The March madness is in full swing. In the first game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Thursday, the double-digit team won to advance. A big school like Michigan may not feel like Cinderella, but it came out as Seed # 11 and has returned to dial number 6, Colorado. The surprises did not stop there, as the unrest shattered the hopes of a championship by several teams occupying higher places, including Connecticut and Iowa.
So far, Friday’s action has largely been as expected. Ohio State, Auburn, Texas Tech, and Purdue all won their bouts, though there are still plenty of games that could bring more ladder-breaking unrest, buzzers, and overall hullabaloo today and the rest of the month.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch March Madness, with or without a cable.
The most common questions about the March madness
When does March Madness start and what are the games today?
Here is the schedule of the remaining matches on Friday and all matches scheduled for tomorrow (all ET):
Friday, March 18
- # 3 Purdue vs # 14 Yale, 2pm on TBS
- # 2 Villanova vs # 15 Delaware, 2:45 PM on CBS
- No. 7 South California vs. No. 10 Miami (Fla.), 3:10 pm on TruTV
- No.6 Alabama vs. No. 11 Notre Dame, 4:15 pm on TNT
- Number 6 Texas vs. 11. Virginia Tech, 4:30 PM on TBS
- Number 4 Illinois vs Number 13 Chattanooga, 6:50 PM on TNT
- No. 2 Duke vs. Cal State Fullerton, 7:10 pm on CBS
- No. 6 LSU vs. No. 11 Iowa State, 7:20 pm on TBS
- No. 1 Arizona vs. No.16 Wright State, 19:27 TruTV
- No.5 Houston vs. No.12 UAB, 21:20 on TNT
- No. 7 Michigan State vs No. 10 Davidson, 9:40 PM on CBS
- No.3 Wisconsin vs. No. 14 Colgate, 21:50 on TBS
- No.8 Seton Hall vs. No.9 TCU, 21:57 on TruTV
Saturday, March 19
- No. 8 North Carolina vs. No.1 Baylor, 12:10 PM on CBS
- No. 9 Creighton vs. No. 1 Kansas, 2:40 PM on CBS
- No.11 Michigan vs. No. 3 Tennessee, 5:15 PM on CBS
- Ranked 12th in Richmond vs. # 4 Providence, 6:10 PM EST on TNT
- No. 5 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 4 UCLA, 7:10 pm on TBS
- No.15 Saint Peter’s vs. Well. 7 Murray State, 7.45pm on CBS
- No. 12 in New Mexico vs. No. 4 in Arkansas, 8:40 PM on TNT
- No.9 Memphis vs. No.1 Gonzaga, 9:40 PM on TBS
You can check full schedule here.
Where does Final Four take place?
The Final Four and the national championship match will be held in New Orleans at the Caesars Superdome and will air on TBS.
On which channels will March Madness games be broadcast?
The games for the NCAA tournament will air on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV.
On NCAAhere’s a rundown of where to find games:
- CBS will broadcast 21 matches throughout the tournament, including Elite 8, Sweet 16, and Round 1 and Round 2.
- TBS will show 21 matches, including National Championship, Final Four, Elite 8, Sweet 16, and first and second round matches.
- TruTV will air a total of 13 games, including the first four and the first and second rounds.
- TNT will broadcast 12 matches, including matches in the first and second rounds.
Three of the streaming services – YouTube TV, Hulu Plus Live TV and DirecTV Stream – offer all four of the above channels needed to capture all the madness this month.
You can also stream games live from NCAA March Madness Live. A free three-hour preview is available, but then you need to log in with your TV provider to prove you are a pay TV subscriber. You can also watch matches broadcast on CBS from Paramount Plus … but that’s not ideal as the Final Four games and the national championship will be airing on TBS this year, not CBS.
What channel is TruTV?
You’ll need to locate TruTV on your channel for the first two rounds of the tournament if you don’t want to miss any of the matches and potential beats. Here’s where it can be found with major cable and satellite providers:
Can I watch for free?
Yes you can. There are two ways, but neither of them will guide you through the tournament on your own.
The March Madness Live app and website offers a free three-hour preview, after which you’ll need to prove you’re a pay-TV subscriber.
Another way is to sign up for a live TV streaming service. Each of the five major services offers a free trial. YouTube TV, Hulu With Live TV, and FuboTV all offer seven-day trials, while DirecTV Stream offers five days and Sling TV has the shortest trial of three.
Best cable-free streaming options
YouTube TV is $ 65 a month and includes CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV to watch every March Madness game. Connect your zip code to yours Welcome page To see what’s live, local networks are available where you live. Read our YouTube TV review.
Hulu With Live TV is $ 70 a month and includes CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV. Click on the link “View all channels in your area” on his Welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your zip code. Read our Hulu Live TV review.
The basic DirecTV Stream package for $ 70 / month includes CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV. You can use him channel search tool to check if you are getting a live CBS channel and other local networks in your zip code. Read our DirectTV Stream review.
Sling TV is a poor choice for watching March Madness as it doesn’t include CBS. His $ 35 / month Blue plan includes TruTV along with TBS and TNT. Read our Sling TV review.
FuboTV is $ 65 a month and includes CBS, but not TBS, TNT, or TruTV. With Final Four games and the national championship game on TBS, FuboTV is not a good choice for college basketball fans. click here to see what local channels you are getting. Read our FuboTV review.
You can broadcast any March Madness game on the NCAA March Madness Live website or app. You can watch for three hours for free, but then you will need to log in to prove you have a pay-TV subscription that covers the channels broadcasting the tournament. Note that in addition to cable and satellite providers, you can use a YouTube TV subscription, Hulu With TV, DirecTV Stream, or Sling TV to access March Madness Live. (FuboTV is the only exception among live TV streaming services as it does not offer any of Turner-owned stations.)
Latency is an issue with any streaming service, especially live sports, where you can also follow on Twitter and see the final score before the game actually ends. The NCAA says this year’s broadcasts will offer a 20% delay improvement over last year’s. While welcome, March Madness Live broadcasts will likely continue to run behind cable and satellite TV, and may also follow YouTube TV and other live TV services.
All of the above live TV streaming services offer free trials, allow you to cancel anytime, and require an always-on internet connection. Are you looking for more information? Check ours.