict game results and you’ll be able to see your friends' brackets as well, to make matching them up a lot easier.

Additionally, the creators of the app say that by working with a mathematician, they found a way that users can be properly rewarded for their predictions, especially those picks that turned out to be upsets.

Those interested in Simple Bracket will need a Twitter account to access the app, as it’s mainly designed to be used with other people who want to compete against you.

Thuuz

Then there’s Thuuz, the app that lets users know when the hottest and most popular games are being played. The company says it uses a combination of algorithmic analysis and media chatter to determine which games you should really be watching.

Thuuz will certainly be useful during the March Madness schedule, since it’s difficult to learn which games are on, and to know when tip-off times actually start.

But having constant alerts about when to turn on your TV, or having a friendly reminder about when you should access your mobile device for a game, can really come in handy for some.

The app uses a color and number system to tell users which games are the most exciting to watch.

A score of 85 to 100 indicates a great game, 65 to 84 a good game, 40 to 64 an okay game and so on, which can be useful when so many games look the same and it’s hard to determine which ones to watch.

March Madness will be gone before you’re able to say the word “buzzer beater,” so if you want to create a bracket and stay on top of all the tournament going-ons, you may want to go the smartphone-application route, as opposed to filling out a bracket by hand or using an app that requires a lot statistical research on your part. March Madness is supposed to be fun, not resemble a difficult math assignment, right?

Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.