It’s March, which around here means March Madness, which means people discussing basketball everywhere you go and much surreptitious watching of television and listening to the radio (though nowadays it’s more checking a certain tab on your browser and checking your iPhone.) If you like the NCAA Baskeball Tourney, don’t mind limiting your interest to Sweet 16 games, and don’t want to delve into too much history, you’ll like the video in the NCAA Vault, available at http://vault.ncaa.com/.
That’s a lot of qualifiers, isn’t it? The Vault’s cool, but it is limited to the men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, Sweet 16 and up, years 2000-2010 only. I’m a bit disappointed in this because personally I like the first-round drama, but on the other hand the video that’s available on this site is sliced and diced in any number of ways.
From the front page you can look at a variety of highlights (dunks, blocks, shots, great plays, etc.) or you can browse for different schools, alphabetically or by year. You can also search by player, which narrows down the list of available schools and years.
What’s available is pretty impressive: you can watch entire games, or get the game highlights available in a series of clips. I didn’t even see a commercial on the video player (wow!) The NCAA vault has gone to a lot of effort to be social; you can link to individual highlights and post them to Facebook or Twitter. Games are “transcribed” into brief overviews or ridiculously-detailed play-by-play listings.
The only problem I had with this site was that occasionally the videos would load a little choppily. It wasn’t a big deal when you’re looking at game, but sometimes a highlight wouldn’t load quickly enough to show properly. I found I could get around that by choosing
a clip and then immediately pausing it and waiting a minute. That usually loaded it up enough so that it played fine.
Longtime NCAA fans are going to miss a lot of history here — Michael Jordan immediately springs to mind. But this is a great start — what game data is here is organized wonderfully and is very detailed. Good stuff.