March Madness: an obligatory roundup

Need a way to keep track of NCAA tournament stuff without downloading anything? Give these Web services a whirl.

March Madness finds a way into offices, schools, and between friends faster than most of us can imagine. Nearly everybody knows someone who is either running or a part of a betting pool. Download.com has put together a handy set of March Madness software tools to help you create your own pool or keep track of all the data that will be flowing in during the coming weeks. But what about Web services that can do the same thing? We've put together a roundup of some of the handiest services to keep track of all the money you've lost all things basketball.

Note: Webware does not encourage illegal betting. This guide is purely for entertainment purposes.

Facebook. Last year, Facebook put together a really easy way to create and track your bracket with friends in private pools. This year, things are a whole lot better. While there's not a betting element in place, you can easily keep track of who's doing the best, using statistics and rankings. This year Facebook has added a reason to use the service with a $25,000 grand prize for people who predict the entire tournament correctly. There are also cash and Facebook apparel prizes for people who win in the first four rounds.

CBS Sportsline is laying it on thick this year. Not only does it have the Bracket Manager service, which lets you create and share your bracket in a private pool with forums and customized scoring, you also can watch the actual games (first three rounds only) on your computer with the March Madness On Demand viewer.

Pickspal is a really simple bracket site where you can compete for a variety of prizes, including a Mini Cooper. You also can invite friends and manage private pools like you can with Facebook and Sportsline. Its interface is incredibly simple, with clickable team names and a neat faux-hardwood court. [via TechCrunch]

Yahoo's Tournament Pick'em may be one of the oldest bracket services out there, with some pretty simple group management. What separates Yahoo's prize system from some of the others is that it rewards private group leaders and lets you compete in five different groups with a different bracket for each (you also can reuse the same one in all five). Did I mention there's a cash prize of $1 Million dollars?



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About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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