March Madness Brackets: Picking Between CBS Sports or RunYourPool
How do RunYourPool and CBS Sports Measure

March Madness Brackets: Picking Between CBS Sports or RunYourPool

How to choose the right pool host for your NCAA bracket this year

Nicky G
Nicky G

Are you ready for March Madness?!

One of the things you'll need before Selection Sunday — actually the only thing you'll need, less a family-sized bag of potato chips and a good excuse for your boss — is a solid host for your NCAA bracket pool.

Like Big 12 teams qualifying for the tourney, there are almost too many online hosting sites out there. They all offer promises of being the best, but under the lightest full-court pressure, they fall apart.

It’s important you find a good match.

While you may think the RunYourPool team is some sort of poser low seed with no chance against the "blue bloods" of sports, but we're here to make our argument that we're like a surprisingly great Mid-Major pick who takes the NCAA Tournament by storm.

Let's start out with the big dog, the #1 seed we're playing: CBS Sports.

Choosing a Pool Site: CBS Sports March Madness Preview

CBS Sports is, of course, one of the best-known sports broadcasters out there, so there’s no surprise they also offer a brackets feature for March Madness pools.

They're like, say, the Duke University of brackets: Reliable, will probably get you through the first parts of the tournament... But are they overhyped? Have they gotten complacent over the years And is it always the best idea to go with company that specializes in broadcasting but not game hosting?

Rhetorical question.

No, it's not.

Let’s take a look at key features CBS Sports offers and how they compare to RunYourPool.

Custom Rules & Point Values

This might not be a must-have for every pool commissioner, but if you take your pools seriously, it’s a feature you want. Customizable points and options allow you to branch out further than just the ‘standard’ game types, and truly run your pool your way.
(-) CBS Sports: Only runs default rules and point values
(+) RunYourPool: Has fully customizable rules and point values

Easy-to-Use Interface / Usability

The whole point of using a March Madness Pool host service to run your pool is that it makes your life easier. If you’re so busy hunting-and-pecking for what you need that it wastes half your day, then there’s really no point.
(+) CBS Sports: Receives generally good feedback
(+) RunYourPool: Is highly thought of for ease of use


If you've got a business or nonprofit, you already know being able to add your logo is a must-have. It can be very beneficial to have the option, especially for office pools, so that you can stamp your unique identity and even corporate message on the fun. After all, office pools are often leveraged as a means of team-building or even selling your product.
(-) CBS Sports: Does not offer the feature
(+) RunYourPool: Yes, you can individually brand your pool

App / Flexibility of Use

Some people want to access their pools on a full PC setup, others want the convenience of running everything while on the go. Using a service that offers both possibilities will open up versatility for you and your March Madness pool members.
(+) CBS Sports: Works through the CBS Sports app
(+) RunYourPool: Has our own custom app, too

Customer Service

With RYP, you aren’t in this alone! It’s good to be able to reach out to someone familiar with the programs you’re using if anything goes wrong. Ideally, customer service should not only exist, but offer fast turnarounds and have a reputation for helpfulness. Last thing you'll want is to deal with your pool members for days on end if something gets messed up during any part of March Madness!
(-) CBS Sports: No customer service features at all
(+) RunYourPool: We often have a turnaround answer for your messages within the hour, with high customer satisfaction rates

An individual bracket report for March Madness
An individual bracket report


Do you have number-crunchers in your pool? Everyone is going to want to see what’s going on with detailed reports. You don’t want to write them by hand. Can your chosen pool host give you what you need?
(-) CBS: No reporting
(+) RunYourPool: A variety of detailed reports available

Variety of March Madness Game Types

Some people want the simplest possible structure, to make things easy on them. Other people want to move on from the basics and offer something a little different to keep interest and engagement high. There’s nothing really ‘wrong’ with either approach, but it’s important your chosen host matches your expectations.
(-) CBS: Offers only standard options and brackets
(+) RunYourPool: Has a wide variety of really fun and interesting game types to choose from, including Pick X, Survivor, and Head-to-Head


One of the biggest problems with free hosting sites is that their funding and hosting costs have to come from somewhere. In CBS' case, they love to run ads — and for some reason, they love to run the same sorts of ads over and over and over and over again. It’s not always a problem if it’s well done and discrete, but it can be annoying, and the more ads-free the experience the better.
(-) CBS: The ads are there, plentiful, and can be a little intrusive
(+) RunYourPool: No ads are run at all, ever

And there you have it!

A true upset in the making!

If you’re looking for quality options to run your March Madness pools this season, you have a wide range of options open to you, but you shouldn't waste your time on 99.999% of them.

The RunYourPool team is confident that we run one of the best pool hosting site out there, so feel free to take us up on the challenge right here!

If you have any questions or comments before setting up your pool, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today at!

And good luck making the right picks, this March Madness!

Nicky G

Dad of 3. WVian by birth. ATX for now.