TIME College Basketball

This Map Shows Which Sweet 16 Teams Are Generating Buzz Around the Country

The most talked-about teams on Facebook
Facebook The most talked-about teams on Facebook.

Kentucky has coast-to-coast support

While you’ve been keeping close tabs on your office March Madness pool, Facebook has combed through more than 32 million posts, likes and comments about the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament to find out which Sweet Sixteen teams have captured the conversation (or your trash-talking) between March 15-23.

Much of the chatter is regional—it’s no surprise, for example, that Wichita State has every county in Kansas talking and typing—but Facebook’s color-coded visualization shows the extent of coast-to-coast support for Kentucky, which is currently favored to win.

Read More: Now That Your Bracket’s Busted, Here’s Who to Cheer for in the Sweet 16

TIME College Basketball

Now That Your Bracket’s Busted, Here’s Who to Cheer for in the Sweet 16

Pros and cons for each team

So your bracket’s already busted, and you don’t have any chance of winning your office pool. Maybe you’re going to take your chances betting on single games or maybe you just need to pick a new team to cheer for this week. Either way, TIME’s got you covered. Here are all the reasons to root for (or against) all 16 teams that made it to the regionals.

  • Kentucky (#1)

    NCAA Tournament: Cincinnati vs. Kentucky
    Lexington Herald-Leader—TNS via Getty Images Kentucky's Andrew Harrison (5) drives in for the basket and a foul as the Wildcats defeated Cincinnati, 64-51, in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 21, 2015, at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. (Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/TNS via Getty Images)

    Pros: Let’s face it, if you pick Kentucky to win, you’ll probably be right. The team is well on its way to going undefeated. Some talking heads are even suggesting that the roster could make the Eastern Conference playoffs in the NBA. If Kentucky succeeds, they will become the first team since Bobby Knight’s 1976 Indiana Hoosiers to have a perfect season.

    Cons: There’s a reason you root for Jack against the Giant. A perfect record is impressive, but it’s less fun than an upset. Plus rooting for John Calipari? That’s a tough proposition for most basketball fans.

    Kentucky (#1) plays West Virginia (#5) on Thursday at 9:45 p.m. EST.

  • West Virginia (#8)

    West Virginia v Maryland
    Jamie Sabau—Getty Images Jevon Carter #2 of the West Virginia Mountaineers controls the ball against the Maryland Terrapins during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 22, 2015 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

    Pros: West Virginia has had a big turnaround season after missing the tournament two years in a row. They’re scrappy: they play full court D for all 40 minutes, scramble in and out of traps and force turnovers. And don’t forget: they stole an Elite Eight game from a seemingly unbeatable Kentucky team in 2010.

    Cons: If WVU doesn’t get turnovers, they’re not scoring. If they’re not scoring, they’re just another stepping stone on Kentucky’s road to the championship.

    West Virginia (#5) plays Kentucky (#1) on Thursday at 9:45 p.m. EST.

  • Notre Dame (#3)

    Butler v Notre Dame
    Jared Wickerham—Getty Images Demetrius Jackson #11 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates a turnover against the Butler Bulldogs in the second half during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on March 21, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

    Pros: Going into the tournament, they were criticized as a team that didn’t hustle enough. But now they’ve proven that they can get scrappy. In their first two games they went only 8-for-26 beyond the arc and were forced to pull off tough wins (one in overtime). Before the tournament, they beat Duke, UNC and Louisville—all Sweet 16 teams. Maybe they’re capable of more than pundits thought.

    Cons: Wichita is anything but your average 7 seed, and most bettors have them beating Notre Dame. The luck of the Irish may run out this week.

    Notre Dame (#3) plays Wichita State (#7) on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. EST.

  • Wichita State (#7)

    Fred VanVleet of the Wichita State Shockers celebrates as the second half ends against the Kansas Jayhawks during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. on March 22, 2015.
    Jamie Squire–Getty Images Fred VanVleet of the Wichita State Shockers celebrates as the second half ends against the Kansas Jayhawks during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. on March 22, 2015.

    Pros: Beating Kansas was a sweet victory for Wichita State. The Shockers have tried to schedule a game against in-state rival the Jayhawks for years (the last time they played one another was 1993), but Kansas has always refused. And no wonder, considering Wichita’s 78-65 victory on Sunday. Full of confidence, Wichita State will likely roll past Notre Dame and on to the Wildcats. Kentucky ended the Shockers’ perfect season in 2014, and Wichita is probably ready to return the favor.

    Cons: The Shockeres are heavily dependent on their star Fred VanVleet. If he has a bad night, Wichita is in trouble. Plus, the team was extra-motivated to knock Kansas out of the tournament. They could lose steam.

    Wichita State (#7) plays Notre Dame (#3) on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. EST.

  • Wisconsin (#1)

    Frank Kaminsky of the Wisconsin Badgers shoots against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in the second half during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. on March 20, 2015.
    Ronald Martinez–Getty Images Frank Kaminsky of the Wisconsin Badgers shoots against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in the second half during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. on March 20, 2015.

    Pros: Wisconsin’s victory against Oregon proved that they don’t just rely on their star player. When Frank Kaminsky got shut down for parts of the game, Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes took over, pushing the Badgers to a victory. Wisconsin has one of (if not the most) efficient offense in the country and is an odds-on favorites to make it to the Final Four.

    Cons: The Badgers arguably have the toughest road of the remaining 1 seeds to the Final Four. UNC coach Roy Williams is a veteran who knows how to effectively stop all-stars like Kaminsky. And even if they do beat the Tar Heels, an under-seeded Arizona will be waiting for them.

