If you want to follow the NCAA men's basketball tournament games on TV, you have but one place to go: CBS has exclusive rights to all 63 games. However, if like the Indiana Hoosiers you are a devotee of multiple screens, bookmark these sites during March Madness.
The official site of the NCAA is Title IX-compliant, splitting the text down the center of its home page with equal space for the men and women. A "Tickets Still Available!!" link provides information on where to purchase seats at first- and second-round sites.
"If basketball is your religion," the home page proselytizes, "this is your church." Amen. This hip-hop hoops site, which covers all levels of roundball, has street cred. We like the daily "Smack" link, which riffs on the previous day's action, but are discomfited by the sight of the disembodied head of CBS/ ESPN analyst Bill Raftery, who has a link providing audio reports.
Another ESPN analyst, former Maryland and NBA center Len Elmore, is the founder and star of his very own site. Elmore provides his personal weekly polls of top teams and displays his Harvard juris doctorate in "Pressing Issues," a link featuring his editorials.
The network's Web page provides real-time play-by-play for each game, plus shot charts and chat rooms for alums who want to commiserate about why their alma mater is trailing by nine at halftime.
The Sporting News provides an archive of tournament capsules dating from the inaugural 1939 event, won by Oregon's "Tall Firs," to the '99 Final Four. A plus: They're well-written and comprehensive. A minus: There aren't enough illustrations.
?www.itsmadness.com and www.espn.go.com
Here are the two boldest Internet tournament pools. Itsmadness boasts a guaranteed first prize of a Pontiac Sunfire and, should anyone fill out a perfect tournament draw, $10 million. ESPN's grand prize (in a pool that last year attracted 400,000 entrants) is an all-expenses-paid weekend at next year's Final Four in Minneapolis. Your odds of correctly picking the winner in each of the 63 games are 1 in 9.25 quintillion (that's 9.25 followed by 16 zeros).
Yes, David Barrett, who wrote CBS's tournament theme song in 1986, has his own site. Download the lyrics or purchase a One Shining Moment baseball cap ($14-99). Read Barrett's own Cinderella story, in which a friend, then a writer-reporter at SI, played the tune for CBS executives. That writer-reporter—Armen Keteyian—is now a CBS Final Four sideline reporter.