Did you know the term “March Madness” refers to “the main part of the breeding season of the European hare?” Or that the term describes the end of Canada’s fiscal year, when government agencies rush to spend their remaining funds?
Oh, the things you learn on Wikipedia.
Of course, here in the United States, March Madness is about basketball tournaments. From now until early April, it’s all about the hoops — and the apps that help you get your March Madness fix.
The official app, NCAA March Madness Live, is free for Android and iOS, and it lets you stream all 67 games live. However, similar to the official NBC Sochi Olympics app, you must be a pay-TV subscriber to access the app’s streaming video.
Here are three more free March Madness apps worth a look:
ESPN has a great track record of apps for sports fans, and this one is no exception. The Tournament Challenge app turns the March Madness 2014 games into a virtual game itself. You can start a bracket group and compete against friends, with a chance to win $10,000. If you join a celebrity bracket, you can even compete against professional athletes, politicians (yes, politicians!) and other famous folk. The app has a nice layout, and according to user reviews, it’s much easier to navigate than last year’s edition.
The CBS Sports apps also offer a chance to compete against pals during March Madness. The Bracket Manager feature lets you create and control a college basketball group, invite buddies and customize the group’s rules. Also, like the ESPN app, you can compete to win — in this case, a trip to the 2015 NCAA Final Four playoffs. Unlike ESPN Tournament Challenge, though, the CBS Sports apps cover all major popular sports, including NASCAR, hockey and tennis. It’s ideal for checking scores, receiving notifications of scoring updates, listening to CBS Sports Radio, setting up a personalized news feed and more. These apps are must-haves for sports fanatics, whether they suffer from March Madness or not.
TheScore.com’s general sports apps do March Madness right. This popular app (one of Google Play’s best apps of 2013) provides a completely interactive bracket, updated with scores and alerts for every game. The Bracket View works in portrait and landscape modes, which is nice for tablets. The app offers loads of other features for sports fans, too, including Android widgets that push your desired sports scores to your lock screen. (The feature works with Jelly Bean 4.2 and up.)
There are other March Madness apps, of course, so you might find something else of interest cruising around the iTunes App Store or Google Play. As for apps about the European hare’s breeding season, though, I suspect you’re out of luck.
James A. Martin is a seasoned tech journalist and blogger based in San Francisco and winner of the 2014 ASBPE National Gold award for his CIO.com blog. He writes CIO.com's Living the Tech Life blog and is also a content marketing consultant.