    Wisconsin (#1) plays UNC (#4) on Thursday at 7:47 p.m. EST.

  • UNC (#4)

    during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on March 21, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida.
    Kevin C. Cox—2015 Getty Images Marcus Paige #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels puts up a shot as he is defended by Manuale Watkins #21 of the Arkansas Razorbacks in the second half during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on March 21, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida.

    Pros: UNC has the athleticism to be a great team, even if they haven’t played to their full potential yet. They’ve been playing better defense during the tournament, and against Arkansas, Marcus Paige finally played the way he should have been during the regular season. If UNC can beat Wisconsin, it will be on the glass—they rank fifth nationally for offensive rebounds.

    Cons: The Tarheels have been, to put it kindly, inconsistent in high-pressure games this year. They turn over the ball too much. It’s hard to imagine they can beat both Wisconsin and Arizona.

    UNC (#4) plays Wisconsin (#1) on Thursday at 7:47 p.m. EST.

  • Xavier (#6)

    Xavier v Georgia State
    Kevin C. Cox—Getty Images Myles Davis #15 of the Xavier Musketeers reacts to a three-point basket against the Georgia State Panthers in the second half during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on March 21, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

    Pros: Don’t underrate Xavier, the last Big East team in the tournament. Matt Stainbrook is a quality big man who could shake up the game against Arizona. And the team has been gaining steam throughout the end of their season.

    Cons: Xavier had an easy road to the Sweet 16. They’re not a very good shooting team, and if anybody can shut down Stainbrook, it’s a bigger squad like Arizona. Plus, Xavier ended Georgia State’s Cinderella run, and we’re all still a little bitter.

    Xavier (#6) plays Arizona (#2) on Thursday at 10:17 p.m. EST.

  • Arizona (#2)

    T.J. McConnell of the Arizona Wildcats and D'Angelo Russell of the Ohio State Buckeyes vie for a loose ball in the second half during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Moda Center in Portland, Ore. on March 21, 2015.
    Jonathan Ferrey–Getty Images T.J. McConnell of the Arizona Wildcats and D'Angelo Russell of the Ohio State Buckeyes vie for a loose ball in the second half during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Moda Center in Portland, Ore. on March 21, 2015.

    Pros: Arizona should have been a 1 seed, and they won’t let you forget it. They’re in the top 10 in the nation in both defensive and offensive efficiency (just like Kentucky), and wings Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will likely both be first-round NBA draft picks. Plus, their defense is excellent.

    Cons: Occasionally, Arizona can go long stretches without scoring and they don’t have the depth to save them during a drought.

    Arizona (#2) plays Xavier (#6) on Thursday at 10:17 p.m. EST.

  • North Carolina State (#8)

    NC State v Villanova
    Justin K. Aller—Getty Images Anthony Barber #12 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack drives to the basket against Daniel Ochefu #23 of the Villanova Wildcats during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on March 21, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    Pros: If you want to root for a giantkiller, the Wolfpack is your team. They pulled off the biggest upset of this tournament by knocking out No. 1 Villanova and took down fellow Sweet 16 teams UNC and Duke earlier this year. Trevor Lacey and Anthony Barber had a combined 30 points against Nova. It’s hard not to root for the duo to pull that off again.

    Cons: Even though the N.C. State has Vegas worried about potential future upsets, the 8 seed is in danger of becoming overly confident. (See: Cat Barber’s “What the f— is wrong with Barack Obama?” comment.) Even if they beat Louisville, they’ll eventually meet Duke or Gonzaga, and those teams are going to be harder to take down than Villanova.

    N.C. State (#8) plays Louisville (#4) on Friday at 7:37 p.m. EST.

  • Louisville (#4)

    Northern Iowa v Louisville
    Otto Greule Jr—Getty Images Terry Rozier #0 of the Louisville Cardinals shoots the ball in the first half of the game against the Northern Iowa Panthers during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KeyArena on March 22, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.

    Pros: Louisville prepared for the tournament with a tough ACC slate (five of the sweet 16 teams are from the ACC). This is the fourth year in a row that the Cardinals have made it to the Sweet 16, and though this isn’t their best team in recent memory, they’ve refused to give up. Their tough defense will be a challenge for N.C. State.

    Cons: Coach Rick Pitino has been brutally honest about the team’s flaws, admitting that conflicting personalities have made them hard to coach. Their starting point guard Chris Jones was dismissed from the team late in the season, and they’ve had a hard time recovering since—including struggling against UC Irvine in the opening game of the tournament. Louisville was bested by N.C. State (74-65) in February, so despite its higher seeding Louisville is probably the underdog headed into this game.

    Louisville (#4) plays N.C. State (#8) on Friday at 7:37 p.m. EST.

  • Oklahoma (#3)

    Jamie Sabau—2015 Getty Images Buddy Hield #24 of the Oklahoma Sooners controls the ball against the Dayton Flyers during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 22, 2015 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

    Pros: If Big 12 player of the year Buddy Hield produces this week, Oklahoma could take the East Region, which blew wide open with No. 1 Villanova and No.2 UVA both fell. Oklahoma is the top seed left and therefore, in theory, the best bet.

    Cons: Michigan State’s physical defense could mean big trouble for the Sooners. MSU Coach Tom Izzo’s favorite month is March, so this will likely be a very tight game.

    Oklahoma (#3) plays MSU (#7) on Friday at 10:07 p.m. EST.

