First there are the games on the court, and then...

First there are the games on the court, and then there are the March Madness games around the games on the court. Here are some apps to sort it all out. (Feb. 29, 2012) Credit: AP

For sports fans of many stripes, the NCAA Tournament provides must-see sports entertainment. Whether you are looking for ways to take in all of the action wherever you travel, need some help putting together your pool bracket, or want your boss to think you are working when you slip out to watch some daytime games, we have some app recommendations for you.

March Madness Live
(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android; free)
If you only download one mobile app during this year's tournament, this official title developed by Turner Sports should be the one. March Madness Live provides scores, news updates, bracket creators and an assortment of alerts: potential upsets, close games with less than five minutes remaining and games that go into overtime. There is also live chat and the ability to post bracket info to Facebook and Twitter. For $3.99, the app will also live stream all 67 games that take place during the tournament. And you only have to subscribe once to view games on any mobile device you own.

PocketBracket: Men's Basketball
(iPhone, iPod Touch, Android; $0.99)
Bracketology is pretty much a proven science. It takes skill and know-how to pick a March Madness bracket -- or a blindfold and a few beers! PocketBracket: Men's College Basketball lets you get your bracket game on as often as you want with an unlimited number of brackets. If you can sucker your friends into playing along, you can create private pools to see who is the best at randomly picking college basketball games. And the app also offers game scores updated throughout each day's games.

Office Pool Picker 2012
(iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad; $0.99)
Not everyone can be an NCAA genius. For those who prefer to pick teams by any means necessary, Office Pool Picker 2012 offers an interesting option -- picking games using weird personal preferences. For instance, do you prefer birds or bees? Captain America or The Hulk? Each question that you answer fills up your bracket so you don't have to think about actual basketball for a second. It's a fun, lighthearted app.

March Madness Mania
(iPhone, iPod Touch; $0.99)
This app has instant analysis from NCAA legends like Dick Vitale, Fran Fraschilla, Andy Katz and others. Users can also read tweets from coaches and read the latest news as it happens. March Madness Mania also contains a selection of video replays and highlights.

(iPhone, iPod Touch, Android; free)
Finally, for those of you hoping to slip out of work during the first round of the tournament and in need of an alibi for your boss, Bump is a great way to multitask and capture business contacts while you're at the sports bar. For the uninitiated, the revolutionary app exchanges contact information simply by "bumping" another person's device. It's great for courting sales prospects during the commercial breaks. This way, you can return to the office with at least the illusion of accomplishment.

Reports from and Tribune Media Services were used in this story.


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