March Madness

In March, whether you watch the Men’s or Women’s NCAA Tournaments at home, in the stadium, or at a sports bar, everyone will be talking about one player: technology and March Madness predictions. Before, in March Madness, just points, rebounds, and assists were included in box scores. Not even the true shooting percentages and player efficiency ratings were considered. Even defensive statistics, such as steals and blocks, were not initially recorded.

Ten years ago, it would have been impossible for spectators, businesses, and sportsmen to experience large-scale events in the ways that they can now. You may already be familiar with some of this technology as a viewer. However, you may need to realize that it is not exclusive to March Madness.

Today’s NCAA basketball teams have access to a vast amount of data. Whether you’re on the court or at home cheering for a 12-over-5 shock, smart new technologies and ways to keep track of the games have made March Madness even more interesting. This article examines how technology is influencing the evolution of this popular athletic event.

Predictive Modeling, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence

People are interested in Big Data and March Madness and are attempting to create the best bracket using artificial intelligence to make March Madness picks amazing. Machine learning and predictive modeling have facilitated the examination of NCAA historical data. Therefore, AI has substantially altered the sport by enabling athletes to identify their opponents’ and their own playbooks’ weaknesses.

AI might alter more than just the NCAA tournament. It could affect auto insurance premiums, enhance clinical recordkeeping, and improve patient care. Computer-Assisted Physician Documentation, for instance, is used to review patient charts and add more information to doctors’ notes in real time, thereby reducing errors. 

Using statistical data, some sports and performance venues determine ticket pricing depending on the demand for the rival team or performer. This allows them to maximize their profits.

The Gear

The uniform of a basketball team may appear insignificant, but new technology has rendered these jerseys not only pricey but also nearly sweat-proof. Adidas and eleven NCAA teams collaborated to create March Madness-specific perforated designs. The suit’s ClimaCool technology aids in keeping the players and court dry. Nike has been worn by 52 of the 68 participating teams. It also features technology that prevents sweat from penetrating.

Even though the NBA has utilized ClimaCool in the past, there is now a precedent for college basketball teams to utilize the same technology as the pros. It’s fantastic to see that college sports are receiving the same respect and technology as professional sports, whether through uniforms or a high-tech system for tracking athletes in the air like SportVU.

Timely Whistles

When the referee sounded his whistle, a scoreboard operator on the sidelines stopped the clock. No, no longer. The clock stops when the referee blows his whistle because each court official has a timer. Precision Timing is a mechanism that stops the game clock when official whistles are blown. The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball championships do not use it.

It is played in nearly every NCAA Division I regular season and conference championship game. Not during the Big Night Out, however. For those unaware, officials use a belt pack. When a referee blows his whistle, a sensitive input device detects the sound and transmits a wireless message to the game clock’s central CPU. Utilize the whistle to stop the clock. So elementary, but it is feasible as simply as that.

Nike’s Kicks

Nike’s new sneakers have a Nike+ Pressure Sensor that monitors the wearer’s movements and wirelessly transmits the data to the wearer’s phone. It is then converted into additional metrics that reveal previously unknown aspects of their workout or game. 

Nike+ Basketball’s Track My Game feature measures how high, hard, and quick players play. The Showcase feature allows users to record a dunk and add live data, which they may share with their friends on social media.

The Fan Experience

Fans continue to be one of the most significant aspects of March Madness. Those who wish to watch their favorite teams from home and explore March Madness expert picks can utilize multi-game streaming and other new technological developments. 

The NCAA has introduced a virtual shot clock and a “hype wall” featuring tournament catchphrases to its website and the official app so that users may watch live games. One of the new features this year is an interactive starting lineup challenge inspired by the stock market.

Last year, both CBS and Turner Sports experimented with innovative broadcasting techniques. They activated the robotic RailCam and SkyCam systems, which displayed the action from various perspectives and even reproduced crowd noise at important periods.