  • Michigan State (#7)

    during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 22, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
    Bob Leverone—2015 Getty Images Travis Trice #20 of the Michigan State Spartans drives to the basket against the Virginia Cavaliers during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 22, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Pros: Remember last year when 7 seed UConn won the national championship? It looks like Michigan State just might follow in their footsteps. Coach Tom Izzo’s teams historically play their best in March, and this Spartans squad is no exception. They almost defeated Wisconsin in the Big Ten Conference Championship and upset 2 seed Virginia last week. Plus, they’ve got the support of alumnus Magic Johnson. What’s more inspirational than that?

    Cons: Even though the Spartans are now favored to reach the Final Four, their path isn’t completely clear. N.C. State, Louisville and Oklahoma are all gunning for the same spot and will put up a tough fight.

    MSU (#7) plays Oklahoma (#3) on Friday at 10:07 p.m. EST.

  • Duke (#1)

    Duke vs. San Diego State
    Raleigh News & Observer—TNS via Getty Images Duke center Jahlil Okafor (15) blocks a second half shot by San Diego State forward Winston Shepard (13) on Sunday, March 22, 2015, at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.

    Pros: I know, I know. Duke is the (blue) devil incarnate. You hate Coach K. You hate the Cameron Crazies. You hate that the I Hate Christian Laettner 30 for 30 documentary somehow made Laettner likable and got him in commercials with Dr. J. But even though Christian Laettner did this, remember when he also did this—the most memorable buzzer beater in all college basketball history? Duke (and Laettner) ruined UNLV’s perfect season. Could they do the same for Kentucky? With a likely #1 NBA draft pick in the dominant Jahlil Okafor, they just might.

    Cons: Okafor has had trouble hitting free throws all season. If Duke fails to maker threes (as it did when Notre Dame upset it in the ACC Tournament), the Blue Devils could lose a close game at the free throw line.

    Duke (#1) plays Utah (#5) on Friday at 9:45 p.m. EST.

  • Utah (#5)

    Brandon Taylor of the Utah Utes reacts in the second half against the Georgetown Hoyas during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Moda Center in Portland, Ore. March 21, 2015.
    Stephen Dunn–Getty Images Brandon Taylor of the Utah Utes reacts in the second half against the Georgetown Hoyas during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Moda Center in Portland, Ore. March 21, 2015.

    Pros: The Utes’ 7 foot center Jakob Poeltl is one of few players in the tournament who can measure up size-wise to Duke’s Jahlil Okafor. Utah plays good help defense and may be able to shut down the Blue Devil’s big man.

    Cons: Utah is in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005 and likely won’t be prepared to take down a 1 seed.

    Utah (#5) plays Duke (#1) on Friday at 9:45 p.m. EST.

  • UCLA (#11)

    Bryce Alford of the UCLA Bruins runs down the court against the UAB Blazers during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KFC YUM! Center in Louisville, Ky. on March 21, 2015.
    Joe Robbins–Getty Images Bryce Alford of the UCLA Bruins runs down the court against the UAB Blazers during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KFC YUM! Center in Louisville, Ky. on March 21, 2015.

    Pros: A vote for UCLA is a vote for the underdog. Widely dubbed the team that shouldn’t have even made the tournament, UCLA has been playing like they have something to prove. Now they’re the only double-digit seed left in the bracket. UCLA won their first two games sinking threes, and if they can continue that trend, they’ll prove that they came to dance.

    Cons: Then again, if those threes don’t fall, the Bruins are in big trouble. The big criticism of UCLA is that they play as individuals, not a team. If they don’t come together, their run it over.

    UCLA (#11) plays Gonzaga (#2) on Friday at 7:15 p.m. EST.

  • Gonzaga (#2)

    Iowa v Gonzaga
    Otto Greule Jr—Getty Images Kyle Wiltjer #33 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts after a three point shot in the first half of the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KeyArena on March 22, 2015 in Seattle, Washington

    Pros: This is arguably the best team that Coach Mark Few has put together—including the 2013 1 seed squad. The Zags’ impressive 52.6 field goal percentage means that they’re going to be hard to stop offensively, and their bench is deep. They won easily on Sunday against Iowa, and the elimination of Iowa State makes their path all the easier.

    Cons: Gonzaga has a history of choking in the tournament. They were knocked out early in 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2013, they were upset as a 3 seed by Wichita State. And of their last eight tournaments, they’re 0-8 against top-four seeds, so their prospects against 1 seed Duke down the road do not look good.

    Gonzaga (#2) plays UCLA (#11) on Friday at 7:15 p.m. EST.

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Wichita State Revels in Upset of In-State Rival Kansas

Devonte Graham, Shaquille Morris, Ron Baker
Charlie Neibergall—AP Kansas guard Devonte Graham (4) drives to the basket between Wichita State defenders Shaquille Morris (24) and Ron Baker (31) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball tournament Round of 32 game on March 22, 2015, in Omaha, Neb.

The kings of Kansas wore yellow and black on Sunday

OMAHA, Neb.—With about 13 minutes left at the Century Link Center, Frank Mason crumpled to the floor, wincing. The Kansas point guard had taken a shot to a very sensitive area from Wichita State’s burly Shaquille Morris. Mason writhed, his eyes shut, eventually bringing his body up only to settle into an agonized squat. And Morris just stood there, looming, stone-faced, with his hands on his hips. Waiting for the guy he had put down to get up for some more.

The kings of Kansas wore yellow and black on Sunday. It was a 78-65 win for Wichita State over Kansas in a meeting that took more than two decades to contrive, and it won’t be remembered for much longer than that. It meant a Sweet 16 appearance for Wichita State but obviously much more than that. It was the sort of night that puts celebrations on pause when the governor wants to visit the locker room, with a beaming Sam Brownback slipping on a yellow T-shirt and proclaiming the Shockers to be “my team,” moments after snapping cell phone pictures like a giddy booster.

