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Gannon Announces Release of Student-Created NCAA® Women’s Basketball Elite Eight® App

Elite 8 D2W ScreenshotPosted: March 11, 2014

Fans with an iPhone who are interested in the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Elite Eight can now download the first edition of a NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Elite Eight app, by scanning the QR code below or by visiting the Mac App Store and searching for "Elite 8 D2W." The app represents the first ever created in the history of the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Elite Eight.

With the app, fans can follow the tournament as it unfolds with updated schedules and game results. Elite 8 D2W includes information about brackets, schedules, tickets and news relating to the tournament and participating teams. Additionally, there is information on the Erie Insurance Arena, the site of the tournament, and maps of the area and nearby attractions.

The app was created under the leadership of Steve Frezza, Ph.D., C.S.D.P., professor of software engineering, at Gannon University, the host of the event in Erie, PA, and by students in two software engineering courses Interface Design and iOS Development. The creation of the initial prototype was completed during the Fall 2013 Semester. More than 50 students, faculty and staff participated in its creation as designers, in focus groups, UX reviews, interviews and branding efforts. Playing critical roles in the app's development were student developers Hassan Al Rawi and Neha Tiwari, and Gannon athletics department personnel including Will Nowadly, assistant director, athletics media relations.

"This was an amazing opportunity to make this more than just an athletics event for our students, and to create valuable learning experiences for them," Frezza said. "This was the first project of its kind for a Division II NCAA tournament and has been very rewarding. The fun part is also seeing what we teach come to life - how it will benefit our community and all involved in the tournament."

For students on the design team, it was a learning experience that can be downloaded and used by thousands. Al Rawi, the lead student designer for the project, commented that the experience was 'intriguing'. As a student in the software engineering master's program, the project cut across his classwork. He observed, "The most valuable part of the experience was watching us transform an idea into a product."

"It's a credit to the students and teachers at Gannon University that the app was created and we are excited to be able to offer it to our fans for the 2014 championship," said Kelsey Cermak, NCAA championship manager. "The app will be a great resource for fans to easily follow tournament news and locate the information needed to make it a well-rounded spectator experience."

The 2014 NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Elite Eight® kicks off at the Erie Insurance Arena with the national quarterfinals on Tuesday, March 25. The national semifinals are scheduled for Wednesday, March 26 and the NCAA Division II Championship Game is slated for Friday, March 28. The national championship event features the winners of the nation's eight regions in women's basketball. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at erieevents.com or by calling 814-452-4857.