Battle of the brackets: RunYourPool vs. NCAA
Think the NCAA March Madness App is the clear favorite? You've got an upset on your hands.

Battle of the Brackets: The NCAA March Madness App vs. RunYourPool

How to choose the right NCAA men's brackets host for the tournament this year

Nicky G
Nicky G

It’s March Madness time, baby!

As Selection Sunday looms closer and closer, you may be wondering: have I found the perfect NCAA bracket host?

If you're not using RunYourPool, we'll be frank: Nope. You haven't.

While there are dozens of potential NCAA bracket pool providers out there, not every pool host delivers where it counts.

For example: many March Madness users go straight to the NCAA. But are they the best option to run your pool?

Let's look at the facts.

How to Choose the Right March Madness Pool Host

That he NCAA hosts their own brackets for you is, of course, rather appealing. However, it also means you can expect only a very standard pool hosting experience. If you’re used to the fun of playing March Madness, you might want to change up who you are using to get access to a range of other features you might enjoy.

What are those features? Today we break down some of the key differences of pool hosting sites that people enjoy during March Madness, and how the NCAA and RunYourPool both compare.

Is the Interface Both Clutter-Free and Intuitive?

If you want to struggle, you’d be using a manual pool or spreadsheets, right? Right. You don’t need to waste half the time you should be spending be having fun with your friends, family, or colleagues trying to work out where buttons are, how to make picks, and so on. An intuitive, easy-to-use interface is a must.
(-) NCAA March Madness App: The interface can be a little annoying with ads (see below)
(+) RunYourPool: Ease of use is one of the strongest features

Is There An App for That?

It’s nice to have options. Whether you want to sit at your PC and pour over things, or would rather fire out your picks in a hurry on your mobile, a site that offers you both options is always going to be more convenient. For you and your pool mates, both.
(+) NCAA March Madness App: Integrated into the NCAA March Madness Live streaming app
(+) RunYourPool: Easy-to-download custom app

Is There Any Ability to Brand Your March Madness Brackets?

You may be thinking more of team jerseys than your own branding, but it’s a nice-to-have feature every March Madness pool host should consider (especially businesses). That goes double for office pools, where you’re often running a team-building exercise of sorts. Making sure your March Madness pool has a unique identity can add greatly to the experience.
(-)  NCAA March Madness App: The only brand on display will be theirs
(+)  RunYourPool: Offers personal branding if you want it

Can You Set Custom Options and Settings?

You might not need this from every March Madness pool host service, but it’s good to know if you have the option before your game is locked into a specific host. For people who treat their March Madness pools a little more seriously, being able to use point values and rules you set, rather than the defaults, can help you have more fun and enhance the experience.
(-)  NCAA March Madness App: Only offers their specific rules and values
(+)  RunYourPool: Both rules and point values can be customized by the pool commissioner

Are There Easy Reports?

Even before you start March Madness pools, it’s important to make sure you have some kind of reporting feature in place. Not only does it help the serious souls in your pool who want to crunch numbers, but it’s also a key part of transparency as the commissioner.
(-)  NCAA March Madness App: No reporting feature offered
(+)  RunYourPool: Detailed reports can be run from the pool host

Is There Great Customer Service?

Hopefully, you won’t need it, but what happens if something goes wrong? Having responsive customer service is a must in any industry, and this one is no different. And it’s not enough to just have a customer service option. It is imperative turnarounds are fast and you aren’t left hanging for long.
(-)  NCAA March Madness App: Customer service can be sluggish or lacking
(+)  RunYourPool: Typically answers within a few hours, and customers generally are happy with results

Are There Ads or Is It Ads Free?

Who wants ads, right? Most free services offset their server costs through advertising. And that can be ok for a fully free experience, especially if they’re well managed and discrete, but if you can’t see what you’re doing for the ads on the screen, then it gets annoying very quickly. The more ads-free you can go, the better.
(-) NCAA March Madness App: Sadly the NCAA drops the ball on this one — be prepared for pop-ups as well as display ads
(+) RunYourPool: RunYourPool doesn’t display ads at all

Do They Offer Multiple Other March Madness Pool Games?

How important this feature is to you will depend on the type of pool you run, but it’s well worth consideration. The standard NCAA bracket is well and good, but sometimes you want other options. This can help expand engagement and keep people interested. Some also like the KISS method, so there’s no wrong or right here, just what suits you and your pool.
(-) NCAA March Madness App: Unsurprisingly, you’ll only get the single NCAA bracket from them
(+) RunYourPool: RunYourPool offers a wide range of more unusual game types, like Head-to-Head, Survivor, and Pick X, as well as the standard traditional bracket!

So, now you know everything you need to run your March Madness pools your way this season.

You don't have to be confined to the ‘official’ NCAA brackets only.

The RunYourPool team is happy to offer one of the best March Madness pool hosting services out there, and we’re happy to prove it.

So if you have any questions about your pool, don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly team today at !

Good luck out there! Make smart picks!How to choose the right NCAA brackets host this year

Nicky G

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