“I’m just really, really, really speechless,” Wichita State guard Ron Baker said. “You pinch yourself to make sure it’s real.”

This was real, all right, maybe far too much for Kansas’ liking. This was the reckoning the Shockers sought. Their coach believed they were nervous early, “like a deer in headlights” Gregg Marshall said. After that they swung free and didn’t miss often. They played with the edge you would expect of kids disregarded by the leviathan in Lawrence, limiting the Jayhawks to 35% shooting, outrebounding and outworking the Big 12 champions every trip. They couldn’t be ignored even if Kansas tried.
It was a catharsis so perfect it was hardly to be believed. Above all, maybe that’s why point guard Fred VanVleet dribbled out the clock with one hand to his ear as the screams from Wichita State fans filled the CenturyLink Center. Maybe that’s why Baker walked toward that crowd and flexed his arms, his fists balled up, before he broke into a wide smile and gave the people a salute at the final horn. This was no accident. The Shockers took what they wanted from the Jayhawks.

“At the end of the day, when that ball tips, it don’t matter if you’re a McDonald’s All-American or a draft pick or whatever,” VanVleet said. “It’s college. You ain’t no draft pick yet.”

Wichita State drove Kansas into submission. The Shockers cracked off a 13-2 run to end the first half and never trailed again. Tekele Cotton, the Missouri Valley Conference defensive player of the year, led the way with 19 points while limiting Kansas’ Wayne Selden to zero. Whenever the Jayhawks twitched to life, the Shockers smothered them again. A Cotton run-out pushed a lead that had slipped to as little as eight points back to 12 with about four minutes left, prompting a Kansas timeout. Before returning to the huddle, VanVleet brought all five Wichita State players to mid-court and they put their arms around each other.

Don’t celebrate yet, he said. “We’re not giving them the game,” the junior said after the game. “If they’re going to beat us, they’re going to have to do some extreme stuff.”

The Jayhawks weren’t capable of that Sunday. The Shockers, meanwhile reveled in what they accomplished. And perhaps no one felt its significance more than Baker though he needed some time to sort it out. He grew up in Scott City, Kan., population 3,889, longing to play for the Jayhawks. He had a Kirk Hinrich poster on his bedroom wall. His grandmother made him a Kansas piggy bank. When the Jayhawks lost to Syracuse in the 2003 national title game, he was inconsolable. “If they got beat, he was pissed,” his father, Neil, said Sunday. “You didn’t want to talk to him for the rest of the day.”

But when it came time to audition for the Jayhawks in a scrimmage that his father had set up for him on campus in Lawrence, he let the dream go. Playing baseball had left him too rusty in basketball. So Baker refused to be rejected. His reasoning for canceling the trip has been well-documented, and his father repeated it again on Sunday: I’m not going to embarrass myself, Baker told his father.

He scored 12 points against Kansas, one of five Wichita State players in double figures. Baker often moves through games with barely a flicker of emotion. He couldn’t contain himself at the end this time. His arms were taut and his teeth were clenched and he couldn’t make sense of what he was feeling. “This is a game I dreamed about, but I dreamed about being on the other bench,” Baker said. “It was just like slapping myself across the face, that this is reality. And we won.”

It got more surreal when the hollering in the locker room was interrupted by a governor having a ball. Brownback was wearing a gray T-shirt he bought the day before, properly neutral, featuring the logos of both teams. Over that he then threw the yellow KINGS OF KANSAS T-shirt. Asked if that might cost him some votes in Lawrence, Brownback cracked, “Well, I’m not up for re-election.” He went on to suggest that the major basketball programs in the state meet annually in a preseason doubleheader, so as to avoid the Sunflower State stalemate that kept Kansas and Wichita State apart since 1993.
“Today’s was really a family feud that’s been postponed for 23 years,” Brownback said. “I’m hopeful that the two start playing regularly. A cradle of basketball tournament, something that would get them playing more often. It just had a very different feel, the game did. This one was like something could be birthed here, a great basketball rivalry.”

Beyond an executive order, it is doubtful anything will move Kansas off the scheduling position it has held for more than two decades. Sunday did not help; instead, it reinforced the reason why these two programs have been strangers for so long.

“Who knows,” Marshall said. “I’m fine letting the series lay the way it is right now. The series is good with me at this point.”

No, no one will soon forget what happened Sunday, when Wichita State imposed its will on mighty Kansas. And Marshall knew it, too. He walked across the floor and winked to his wife, Lynn, with a grin on his face as fans chanted “You don’t want to go to war with the Shockers.” His program had been to a Final Four more recently than Kansas but this game reset the way people within state borders thought. No telling if he will be around for the next meeting, because it would seem prudent that programs across the country, including one in Austin, Texas, recognize what his team has done and then did to Kansas on Sunday.

But for now he’d wring every drop out of the moment.

“I’m pretty sure Wichita is on fire right now,” Marshall said.

So it was back to the Sweet 16, with Notre Dame on tap Thursday in Cleveland and a possible tournament rematch with Kentucky after that. But first things first.

Earlier Sunday, Lynn Marshall reminded her husband of a most important matter at hand: They were to plant tomatoes on Monday. The Marshalls are assiduous gardeners. Lynn had checked the temperatures and ensured that they had proper weatherproof wrapping on hand. She had laid down the mulch already to keep the ground warm. All that was left was to put the plant in the ground and watch it grow. This was, after all, Wichita in March. You reap what you sow.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

MONEY Sports

The Staggering Numbers—and Dollars—Behind March Madness

Here's a look at some of the numbers behind the NCAA March Madness men's college basketball tournament, including special deals on pizza, TV packages, concerts, and, curiously, vasectomies.

