March Madness is officially underway. The field is set and the games are underway. For many sports fans, this is considered the best time of the year. There will be games happening at all hours of the day, buzzer beaters, massive upsets, and tons of excitement. We’ve got a list of essential apps that will help you get the most out of this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Track Your Bracket
Filling out a bracket and tracking your predictions is probably the best part of March Madness. Many people still swear by filling out a bracket the “old school” way with paper and Sharpie, but this is 2017, we have apps for that. We’ve got a couple apps that will help you fill out and track your bracket(s).
ESPN Tournament Challenge is a great app for keeping tabs on your office pool or just filling out a bracket for yourself. Simply create a group and invite your friends. ESPN will automatically keep track of the brackets and show you who’s winning. It’s also a great place to read news and updates from the tourney. [FREE]
Bracket Tracker is great if you’re just looking for a simple way to fill out and track your bracket. No groups or prizes. You can create multiple brackets, for both men and women, and keep track of wins and losses. It’s a nice alternative to keeping a folded up piece of paper in your pocket all day. [FREE]
Check Scores & News
Maybe filling out a bracket isn’t how you enjoy March Madness. We’ve got a few apps that will help you stay on top of all the happenings from this year’s tournament.
Thuuz is one app that every sports fan should have in their arsenal. It uses an algorithm to rate all live and upcoming games for level of enthusiasm. It will also send alerts when a live game is particularly exciting. They used their algorithm to determine that the championship game between Villanova and UNC was the most exciting tournament game from the last few years. Thuuz is indispensable during March Madness. [FREE]
When watching a NCAA sporting event you can’t for wrong with the official NCAA Sports app. With this app, you can get live scores and updates, breaking news, custom alerts for your favorite teams, and a special hub for your favorite team. When you want NCAA go to the NCAA. [FREE]
The ESPN App gives you up-to-the-minute scores and news with loads of video highlights from the “worldwide leader in sports.” You know ESPN is going to cover every single inch of March Madness goodness. Check out the “NOW” views for real-time updates while the tournament action is hot and heavy. [ESPN]
If you’re not a fan of the “Mothership,” a.k.a ESPN, you can use my personal favorite sports app: theScore. With theScore, you get news and scores without all the extra fluff. You can also set up favorite teams and sports to get custom alerts. It’s simple, fast, customizable, and easy to use. [FREE]
One of the main TV networks to broadcast NCAA Tournament games is CBS, so you know they have a good app for coverage. Follow live action with GameTrackers, scoreboards, stats, and more. Plus you can set up scoring, team news, and breaking news alerts to keep you on top of all the action. [FREE]
Watch Live Games
Tracking scores and brackets is great, but the most important part of March Madness is actually watching basketball games. As many as you can without your boss noticing. In the last year or so we’ve seen a bunch of new streaming TV services pop up. There’s never been a better time to watch March Madness on your Android phone or TV.
Far and away the best app for watching live tournament games is the official March Madness app. Log in with your TV provider to enjoy unlimited access to live streaming video of all the games in the tournament, across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. If you don’t have cable a temporary preview period is available for live game streaming before login is required. [FREE]
If you don’t have cable, but still want to watch as many games as you can, consider trying Sling TV. You can get 7 days for free and then it’s $25 for the Blue package. SImply cancel your subscription after March Madness is over. With the Blue package, you’ll get TBS, TNT, and truTV, which leaves just CBS (free OTA). The service is not free, but it’s not a bad price for one month of basketball. [FREE]
PlayStation Vue is very similar to Sling TV. Vue also has a free 7 day trial that you can try out. The Access Slim package is $30 and includes TBS, TNT, and truTV. In some regions, Vue includes access to your local CBS station. Again, you can get CBS with a cheap T antenna if you need it. $30 for one month of basketball is pretty good. [FREE]