WEDNESDAY WEB SITES OF THE WEEK
The most successful sports-related ventures on the World
Wide Web have been related to big-ticket events -- and the NCAA
basketball tournament is one of the biggest. The intense
interest and fast pace of the early rounds is a perfect match for
the real-time nature of the medium, with the interactive draw of
filling out a tournament pool also a natural. The top sports
online services seem to have figured this out, as all have major
tournament sites. 1) ESPNET's SportsZone has the "Tournament
Challenge," presented by Pizza Hut. The winner gets a trip to
next year's Final Four. The Zone's site -- found at http://
ESPNET.sportszone.com -- also has in-depth reports on each of the
64 teams. 2) SportsLine USA has its "March Medley" contest with
a $1,000 cash prize to the winner. There are also team reports
for subscribers. Address: http://www. sportsline.com. 3) The
Sports Network will unveil its live Java Sportswire during the
tournament bringing constantly updated scores ticker-style.
Address: http://www. sportsnetwork.com. 4) CBS has a March
Madness site with its own pool -- "The Final Four Challenge,"
sponsored by Microsoft. Other features at
http://www.CBS.com/sports/ marchmadness are a trivia quiz, the
"virtual pressroom" with news releases and background info, and a
fan poll. 5) CNN's sports site --
http://www.cnn.com/sports/index.html --leads with the final NCAA
poll and has a front-page button for its tourney site. Inside
are stories and the brackets. 6) USA Today has a special section
-- "The Big Dance" -- found at
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketba/sktfront. The main
feature is a coaches forum -- including Rick Pitino and Roy
Williams -- with answers posted tonight. 7) For "personalized"
e-mail updates on the games and your favorite teams, head to
Mercury Mail Inc.'s "It's Madness" site at
http://www.merc.com/madness.html (THE DAILY).