  • $0

    Joseph Clayton, chief executive officer for Dish Network Corp., speaks at a press conference during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. Dish Network Corp. plans to unveil the first major online television service from a cable or satellite company, a $20-a-month set of 12 channels that targets U.S. customers who don't want to pay for larger, more expensive TV packages.
    David Paul Morris—Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Cost of a seven-day free trial of Sling TV, the streaming service from DirecTV that includes TBS and TNT—the two main pay TV channels airing NCAA March Madness games, along with the broadcast network CBS. In order words, the service allows you to view all games in the tournament without a cable bill; it comes with ESPN too, so you’ll get your fair share of game highlights as well. After the seven-day trial, you can cancel or pay up $20 monthly, which is much cheaper than the typical pay TV package.

  • $0

    Rihanna performs on stage
    Matt Sayles—Invision/AP

    Cost of admission for the three-day March Madness Music Festival featuring Rihanna (pictured), Lady Antebellum, and the Zac Brown Band, among others. The free outdoor event is being held over Final Four weekend (April 3-5) in Indianapolis, which is also hosting the tournament’s final basketball games. In fact, Saturday night’s performers will be competing with the first semifinal game, which will be broadcast live for the music festival crowd.

  • 1.2%

    NBA basketball on court
    Jewel Samad—AFP/Getty Images

    Percentage of men’s college basketball players that are drafted by an NBA team. More than three-quarters of college players, meanwhile, think they will play professionally.

  • $4

    Tickets for the championship game with former Duke Blue Devil player Rasheed Sulaimon ahead of the game betweeen the North Carolina Tar Heels and Notre Dame Fighting Irish for the 2015 ACC Basketball Tournament Championship game at Greensboro Coliseum on March 14, 2015 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
    Grant Halverson—Getty Images

    Cheapest list price of any March Madness ticket—this one for a Thursday afternoon session in Louisville featuring Iowa State vs. UAB, followed by SMU vs. UCLA. Meanwhile, tickets to the evening session in the same location on the same day were starting at around $120, though the night games feature the tournament’s overall #1 seed (and local favorite) Kentucky.

  • $35

    Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates with his players after defeating the St. John's Red Storm earning his 1,000th career victory on January 25 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Duke defeated St John's 77-68.
    Jim McIsaac—Getty Images Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates with his players after defeating the St. John's Red Storm earning his 1,000th career victory on January 25 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Duke defeated St John's 77-68.

    Number of college basketball coaches in last year’s tournament who were paid more than $1 million per year before any bonuses, according to data gathered by USA Today. Top earner Mike Krzyzewski’s total pay: more than $9.6 million.

  • 42% vs. 100%

    Davidson guard Brian Sullivan (3) celebrates after their 67-66 win over La Salle in an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament in New York, Friday, March 13, 2015.
    Mary Altaffer—AP

    The range of basketball player graduation rate success among NCAA March Madness contenders, with Indiana University on the low end and Davidson College named as the tournament’s overall academic champ. (In fact, several tournament teams boast 100% basketball player graduation rates, including Maryland, Notre Dame, Butler, Dayton, and Villanova.)

  • 50%

    Domino's hand-tossed pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and green peppers
    Jeff Padrick—Klug Studio Inc.

    Discount on all regular priced Domino’s pizzas now through Sunday, March 22, which marks the end of the tournament’s first weekend.

  • $595

    businessman with bandage on zipper
    Mark Hooper—Getty Images

    The special price of a “Vas Madness” deal, covering an initial consultation and a vasectomy—yes, a vasectomy—from The Urology Team in Texas. “Get your vasectomy, then sit on the couch for 3 days watching sports– Doctors orders!” the pitch explains. Many vasectomy clinics report a spike in appointments timed to coincide with the NCAA basketball tournament, and in some cases men who get snipped have wound up with free pizza as part of the package deal. A few years back, one Cleveland urologist explained the appeal of getting a vasectomy during March Madness this way: “If they’re going to have a day off, it might as well be on a day when they would want to be watching basketball, as opposed to watching ‘Oprah.'”

     

  • $212,000

    basketball on top of heap of cash
    Dan Thornberg—Shutterstock

    The estimated average value of a college basketball player to his school and program, according to a 2014 study. Meanwhile, another study indicates that the average value a student athlete receives, in terms of scholarships, health care, coaching, and such, is about $125,000 per year. The players, of course, receive $0 in salaries because the NCAA insists they are student athletes and not employees.

  • $1 million

    Pizza Hut restaurant, Torrance, California.
    Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Prize that Pizza Hut will serve up if any of the three randomly selected contestants make a half-court shot backwards at a special event in Indianapolis on Sunday, April 5. To have a chance at being selected, go to StuffedCrustPizza.com and enter by Sunday, March 29. Three winners will get a free trip to Indianapolis and have one chance to nail a half-court shot facing the wrong way. Pizza Hut is also selling Stuffed Crust Pizzas for $9.99, which is the same price listed when the product was introduced 20 years ago.

  • $40.5 million

    Mangok Mathiang #12 of the Louisville Cardinals celebrates his winning basket with teammate Chinanu Onuaku #32 after the game against the Virginia Cavaliers at KFC Yum! Center on March 7, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville defeated Virginia 59-57.
    Joe Robbins—Getty Images

    Annual revenues raked in by Louisville’s college basketball team, which is tops in the nation. After factoring in expenses, Louisville’s program makes a profit of $24.2 million, while schools such as West Virginia and Notre Dame reportedly lose about $2 million annually because of their basketball teams.

