The Big Dance is just beginning, and while there are apps aplenty to keep bracket-makers and die-hard fans watching and trash-talking, not all of us need that. Some of us just want to see how far our local team has gotten so far. Some of us just need a quick way to find out what channel the next good game's going to be on. Some of us just want to get the score and then get on with our lives.
Some of us just need Google Assistant.
First, a word about the women's teams
According to Google Home's sports support page, Google Home only covers basketball scores from the NBA, the WNBA, and Division 1 Men's teams of the NCAA. So, if you want to follow the Louisville men, you're fine, but if you want to follow the women, you'll have to look to other apps instead.
Looking up a particular team score
If you just want to see how far your alma mater has gotten or if the home team is playing today, Google Assistant is all over this. In fact, when you ask about March Madness, Google Assistant recommends just asking for specific teams rather than the whole field (we'll get to why in a moment). There's a few ways to phrase it, but above all else you need to include that it's the basketball team, otherwise Google Assistant might default to the football team or regular search results, even though football ended three months ago. Go figure.
- OK Google, is Louisville basketball playing today?
- OK Google, when is the Baylor Bears basketball game?
- OK Google, did Duke basketball win?
- OK Google, who is Notre Dame basketball playing?
These games were scheduled Sunday night and the second/third round games are scheduled hours/days after winning their matches, so Assistant might not get the matchups the second your team wins. Google Assistant can only tell you matches that have been piped in from its Knowledge Graph, so keep that in mind if Assistant doesn't have the next match lined up when you ask.
Following the whole bracket? You'll have to look elsewhere
If you're wanting to keep up with the whole field, I'm sorry to say that you're going to have to use an app or the NCAA website, because Google Assistant is only showing three games in the search results, and suggests using the NCAA site to see the bracket and live stream the games. And during the later rounds, three games might be enough, but during the First Round? Yeah, that's kinda useless.
So, are you following any particular teams, so or do you just want to keep up since it'll be the taking over water cooler conversations the next few weeks?
Updated March 2018: This article has been cleaned up and updated for the Big Dance of 2018.