REDMOND, Wash. — March 3, 2016 — On Thursday, Microsoft Corp. and the NCAA announced a comprehensive partnership to provide college basketball fans with the ultimate March Madness bracket experience along with a new Windows 10 NCAA app.
In partnership with the NCAA, Bing, which returns as an Official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will be the Official Bracketologist of the NCAA for the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and will leverage over a decade of extensive NCAA statistical data to help inform an immersive bracket experience complete with Bing Predicts data and matchup analysis. The bracket will be made available online after Selection Sunday™, on Bing.com and NCAA.com.
Bing named Official Bracketologist of NCAA
As the Official Bracket Data Partner of the NCAA, Bing is bringing its Bing Predicts technology to the NCAA Division I Championship to give college basketball fans a leg up on their brackets. Whether you are an avid fan who follows all 68 teams in the tournament, or a loyalist who has one favorite, the Bing bracket will offer intelligent features that bring unique insights on the over 9 quintillion possible outcomes.
“Partnering with the NCAA as the Official Bracketologist of the NCAA is a perfect match for Bing,” said Derrick Connell, corporate vice president, Bing at Microsoft. “Pairing our Bing Predicts rich machine learning with sports analyst data that only the NCAA can provide is enabling a whole new bracket experience for all types of college basketball fans.”
“The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship is an exciting time for fans to watch their favorite teams while they have fun selecting who will advance to the Men’s Final Four® and ultimately win the championship title,” said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president for championships and alliances. “We’re excited that Bing returns to the NCAA corporate family and brings its intelligence to our official NCAA bracket, which gives college basketball fans a robust bracket experience online today. Completing a bracket for the fun of the games is how we want fans to engage and support all of the teams.”
Bing Predicts combines search data and social sentiment with access to over a decade of the NCAA’s historical data as well as stats on team history, tournament performances, win-loss ratios, and home versus away stats to create tournament data for fans. This is the second year that Bing Predicts has been used during March Madness, coming in at the top 30 percent of all brackets last year. Bing Predicts has a proven track record for accurately predicting many winners in many important events including the 2014 World Cup and mid-term elections, award shows, reality shows, and more.
“Fan interaction with our official NCAA Tournament bracket games at CBSSports.com, NCAA.com and Bleacher Report grows deeper and more sophisticated every year,” said Chris Simko, senior vice president, sports sales and marketing, CBS. “As an NCAA Corporate Partner, Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, continues to provide invaluable research and data analytics tools to enhance this experience for our users.”
“March Madness is an incredibly exciting time of year with fans nationwide passionate about making the smartest possible bracket decisions,” said Will Funk, senior vice president of Sponsorship Integration and Business Development for Turner Sports Ad Sales. “This year, Bing Predicts will bring the power of data to fans’ fingertips for better informed bracket decisions.”
Watch the NCAA Tournament live with Windows 10
For fans who want to live stream the games and follow along with all the March Madness action throughout the tournament, the NCAA is also launching an all-new universal Windows 10 app, which will be made available before the tournament. The app, which will be supported on Windows 10 phones, tablets and PCs, allows fans to take the excitement of the tournament with them whenever and wherever they are. The app will include exclusive Windows 10 features including Live Tiles, allowing fans to pin their favorite teams to their Start menu, as well as live alerts, including upsets, overtimes, close games and live video streaming of all 67 tournament games.
About the NCAA
The NCAA is a diverse association of more than 1,100 member colleges and universities that prioritize academics, well-being and fairness to create greater opportunities for nearly a half a million student-athletes each year. The NCAA provides a pathway to higher education and beyond for student-athletes pursuing academic goals and competing in NCAA sports. More than 54,000 student-athletes experience the pinnacle of intercollegiate athletics by competing in NCAA championships each year. Visit www.ncaa.org and www.ncaa.com for more details about the Association and the corporate partnerships that support the NCAA and its student-athletes.
About Turner Sports
Turner Sports, a division of Turner, is an industry leader in the delivery of premium sports content across all multimedia screens. Turner Sports’ television coverage includes the NBA, Major League Baseball, NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, ELEAGUE, boxing and professional golf. The company also manages some of the most popular sports destinations across broadband and mobile platforms including Bleacher Report and its top-rated Team Stream app, NCAA.com and the critically-acclaimed NCAA March Madness Live suite of products, PGA.com and the Sports Emmy Award-winning PGA Championship LIVE, as well as an accompanying collection of mobile sites and connected device apps. Turner Sports and the NBA also jointly manage NBA Digital, a robust collection of offerings including NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA Mobile, the NBA Game Time App, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.
About CBS Sports
CBS Sports, a year-round leader in television sports, broadcasts a portfolio of events on the CBS Television Network, including THE NFL ON CBS; “Thursday Night Football;” college basketball, including the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship; golf, including The Masters®, PGA Championship and PGA TOUR; college football, including the SEC ON CBS; and CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR. In addition, the division includes CBS SPORTS NETWORK, the 24-hour home of CBS Sports; produces INSIDE THE NFL for SHOWTIME; and partners with CBS SPORTS RADIO and CBSSports.com in creating recognized leaders in sports radio and digital.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.