Every March, college basketball fans find themselves deep in the throes of March Madness, even President Obama gets in on the fun. Here at Mashape, we were disappointed to find that developers were not invited to the party. The NCAA has no official APIs available. In fact, we couldn’t find any free public API out there! Something had to be done, so we made our own just in time for the Sweet Sixteen.
Unfortunately, the NCAA and other sports leagues have yet to embrace open data and the innovations it can spur. Imagine a bracket predicting engine, real-time matchup-based analytics – incorporating injuries, minutes played and mismatches at key positions – or the countless cool and obscure statistics one could come up with if they had access to all the data. Since the leagues themselves don’t offer access to the data, many developers resort to scraping data from various sources. This makes applications prone to break (not to mention possibly illegal). Without access to data, developers have one arm tied behind their back in anything they build.
For now our API just has two endpoints – /teams and /games — it’s missing a lot of interesting stats like full box-scores and player data, but it’s a good start and we welcome the community to contribute to the open-source API and data that’s freely available on GitHub.