  • $240 Million vs. $1.15 Billion

    Shaquille O’Neal, Julius “Dr J” Erving, Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner in AT&T March Madness "Legends" campaign
    AT&T Shaquille O’Neal, Julius “Dr J” Erving, Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner in AT&T March Madness "Legends" campaign

    Estimated total ad revenues for the Super Bowl and March Madness, respectively, from 2013, the most recent year such data is available. Granted, March Madness is a full tournament while the Super Bowl is just a single day.

  • $1.9 Billion

    Office workers watching March Madness on television
    Sarina Finkelstein

    Estimated loss incurred by businesses due to workers being “distracted and unproductive” during the basketball tournament, according to an annual report issued by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

  • $2 Billion+

    Mirage hotel-casino Race and Sports Book, Las Vegas.
    Julie Jacobson—AP

    Amount wagered on some 70 million March Madness brackets filled out for the 2015 tournament, per the American Gaming Association. The total amount expected to be bet on the tournament is $9 billion, only $240 million of which will be wagered with Nevada sports books.

  • $10.8 Billion

    Baylor coach Scott Drew, left, and members of the team including Isaiah Austin, right, peak in on the CBS crew following a news conference at the NCAA college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 22, 2014, in San Antonio.
    Eric Gay—AP

    Amount paid by CBS and Turner Sports to the NCAA for the rights to broadcast the March Madness tournament for a 14-year period ending in 2024.

  • 1 in 9.2 Quintillion

    Workers add team names to a 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship bracket that is displayed on the side of the JW Marriott, Monday, March 16, 2015, in Indianapolis. The championship game will be played Monday, April 6, in Indianapolis.
    Darron Cummings—AP

    Odds of picking all the correct winners in the tournament, from start to finish, for a perfect bracket. What’s a quintillion? It’s a one followed by 18 zeros. So 9.2 of those. This is all according to Bleacher Report, which points out that you have far, far better odds of being hit by lightning, getting bit by a shark, having identical triplets, winning the lottery, or becoming an NBA player.

TIME apps

These 8 March Madness Apps Are a Slam Dunk

Kentucky v Arkansas
Andy Lyons—Getty Images Tyler Ulis #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats goes to the basket as Rashad Madden #00 of the Arkansas Razorbacks defends during the championship game of the SEC basketball tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 15, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.

These sure-shots will get you in the games you love

With the tip-off of the NCAA’s national men’s basketball championship tournament, all eyes and ears are pointed towards the hardwood Thursday, whether you’re perched in a corner office or cheering from some nosebleed seats. But wherever you watch the games from, your experience will no doubt be enhanced by a second screen where March Madness apps can do everything from keep track of your bracket to stream live video of the action.

Here are eight great March Madness apps worth loading into your tablet or smartphone:

Bracket The Madness

If you’re a fan of the dark horse or the underdog, this is the app you’re rooting for this March. A breakaway hit among basketball fans, this app lets people create their own pools which can be shared with Facebook friends or even via text.

And while you might’ve missed out on most of this app’s magic after the initial tip-off, it’s also got an easy to read bracket that’s updated live (ideal for staying in the loop on hoops as the month goes on) and a fun, beat-the-clock game where you try to pick the winner of all of 2014’s tournament games. (It’s even hard to pick the winners after the game has ended.)

Bracket The Madness is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

CBS Sports

Whether you load this onto a tablet or a smartphone, this play-maker can do it all: scoring big with great, succinct analysis of the games (before and after tip-off), or passing you off to the NCAA March Madness Live app (see below) for live, in-game video. Though it overs all major sports, the app excels in its college basketball coverage, with links to breaking news, its blog, and expert picks.

CBS Sports is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

Fanatic

Wherever life has brought you, it’s probably far from your alma mater. No bother — with Fanatic, you can find fan-friendly watering holes where you can enjoy a game in the company of people who bleed the same sports colors that you do.

Now, truth be told, this app isn’t as accurate as I’d like it to be. When using its location-based search to find a nearby bar for my team, it didn’t give top-billing the one I know to be the home court for my town’s displaced fans. So, if you’re hoping to find the best spot, I’d recommend pairing Fanatic with a Google search for maximum effect. But it’s good for every major sport, so don’t delete this app after they cut down the nets.

Fanatic is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

Sports Betting

If I were a betting man — and I am not — I’d put my money on this app when it comes to sizing up the individual March Madness match-ups. Sure, there may be more comprehensive odds-making apps out there, but for the casual fan (which includes most people who get swept up in basketball hysteria each March), Sports Betting provides clear information on the money line, point spread, and total points. And by simply tapping on the figures, the app shows you how much you’d win if you put down a bet — which you would do for entertainment purposes only, of course.

Sports Betting is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

NCAA March Madness Live

No matter what television station the game is on, it’s also available to watch live on the NCAA’s official app. Free to download, the app requires you to log in with your cable provider information to watch the games. (Don’t be fooled by the app’s free, temporary preview — you will have to log in.)

The best way to get the hardwood action at your office or even on-the-go, the app goes beyond the live game streams, offering a great array of behind-the-scenes videos and historical highlights. And setting it up with notifications is another great way to stay up to speed on the scores, right from the source, while doing other things (like your job).

