Shooting for three: Keeping up with the Madness

(Cross-posted from the Google Lat Long blog)

Do you feel it, sports fans? Has the anticipation fully gripped your college basketball soul? It's definitely got my attention. Therefore I've embarked on my third consecutive journey into mapping the NCAA College Basketball tournament. This may have caused a bit of personal March madness - a lot of long nights and triple-checking each arena placemark - but I hope you’ll enjoy the result. I’ve made a Google Earth KMZ file that includes the home arenas of the field of 65, and the 14 tournament venues. Each entry in the field of 65 is color coded by region and the game sites have a special basketball icon this year.

You may wonder why I’ve kept this up for three years. Well, aside from the fundamental fact that I'm a college hoops nut, I just so happen to also love seeing the geo-spatial distribution of the teams. The research and compliation of the information led me to several interesting facts you can see for yourself in the layer and then use to wow your friends, such as:

  • There are two first-round matchups that pit two teams which have the same mascots
  • Bears, Eagles, Gophers, Grizzlies, and Lions have a common trait: they are all 'Golden'
  • This year’s tournament is quite colorful: Blue Devils, Mean Green, Orangemen, Big Red, and Yellow Jackets

This My Map also shows you all the key locations for the Madness, color-coded for your viewing pleasure. The East division is indicated by a blue pin; South with green; Midwest with red; and West with cyan. The pins with a dot in the center tell you who the #1 seeds are. View the College Basketball Tournament 2010 in a large map.

Travel to the tournament without leaving home! All 14 arenas are in the “3D Buildings” layer in Google Earth, ready for you to explore. Take a tour of these 3D models by watching the video below or download this kml tour and open it in Google Earth 5. Be sure to check out the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City -- even the court is modeled.



Also, teaming up with a few other March Madness enthusiasts, we’ve created a page, google.com/collegebasketball2010, where all of you basketball fans can find additional Google tools to help you track the tournament. Keep up with your favorite teams and get up-to-date information on scores, schedules, and brackets with our iGoogle gadget. By doing a quick search for your favorite team, you can see live scores. If you haven’t already made a bracket, check out our Google docs tournament bracket template to help you create and manage your pool in an online spreadsheet. You can also see real time search results so you never miss any March Madness news or chatter!

For all the times when I can’t be planted in front of my television watching the action (or during those pesky commercial breaks), these tools will keep my head in the game!



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