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March Madness 2019: How To Watch NCAA Basketball Tournament Live



  UCF v Duke

Celebrating Zion Williamson and Duke after being squeaked by UCF to advance to Sweet Sixteen.


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Where is the madness?

For the first time since the expansion of the 1985 tournament to 64 teams (and the first time since 2009), all seeds # 1, 2 and 3 survived the first weekend. Only a single two-digit seed has advanced to Sweet Sixteen, and no. 12 Oregon – a huge state school that does not know sports achievements – hardly seems like a Cinderella story. The biggest story of the past weekend was # 9 in the UCF series and one point away from Disturbing Duke # 1.

Although the first weekend of the tournament may have been at the drama of the past few years, it offers some fantastic matchups in the field narrowed from 16 to the elite eight and then to the final four. The best is yet to come.

Want to watch? Here is your guide.


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When will the March Madness Games take place?

We started with 68 teams and reduced the field to 16 games. The games will continue on Thursday. Here is the schedule for the next two days of the tournament:

Thursday, March 28

Matchup Time Channel
No. 4 State of Florida vs. No. 1 Gonzaga 19:09 ET CBS
No. 3 Purdue Vs. No. 2 Tennessee 19:29 ET TBS
No. 3 Texas Tech Vs. No. 2 Michigan 9:39 pm ET CBS
No. 12 Oregon Vs. No. 1 Virginia 21:59 pm ET TBS

Friday, March 29

Matchup Time Channel
No. 3 LSU vs. No. 2 Michigan State 19:09 ET CBS
No. 5 Auburn Vs. No. 1 North Carolina 19:29 ET TBS
No. 4 Virginia Tech vs. No. 1 Duke 9:39 pm ET CBS
No. 3 Houston Vs. No. 2 Kentucky 21:59 pm ET TBS

Thursday's winners will play Saturday, and Friday's winners will play Sunday as they continue down the road to the Final Four in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The last four semi-finals will be played on Saturday, 6th April, followed by the national championship game on Monday, 8th April.

On which channels are the games running?

The remaining March Madness games are shown on CBS and TBS. (Editor's note: CNET is a department of CBS.)

How can I watch for free?

Visit the March Madness Live NCAA website or use the March Madness Live app to watch games for free. As with most things that are free, there is a catch.

To get full access to every game, you need to sign up with a pay-TV provider with credentials (username and password). This is usually your cable, satellite or live TV streaming service.

If you do not sign in, you're limited to a 3-hour preview. After that, you must sign up to continue the games on TBS. CBS games do not require pay-TV credentials, so you can stream them for free.

What other streaming options are there?

Cord cutters can use a live TV streaming service to watch March Madness. However, to see CBS reporting, you must ensure that the service is carrying your local CBS station . Some streaming services offer all four channels for March Madness, but others need to be combined to save money. While this can save money, it could be a challenge if you desperately change channels to find a potential buzzer-beater at the end of a tight game.

For more information about live TV streaming services:

  • You Need a Fixed Internet Connection .
  • You can watch any of them on TV as long as your Smart TV has the Internet service app. You can also watch TV with a media streamer on your TV, including Roku, Fire TV Apple TV and Chromecast.
  • You can also access iPhones Android phones, tablets, and PC browsers.
  • You can always sign up and cancel, no contract is required.
  • All offer free trial periods so you can sign up to view them and then cancel them.

Disclosure: CNET may receive a revenue share from the sale of the products shown on this page.

Streaming Services with CBS and TBS

DirecTV Now ($ 50)

DirecTV Nows cheaper package for $ 50 per month includes CBS and TBS. Click here to check the availability of local live channels in your area.


See at DirecTV Now

March-Madness options for mix-and-match options

AT & T WatchTV (15 USD or free) + CBS All Access (6 USD) = 21 USD or 6 USD

AT & T WatchTV is a relative newbie in the streaming game. It offers a limited number of channels compared to its competitors but is much cheaper. For most people, that costs $ 15 a month, but AT & T wireless customers can sign up for qualifying plans for free. Among the 35 TV channels is TBS.

Meanwhile, CBS All Access has CBS stations in many regions of the country (see website to find out if you're covered) for $ 6 a month. Combine the two, and you can watch all tournament games for about half the cost of a more complete streaming service.

Sling Blue ($ 25) + CBS All Access ($ 6) = $ 31

None of Sling TV's plans offer CBS, but Sling Blue's 25-month Sling Blue plan includes TBS. Pair it with CBS All Access to pick up the games on CBS and you still pay less than a competing streaming service for $ 31 a month. Better yet, you can sign up for a discount: Sling Blue is currently paying $ 15 per month for new subscribers, reducing March Madness's costs to $ 21 compared to CBS All Access.

OBS Antenna for CBS Games = Free

Another option for watching games on CBS is to use an antenna to receive free wireless TV. You can connect a Over-the-Air Digital Antenna to almost any TV, and solid antennas start at $ 10.

March Madness in 4K

Subscribers to the DirecTV satellite service expect a treat this month. DirecTV is reportedly broadcasting March Madness games from 19 to 30 March in both 4K and HDR. You can only see a selection of games in 4K. The 4K schedule includes games on March 28th and 30th from Anaheim, California.

The competing satellite provider Dish also broadcasts a selection of games in 4K. You can see the 4K schedule here, which will include one or two Elite Eight games on March 30th.


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Originally published on March 5th.
Update of March 26 : Adds details for the second week of the tournament.


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