NCAA March Madness Live is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

Thuuz

Watching all sixty-seven games is a big commitment, but Thuuz helps make it more manageable by telling you when the action is heating up. Rating games on a scale of 0-100, it tells sports fans of all stripes whether a game is worth watching. But once the first whistle blows, the app adjusts those ratings in real-time, telling, for example, if a low-ranked underdog who was expected to be blown out is in the mix to pull off a fantastic upset. In addition, the app can track your favorite teams and even your fantasy football and baseball players, so you can turn on the TV when they’re having a game for the ages.

Thuuz is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

TuneIn Radio

Radio may be a shorter-wave technology, but TuneIn takes it worldwide with their streaming of local stations. By dumping a video stream for an audio play-by-play, the app will let you focus on the job at-hand, whether you’re a truck driver or a desk jockey. And TuneIn has a lot of live game broadcasts available — check out this link for what’s airing right now — which means even if you can’t watch the game, you don’t have to miss a minute of the action.

TuneIn Radio is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

WatchESPN

Okay, so the worldwide leader in sports may not be broadcasting the NCAA games, but you know they are drooling over the highlights, digesting the effects of the surprise outcomes, and breaking down all the daily news. To watch the network’s channels (which include everything from the flagship station to the ESPN SEC Network), you’ll need a cable company log-in. But once you get past that gatekeeper, the only thing keeping you from watching as many basketball highlights as you can handle is your bandwidth. (Speaking of that, you might want to only use this app on Wi-Fi, because it will crush your wireless data budget.)

WatchESPN is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

MONEY Sports

Another Way to Watch NCAA March Madness for Free

Wisconsin Badgers forward Nigel Hayes (10) handles the ball during the Big Ten Conference Championship NCAA college basketball game against the Michigan State Spartans Sunday, March 15, 2015, in Chicago. The Badgers won 80-69 in overtime.
David Stluka—AP

Sports-loving cord cutters should take advantage of free streaming trials offered by Sling TV and Playstation Vue.

The NCAA March Madness early round play-in games are over, and the tournament proper tips off around the country on Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately, the majority of the games are being broadcast on channels that are traditionally available only in pay TV subscription packages. What’s a cord cutter to do?

First off, many of the games are airing on CBS, and anyone can watch CBS and other broadcast networks for free on TV with an HD antenna, which costs as little as $30. If you don’t have such an antenna—heck, even if you don’t have a TV—don’t fret. Once you download the March Madness Live app, you’ll be able to live stream the games being broadcast on CBS at no charge, and without needing proof that you’re a pay TV customer.

The games airing on CBS on Thursday include Texas vs. Butler and Kentucky vs. Hampton, and on Friday there’s Kansas vs. New Mexico State and Duke vs. Robert Morris, among others. But CBS is only broadcasting some of the action. What do you do if you want to see the games airing on TBS or TNT, which can only be live streamed via the March Madness app after you enter your pay TV account information?

Well, for basketball-loving cord cutters, right now is an opportune time to snag a free trial of one or both of the newest streaming services, Dish’s Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue. We spelled out the basics of the former in a previous post, highlighting that the service comes with TBS and TNT and costs $20 per month, though it’s available for free for seven days—enough to view a ton of tournament games. The basic Sling TV package also includes ESPN (great for catching game highlights), but it lacks truTV, which is the other Turner-owned pay TV channel broadcasting some March Madness games.

The base PlayStation Vue package, on the other hand, has 60 channels, including TBS, TNT, truTV, and CBS (but not ABC or ESPN). It costs $50 per month, and like Sling TV, new subscribers can try it out for free for seven days. Unfortunately, for the time being, PlayStation Vue is only available in Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia. As you might gather based on the name, the service also only works for those who stream TV through a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 console. So obviously you’ve got to own one of these to subscribe to Vue.

If you live in one of the above markets and you have a PlayStation, cord cutters can watch all of the tournament for a week without a cable bill, and without spending a penny for that matter. Add in Sling TV’s trial offer and that grants you another week with free access to the vast majority of March Madness games. Combine them both and you’re able to take in almost the entirety of the tournament without opening your wallet.

As for what happens when the free trials are over, well, that’s up to you. You can cancel, or course, or you might very well find that one or another of the services is worth the money. For more insight as to how these two streaming services match up, CNET did a terrific side-by-side comparison laying out the pros and cons of each.

TIME Innovation

The Surprising New Tech in March Madness Refs’ Whistles

Michigan St. v Pittsburgh
Doug Pensinger—Getty Images A referee holds his whistle during the second round game of the South Regional between the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Michigan State Spartans on March 22, 2008 in Denver, Colorado.

One ear-piercing blow will automatically stop the game clock

This March Madness, a ref’s whistle blast will instantly stop the game clock, thanks to a a new technology that detects the shrill cry above the din of the crowd.

The technology relies on a breakthrough in whistle design, the New York Times reports.

The classic pea-rattling whistle suffers from occasional lapses in noise if the referee blows too hard or after saliva has collected in its chamber. Those whistles were gradually replaced in the late 80’s by a fail-proof design that funnels the breath through three chambers, which combine to create a shrill, three-toned screech.

This season the N.C.A.A. will sync up the whistle tone to a Precision Time System that automatically brings the game clock to a screeching halt. Tests show that the speed of the system, which stops the clock faster than the average human operator, could add up to 30 seconds of playtime to a typical college game.

Read more at the New York Times.

TIME Crime

Ashley Judd Speaks Out About Twitter Abuse and Rape

"The Divergent Series: Insurgent" New York Premiere
Tyler Boye—Getty Images Actress Ashley Judd attends the "The Divergent Series: Insurgent" premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater on March 16, 2015 in New York City. (Tyler Boye--Getty Images)

"It was time to call the police, and to say to the Twittersphere, no more."

