NCAA March Madness On Demand Returning for 2011; Now Free and Available for iPad

Posted by Carter Dotson on March 7th, 2011

Spring shall soon be upon us, and our nightmares about freezing temperatures, Snowtorious B.I.G., and absurdly thick winterwear will soon become faded memories. But the true greatness of spring's arrival is March Madness. Not to be confused with what Charlie Sheen is currently suffering from, this refers to the annual NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament - yes, college football fans, a tournament where the best teams play each other to determine the champion. Such a thing actually exists. Especially for the first 4 days, it is possible to have up to 4 games going on at one time, which has been quite difficult to keep track of in past years, and if your team or a more interesting game is airing than the one that was on TV, keeping track of it was difficult. Thankfully, there has been the March Madness On Demand app to help you watch the game of your choice on your iPhone or iPod touch. This year, the app is returning to help you watch the tournament games of your choice.

While all the games will be available via basic cable this year, the March Madness Demand on App will still be useful for those that aren't at a TV at the time, or want to watch multiple games at a time. The service, available not only as an iPhone and iPod touch app, but also available online and now with an iPad-native app, will stream all the games of the tournament, including the new play-in games with the expansion of the tournament field from 65 to 68, and even the Final Four and championship game will be available via the app, which is usable over both wifi and 3G. You'll be able to do more than just watch games - you can also keep track of scores for every game, access social networking features, and even locate where games are airing on your TV provider with localized TV listings, so you can easily turn to the channel that has the game you want to watch on TV.

The best part is that while the apps for iPhone and iPod touch have cost $4.99 to download in previous years, this year the service will be free across the board, with the apps free to download starting March 10th, although the tournament field won't be revealed until Selection Sunday, March 13th, as conference tournaments end. Live games will start on March 15th and 16th with the "First Four" games that will feature matchups of four automatically qualifying teams facing off for #16 seeds into the tournament, and the last four teams picked to get in as at-large teams facing off for yet-to-be-determined seeds that will be determined on Selection Sunday.