Get NCAA March Madness Live!
NCAA March Madness Live
If your only way to keep up with the NCAA March Madness scores is by checking the numbers repeatedly on your sports news app, switch it up and just watch the games live with the NCAA March Madness Live app. With some imperfections, the streaming-video app is worth its price for the live coverage of the year's biggest basketball tournament.
The Recapp Rating
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As technology improves, it tends to allow us to do things we’d do anyway—only more and better. Case in point: taking a little "time off from work" to watch the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament...at work.
Streaming through your desktop web browser has been possible for the last several years with increasing quality. Last year, official NCAA March Madness tournament broadcaster CBS released an app for streaming coverage of games for the first time, exclusively for iOS. This year, the NCAA March Madness Live app comes to Android as well, which is exciting news for a whole new batch of basketball fans and degenerate office gamblers.
As cool as it is to be able to watch all of the games on your phone, NCAA March Madness Live still has a long way to go. For whatever reason, the Android version only works on the 2.2 and 2.3.2 versions of the operating system. Any phones running different (or even newer) versions will be unable to install the app. Bummer.
Assuming you can download it (it also works on iOS 4.3 and higher), the app is still a mixed bag. The interface is slick, and there are some cool features. For example, you can set standard team notifications and notifications for potential upsets (if a lower seed is beating a higher seed with under five minutes to play), for upsets that are final, for crunch-time games (close games with under five minutes to play) and for games that go into overtime. It’s a great way to keep track of the "madness" part everyone keeps talking about.
On the other hand, the app’s attempts at social integration are a bit overwrought at best and annoying at worst. They typically amount to cluttering the screen, and the live Twitter feeds featuring March Madness-related hashtags or team-name mentions seem to have limited functionality.
The app's scoreboard is big, clear and easy to navigate. Each team name also features a logo to help you keep track of who’s who, and each boxscore displays a broadcast logo in the corner to let you know the television broadcast channel at a glance. The app's game streaming is smooth (for the most part), and it’s easy to switch from game to game, but don’t bother unless you have 4G coverage or a Wi-Fi connection. You want to be able to see where the ball is, don't you?
Finished game box scores offer video highlights, but the feature feels unfinished. They are presented in no particular order with zero context, so it’s difficult to locate anything you might care to actually watch. There are also no videos of game recaps among the highlights, which seems to us like a no-brainer.
Ultimately, $3.99 is a great deal for access to every tournament game, especially when you consider that your account grants you access to the same content through your browser as well. Until the app improves its compatibility and streamlines its features, though, it will succeed merely for being the only game in town.
And oh, yeah: Go Green!
Reviewed: Mar 19, 2012 | Nick Hurwitch
This app is included in a scenario called 4 Must-Have Apps for March Madness