If Zion Williamson returns from a knee injury before March Madness begins, his Duke Blue Devils will be the darling of the tournament. Other well-known powers are back in the running this year, including Duke rivals Virginia and North Carolina of the ACC, Kentucky and Tennessee of the SEC, Michigan and Michigan State of the Big Ten and Gonzaga of the West Coast Conference. Potential Cinderellas you should look out for in this year's dance (and in your brackets) are Buffalo, Murray State, and Wofford.
This year's tournament series will be announced on Sunday, March 17. The games begin on Tuesday, March 19, with the first play-in games, but the madness only comes to light on the first full day of the tournament on Thursday, March, 21, which should be celebrated as a national holiday.
There are more ways than ever to watch the March Madness with or without a cable subscription.
When do the games take place?
After 68 teams were invited to the big dance, the NCCA hosts four play-in games to bring the field to 64. At this point, mathematics leads to four regional tournaments. Each 16 teams. The winners of the four regional tournaments will then be in the Final Four, which this year took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- 19th-20th March: First four play-in games
- 21. March 24: Round 1 and 2
- March 28-29: Sweet Sixteen
- 30. – March 31: Elite Eight
- 6. April: Final Four
- 8. April: National Championship Game
On which channels do the games play?
March Madness The games are shown on four channels: CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV. (Note: CNET is a division of CBS.)
How can I watch for free?
Visit the NCAA's March Madness Live website or use the March Madness Live app, and you can 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 three-hour preview. Then you must sign up to continue the games on TBS, TNT and TruTV. CBS games do not require pay-TV credentials, so you can stream them for free.
What other streaming options are available?
Line cutters can use a live TV streaming service to watch March Madness. However, to see the coverage of CBS, you must ensure that the service is carrying your local CBS station. Some streaming services offer all four channels for March Madness, but others require mixing and matching of services. While this can save money, it can be challenging if the channels are forcibly changed to find a potential buzzer-beater at the end of a tight match.
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For more information on live TV streaming services:
Streaming services with all four networks
DirecTV Now ($ 40)
The cheapest Live A-Little package from DirecTV Now for $ 40 per month includes CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV. Click here to check the availability of local live channels in your area.
March-Madness Option Combination 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. Watch TV's 35 channels include TBS, TNT and truTV.
Meanwhile, CBS has All Access CBS stations in many regions of the country (the website lets you see 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
Neither Sling TV plans offer CBS, but the Sling Blue plan for $ 25 a month includes TBS, TNT and TruTV. Pair it with CBS All Access to pick up the games on CBS, and still pay less than a competing streaming offer for $ 31 a month.
OTA Antenna for CBS Games = Free
Another option for viewing games on CBS is to use an antenna to receive free air. You can connect a wireless digital antenna to almost any TV, and solid antennas are available as low as $ 10.
March Madness in 4K
DirecTV satellite service subscribers can look forward to this month. DirecTV is reportedly broadcasting March Madness games from 19 to 30 March in both 4K and HDR.