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Saturday, March 29, 2014

NCAA "March Madness App" allows Spartan and Wolverine Basketball Fans a chance to relive the glory and cram for finals!

Lets's review. The NCAA basketball tournament began two weeks ago with high expectations for both Michigan State and Michigan.  Tomorrow a  victory for either school will earn them a regional championship trophy and send  them to the Final Four for a possible National Championship. If both schools were  to win a game in the final four Michigan State and Michigan would play each other for that championship. While, the possibility of such a meeting is remote it is  a lot less remote than it was when the tournament began. 

On Sunday at 2:02 on CBS Channel 62Michigan State plays the University of Connecticut to decide the East Regional Champion. The Game will be played in New York's Madison Garden and the winner will advance to the Final Four to play the South Regional Champion which is The University of Florida. Loser is eliminated.

On Sunday at 5:05 on CBS Channel 62, The University of Michigan will play the University of Kentucky  to determine the Midwest Regional Champion. The Game will be played in Indianapolis at the Lucas Oil Stadium and the winner will  go to the Final Four to play the West  Regional Champion which is the University of Wisconsin. Loser is eliminated

In short if Michigan or Michigan State win  their next two games they will play each other in an all BIG Ten championship game. Such a pairing of Big Ten schools in the Championship game hasn't happened  since 1976 when Michigan lost to Indiana.

If any or all of this is new or news  to you, Catch Up is as close as your computer, tablet, or even some cellular phones. It is available about as free as free can be.

 At no charge the NCAA provides a March Madness  app (short for application)  which downloads easily to  a computer or tablet. We have tried it and used it with, a  MacBook Pro, an HP portable running Windows 7, a Kindle Fire HD, and a Kindle 7" HDX. The app called March Madness can be accessed by typing "March Madness" into the search engine of a computer or by "shopping" for the free app on a tablet. Regrettably we have no first hand experience with the app on a mobile phone but instructions that come with the app  may be helpful.

The  March Madness App performs differently depending on platform it is used on and it took us a while to figure out all the possibilities. That depends on one's  viewing and life style preferences. For example on an actual computer you may view or review any of the previous played Tournament games. The games are available in their entirety and you may watch them more than once. pause, and fast forward.

On  the Kindle tablets entire games do not replay. You may however review game  in the form of a  2 minute highlight video, or by a time line hopping highlight to highlight. 

Particularly useful on tablets and  computer versions is color bar analysis  of  each teams stats before the game and and similar post game color bar which shows lead changes  during the game. Such guides will tell you when to watch, and what to watch for, thus making you an instant expert.

You may ask  how  or  why  such a service is available free of charge and the answer is three fold and interesting.

The NCAA has been at the fore front of  streaming college sports for years.  This  winter  many of its NCAA  sports championships have been streamed (put on computer for you to view) free of charge. This is keeping with the organization's goal of providing the same championship experience and exposure for all it's athletes in all events.

In 2010 the NCAA, CBS (Columbia Broadcasting) and the Turner Cable TV (TNT, TBS and True Crime TV) signed an unprecedented  multi decade package  to carry  each and every game of (68 this year)  of the NCAA Basketball Tournament to fans at little or no cost. 

 The CBS games are broadcast over the air on regular television.

The Cable viewer whose cable subscription  includes the TNT, TBS, or True Crime TV channels can watch all the games live. 

Anyone with the free  March Madness App and the aid of a computer  and/or tablet  can enjoy the the tournament via the repeats and review functions  we have described above. 

The third component in making all such viewing possible the sponsors. Many have been supporting NCAA events for years. Note them and thank them whenever possible.

With March Madness on your computer or tablet Michigan State fans have until 2:02 tomorrow to review Spartan victories over Delaware, Harvard, and Virginia as well as boning up on opponent Connecticut's wins over  St. Joseph, Villanova, and Iowa State.

Likewise Michigan fans have until 5:05 tomorrow to review Michigan's triumphs over  Wolford, Texas, and Tennessee,  and opponent Kentucky's win over Kansas State, Wichita State, and Louisville.

It is expected that March Madness the app  will be available through the Final Four. Post game interviews with coaches and players are also streamed to computer or tablet viewers.

Can you think of any other sporting event that gives you such an unprecedented opportunity as the free of charge "March Madness?" app  We think not. 

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