Apps: Keeping up with NCAA March Madness

A customer tries out the new Apple iPhone

A customer tries out the new Apple iPhone 5 at the Manhattan Fifth Avenue flagship store on the first morning it went on sale. (Sept. 21, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

NCAA March Madness officially tips off on Tuesday, so pretty soon the college sports world will be rocked by upsets and Cinderella stories galore. While downloading appropriate mobile apps can't guarantee wins for your favorite college teams, they sure can rev you up for the punishing defense, soaring three-pointers and high-flying jams.

ESPN Bracket Bound 2013

(iOS, Android, free)

ESPN offers some of the top mobile apps for following March Madness. Besides the expected highlight videos, breaking news and professional coverage, you can fill out your annual bracket and enter the ESPN Tournament Challenge. After you make your picks, you can follow along in real time. Stay informed about your alma mater's hardcourt efforts in the My Team section, or visit Bracketology for projections.

NCAA March Madness Live

(iOS, Android, free)

With coverage and video highlights of all 67 games provided by Turner Sports and CBS Sports, every college basketball fan needs to download March Madness Live. You can participate in the app's Bracket Challenge or chat it up with other fans in the March Madness Social Arena. Typically, the app comes equipped with subscription deals, so be on the lookout! The app will be released this week.

PlayUp -- Where Sports

Get Social

(iOS, Android, free)

PlayUp is a fantastic service for sports fanatics who want to stay social. This community-based app lets fans connect and comment, responding to big game moments as they occur. Once you join PlayUp, it's simple to invite friends from Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to game-centric hangouts. And if you decide during a hangout that you want to meet up with your fellow fans, PlayUp comes with a Pub Locator.

Team Stream

(iOs, Android, free)

Team Stream lets you follow any sports and teams that you fancy, providing NCAA game previews that show team leaders in points, rebounds and assists. Even better are the visual displays for comparing teams' season averages, game-relevant trivia based on current stats, player grades and a Fan Satisfaction Graph.

Sporting News

NCAA Basketball

(iOS, Android, free)

If you're looking for an app with 100 percent dedication to college hoops, look no further than Sporting News NCAA Basketball. The simple, yet elegant design puts scores and news at the forefront. You can access every team's schedule, roster, news and related tweets. The Sporting News writing staff keeps content current during March Madness.

-- Appolicious.com,

Tribune Media Services

Tech bytes

Watch list

Netflix is rolling out Netflix Social, a feature where subscribers see what their Facebook friends are watching. The "Friends' Favorites" listing appears on the Netflix home page. The listing can be narrowed to display a specific friend's favorites. Friends can decide which titles are displayed, so if you don't want everyone to know you've just watched "Gigli," click the "Don't Share This" button.-- Peter King

Last Call leaves eBay

Luxury department store operator Neiman Marcus has shuttered its Last Call eBay store. The move is a setback for eBay, which has been trying to lure large retailers to its online marketplace. Neiman was one of a slew of large retailers that eBay attracted to its online marketplace, an important part of the e-commerce company's effort to compete with Amazon. --Reuters

Hands-free but distracted

Talking on a hands-free headset while driving will keep you from getting a ticket, but it may not keep you from getting in an accident. Canadian researchers, using neuroimaging measurements on subjects in a driving simulation, found reduced vision and alertness among those who were conversing on a hands-free headset while trying to drive. Most dangerous scenario: talking while trying to make a left turn.-- Peter King

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