March Madness iPhone Applications: Four Free Apps

Apple iPhone application developers haven't overlooked March Madness and the potential it holds for establishing and furthering brand recognition. Among the Apple App Store's many college basketball applications are several devoted to the national championship of "America's game." Here are the top-four free versions of those apps, each having it's own premium version.

The applications are listed in order as they recently appeared under the "Top Free" tab of the Sports section in Apple's App Store.

CBS Sports Mobile NCAA March Madness on Demand (CBS Interactive)

At present, the CBS app opens to a to-the-minute Selection Sunday countdown display and a screen containing conference tournament results and upcoming games. Once the NCAA tournament is set, it's certain that the games displayed will show the match-ups in each of the four regions.

Aside from it's colorful, simple (read pleasing) interface, and the ability for users to pick their March Madness brackets, the best feature of the CBS offering is the tournament/game highlights and videos.

 That feature will keep people who are on the go, in the know. Once they return home to friends, they'll no longer have to play catch-up, or pretend they saw the greatest play ever.

Breaking news stories and a direct link to Twitter compliment a great app. Whatever the paid version offers, it must be spectacular to top the free version.

Final Madness (Reflect 7)

A fan who is looking for minimalism has found their heaven with Final Madness. At the moment, since the field or this year's national championship tournament hasn't been set, the application opens to last year's tournament bracket. That can be a good thing, because just looking at the brackets all the way to the national championship game brings back memories.

Once selections are made for the NCAA tournament field, users will likely see match-ups and results as the tournament progressess. Clicking on a particular game will reveal a game wrap-up, summary, statistics and other features.

Final Madness has a solid interface, works well, and will be good for fans who just want the facts.

College Hoops & Bracket Challenge (Citizen Sports, Inc.)

This tournament bracket app opens to a page of clickable icons. Choose from Scores, which now takes users to conference tournaments and results, Standings (top-25), News, Teams, Alerts (user defined), Brackets and application info.

Clicking on the Scores icon and choosing the desired game will allow fans to see game details and an in-game timeline of highlights. For upcoming games, Bracket Challenge provides the point spread and over-under (for those who like to wager, legally) and a "Pick the Winner" feature. Fans can also take part in the Chat section. Oh, yes, fillable brackets are also an option.

Overall, the people at Citizen Sports have created a cool and creative app. Nice.

iMarch Madness (JBMJBM, LLC.)

iMarch Madness has the requisite college hoops news and national rankings from CBSSports.com/RPI, AP Top-25, Coaches Poll, and Parrish's Top-25 (and one). This app does not offer user-fillable brackets, like others.

 What it does have is a unique in-app topical blog. In addition to live-game blogging, users can discuss Top-25 teams, coaches, player updates, recruiting, news and more.

iMarch is a great application, but don't expect to use it to keep up with your own brackets, unless the feature is added following selection of the field.

From the minimalist nature of Final Madness, to the highly funded CBSSports app, the college basketball national championship is well-covered by free iPhone applications.

Donald S. Cochran
 

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