This is one of the few times I desperately miss my iPhone... Today kicks off March Madness. Back where I come from, this is a borderline national holiday. I remember if UK was playing during the school day in high school, several teachers would have the game on TV during class and the lunchroom played the radio stream overhead on the speakers. In middle school, I used to take portable radios and run the headphone cord through a hole in my pocket all the way up a long-sleeved shirt and keep one earbud in the palm of my hand. That way I could lean my head on my hand during class and listen to the game while the teacher instructed.
Sorry mom, it happened (if you're reading this). The possibilities would've been endless if I had access to the tools I have today.
Last year I had an iPhone app through CBS that streamed all the live games - ALL of them - straight to my phone. Being in Chicago, Kentucky games were a low priority so the live stream was a crucial element to my life for a couple of weeks. Now that I have an Android, I no longer have that option, since the app is still only iOS compatible. Android has an official app that gives live score updates...just not live games. iPhone - 1, Droid - 0.
I really will be turning to Twitter for most of this. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that several of the more interesting games will be trending topics. In addition, March Madness has an official Twitter handle in @marchmadness with links to lots of exclusive footage, interviews and I assume score updates throughout the remainder of the month. There's also college basketball announcer legend @DickieV active on Twitter throwing out his own commentary to keep things somewhat interesting.
Outside of the occasional team trash talking, CBS Sports has an official Facebook March Madness app that lets people trash talk on message boards, hold unlimited bracket contests and compare your bracket with other people. The official bracket challenge on CBSSports.com also links up your picks from Facebook to any contests you may be in on their home website. It makes using one bracket in multiple channels pretty easy. For example, I'm in a bracket contest with WKU Track guys on Facebook but in a competition with my fiancee on the CBSSports page using the bracket I imported from Facebook. Pretty easy. That and I'm a believer in one bracket for everything (makes my victories feel more legit).
That just scratches the surface on how March Madness is becoming digitized. What other apps or networks should I check out to keep up with everything? Which team do you have going all the way?
- Twitter-based Brackets (blogs.forbes.com)
- NCAA Bracket 2011: What You Need to Know to Fill out Your March Madness Bracket (bleacherreport.com)
- The March Madness Diaper Dandy: Mobile (ogilvypr.com)