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March Madness Live Streams — Watch NCAA Tournament Online Free, Without Cable, & More

By Jeremy Evans / April 1, 2017 / Tags: , ,

Here are all the ways to watch NCAA March Madness live online this year — even without cable, and for free.

Stream NCAA basketball live online for March Madness

Sitting at work while your NCAA men’s basketball picks shoot breath-taking buzzer-beaters and make or break your bracket — and missing all the action — can be agonizing. Thankfully, you can watch March Madness online — and do so clandestinely, so your boss doesn’t catch you.

WHAT: 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, “March Madness”

WHEN: Tuesday, March 14 — Monday, April 3

WHERE: Games will be broadcast live on CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV

SCHEDULE: Today’s NCAA basketball games

There are several options to get access to March Madness live streams during the 2017 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Availability will vary, though, depending on whether you’re looking to live stream March Madness without a cable subscription, and whether you want to watch on a computer, phone or tablet, or media streaming device like Roku. Additionally, if you want to check out a particular game online, you may need to find out which network has the broadcast rights. Frankly, it’s a big, confusing mess.




In this post, I’ll help you sort through the madness of March Madness live streaming. I’m putting NCAA tournament viewers into two categories: 1) You have a cable/satellite TV provider; 2) You don’t have cable/satellite. For each type of viewer, I’ll outline the options. Plus, I give you a bonus way to live stream March Madness for free on Kodi.

Watch March Madness Online If You Have Cable

ncaa basketball photo

If you have a cable or satellite TV subscription, then live streaming NCAA March Madness basketball games is pretty straightforward.

March Madness Live App

First, you can use the free NCAA March Madness Live App. The NCAA has done an outstanding job with the March Madness Live App.

The March Madness Live App is the best way to stream the NCAA tournament because it will let you watch every game live from a single source. As a result, you won’t need to hunt around for March Madness live streams on the various networks for the games you want to watch.

With the March Madness app, all you need to do is to login with your cable or satellite TV provider credentials. (Note: Games on CBS don’t require a paid TV subscription. More on this below.)

The March Madness Live app is available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Android phones and tablets, Windows phones and tablets, Windows 10, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, computers (web browser), Chromecast, and Oculus (Final Four games only).

NCAA.com

If you don’t have a supported device and can’t use the NCAA app, you can still watch March Madness live on the NCAA’s website. You can watch on any computer or device. But remember — login with a TV provider is required.




Broadcast Networks’ Websites

Finally, you can live stream NCAA tournament games on the website of each network. For most people, using the March Madness Live App will be better. But if you don’t have a compatible device, here are the links to the live streams for each network that will be broadcasting NCAA tournament games. Again, TV login in required for each channel.

CBS live stream

TNT live stream

TBS live stream

TruTV live stream

Live Stream NCAA Tournament Without Cable

Watch March Madness Online, 2016

OK, cord cutters. Getting access to a March Madness live stream will be a bit more difficult for you. But, with a little planning and ingenuity, you’ll still be able to watch all of this year’s NCAA basketball tournament live.

PlayStation Vue + March Madness Live App (Live stream every March Madness game)

First off, if you have PlayStation Vue, I have great news for you: Playstation Vue customers qualify for the NCAA March Madness Live App. As a result, the NCAA treats PlayStation Vue customers just like it treats the customers of a cable TV or satellite TV provider.

If you don’t have PlayStation Vue, you’re still not out of luck. PlayStation Vue offers a free 30-day trial. Try Vue out, live stream March Madness, and if you don’t like it, cancel. Now that’s a confident move by PlayStation Vue. Vue knows people are going to sign up for the free trial so that they can watch the Tournament. Vue also knows most of the people signing up for the free trial are planning to cancel once the Tournament ends. But PlayStation Vue also knows its service is so good, and its customers so satisfied you won’t want to cancel when the trial ends.

If you don’t know much about PlayStation Vue, here’s an introduction. PlayStation Vue is arguably the best live TV streaming service on the market. It’s better than Sling TV and way better than DirectTV Now. Note that Sling TV customers do NOT have access to the March Madness App, and this is one more reason PSVue is better than Sling. (And in case you’re wondering, wTVPC does not have an affiliate relationship with PlayStation Vue.)

If you don’t want to give PlayStation Vue a shot, then your options to live stream March Madness are diminishing. But we’re resourceful, so we shall march onwards.

Sling TV (Live stream some NCAA tournament games)

Is Sling TV a good source to live stream March Madness? On its own, I don’t think so.

First, Sling TV does not carry CBS, so if you want to watch the CBS games, you’ll need to buy a CBS All Access subscription (which I describe below). If you’re new to Sling, and you just want to test-drive the service for the Tournament, Sling TV’s free trial is only 7 days. Since the Tournament continues for almost three weeks, you’ll need to pay for a full month to Sling to catch all the action.

Also, Sling’s free trial includes TBS and TNT — but not TruTV. If you decide to buy a subscription, Sling’s less expensive ‘Orange’ Plan also does not include TruTV. You’ll need to get the more expensive ‘Sling Blue’ Plan, which costs $25 and includes 40 channels (but still not CBS).

CBS All Access (Live stream March Madness games on CBS)

CBS All Access is CBS’s standalone service. Subscribers can watch CBS programming without needing any other cable/satellite TV provider.

CBS All Access costs $5.99/month with no contracts. All the NCAA March Madness games on CBS will be live streamed on CBS All Access. However, live streaming is only available in certain markets on CBS All Access. If it’s not available where you are, there is a workaround to get access anyway, which you can find here.

You can try CBS All Access free for 1 week.

Sling TV + CBS All Access (Watch all games free for 1 week)

To recap Sling TV and CBS All Access: It is possible to stream 1 full week of the NCAA March Madness via their free trials. Once the week concludes, you’ll need to sign up for 1 month of both services, for a total of $31.99, in order to watch the rest of the basketball tournament. Even though I haven’t exactly issued a glowing recommendation for Sling TV I have to admit — this is a pretty good deal if you love March Madness, but don’t want to get ripped off by the cable companies any longer.

More March Madness Live Streams — Free, Without Cable

Watch March Madness Live Online 2017
You can also live stream March Madness for free — but stay away from those “free live sports!!!” sites. There’s a better way.

You can use Kodi to watch every NCAA tournament game live online for free (plus lots of other sports). What is Kodi? Briefly, it’s a free media player application you can use to stream live sports and other content from the internet.

See how to watch March Madness on Kodi — including the best add-ons for the 2017 tournament and where to find them.

Wrap Up

As you can see, live access to the NCAA basketball tournament is fractured, not to mention confusing. Hopefully, I’ve cut through some of the noise, and you now know how to live stream all of this year’s March Madness action.



Jeremy Evans
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Jeremy Evans

I'm not a writer, but I play one on wTVPC.
Jeremy Evans
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