Actress Ashley Judd wrote an impassioned op-ed for Mic Thursday about the link between online harassment and physical abuse. After she endured hateful online vitriol for a seemingly harmless tweet about basketball, she saw a connection between that Twitter harassment and the cultural misogyny that she believes fueled her experiences with rape and incest early in life.

While watching a basketball game Sunday, Judd tweeted that the opposing team was “playing dirty & can kiss my team’s free throw making a—.” She later got so much hatred and so many sexually violent threats on Twitter that she had to delete the original tweet. She wrote:

What happened to me is the devastating social norm experienced by millions of girls and women on the Internet. Online harassers use the slightest excuse (or no excuse at all) to dismember our personhood. My tweet was simply the convenient delivery system for a rage toward women that lurks perpetually. I know this experience is universal, though I’ll describe specifically what happened to me.

I read in vivid language the various ways, humiliating and violent, in which my genitals, vaginal and anal, should be violated, shamed, exploited and dominated. Either the writer was going to do these things to me, or they were what I deserved. My intellect was insulted: I was called stupid, an idiot. My age, appearance and body were attacked. Even my family was thrown into the mix: Someone wrote that my “grandmother is creepy.”

Soon, Judd realized that the hatred she was experiencing was related to the violence and abuse she had endured as a girl.

The themes are predictable: I brought it on myself. I deserved it. I’m whiny. I’m no fun. I can’t take a joke. There are more serious issues in the world. The Internet space isn’t real, and doesn’t deserve validity and attention as a place where people are abused and suffer. Grow thicker skin, sweetheart. I’m famous. It’s part of my job description.

The themes embedded in this particular incident reflect the universal ways we talk about girls and women. When they are violated, we ask, why was she wearing that? What was she doing in that neighborhood? What time was it? Had she been drinking?

Judd, who in addition to her acting career has been a vocal advocate for women’s rights and even has a degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, describes the rape and incest she experienced in her childhood, and recounts how her therapy allowed her to finally come to terms with an attempted oral rape that she also survived. But then, thanks to a single tweet about basketball, she was barraged with violent sexual threats online.

I felt like I had the chance to finally speak, fight and grieve, and be consoled and comforted. But then, on literally the very next day, I received a disturbing tweet with a close-up photograph of my face behind text that read, “I can’t wait to c-m all over your face and in your mouth.”

The timing was canny, and I knew it was a crime. It was time to call the police, and to say to the Twittersphere, no more.

The full essay is worth a read, and you can check it out here.

Read next: Colleges Need to Think Bigger To End Campus Rape

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

MONEY College

Why Harvard Will Win the NCAA Tournament

150319_FF_MarchMadnessHarvard
Hunter Martin—Getty Images Fans of the Harvard Crimson celebrate a win over the Yale Bulldogs in mid-March. Just imagine how excited they will be in Indianapolis in April if we're right.

Sure, the No. 13 seed in the West is a long shot. But our March Madness bracket favors colleges that produce alumni who win the financial tournament of life.

For the three weeks known as March Madness, college basketball fans focus on stats like field goal percentages or player efficiency. But we here at MONEY try to stay sane and pay attention to the numbers that matter over the long term.

So when we filled out this year’s NCAA men’s tournament bracket, we picked teams based on our Best Colleges rankings, which look at which schools do best in terms of affordability, quality of education, and graduating students into good-paying jobs. In other words, if we gathered these players and their classmates together again in, say, 25 or 50 years, who would likely be on the best financial footing?

This gave us an unorthodox final four of Harvard (6th in our value rankings, while a 13th seed in the tournament), Notre Dame (20th), Virginia (16th), and UCLA (31st), with Harvard besting Virginia in Indianapolis on April 6.

That Harvard is the overall winner is not exactly surprisingly: 97% of students graduate, there have been no recent defaulters on student loans, and the average recent graduate is earning about $55,000 a year these days, according to data from Payscale.com. But the elite private colleges don’t dominate in this bracket or in life. Two of our final four are public universities–Virginia and UCLA–which also have graduation rates above 90% and whose recent alumni typically earn about $50,000 a year.

Looking for this year’s Cinderella story? Manhattan (40th), the rightful winner of the play-in game against Hampton under our system, is predicted to oust undefeated Kentucky (389th) in the first round and go all the way to the Elite Eight. Another sixteen seed makes history in our bracket, as Lafayette College (28th) knocks off Villanova (114th) in the first round and hangs on until the Elite Eight as well.

There are some squeakers along the way. Schools within 20 places of each other in our ranking are roughly equivalent. But, strictly by our numbers, pricey, exclusive Lafayette edges out public and relatively affordable UC Irvine (32nd) in the Sweet 16 round. Lafayette Leopards tend to graduate into higher-paying jobs than do Irvine Anteaters (a difference of about $8,000 a year, according to Payscale), but they pay much more for their degrees. The average Leopard pays a total of $178,000 (after college scholarships are subtracted) for a bachelor’s degree, versus the Anteaters’ total bill of about $123,000.

Under our college value selection system, Brigham Young (9th) not only makes the roster of 64 teams but goes all the way to the Elite Eight before running up against unstoppable Harvard. Other notables in our bracket: Perennial basketball powerhouse Duke (32nd) barely makes it past Georgetown (37th) in the Sweet 16 before falling to UCLA. But high seeds like Gonzaga (177), Arizona (99), and Kansas (248) stumble early in the tournament.

To see how your college ranks in the competition of life, check out our full college rankings. Dig into our full NCAA bracket below (click the image to see a larger version).

MoneyBracket 3-18b

 

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