March has arrived. And with her, her madness. March madness, even.
It’s the time of year when college basketball has the tournament to end all tournaments, with 68 teams vying to be the best in the country. Every team that makes it to the tournament technically has a chance to win it all. There will be upsets. There will be anguish.
And there will be a lot of good basketball.
And this is the week that helps determine who’s in and who’s out. Conference tournaments are in full swing. Some teams get automatic bids. Some teams will find themselves on the outside looking in.
Kennesaw State and UNC Asheville have already broken through. The same goes for Drake, Fairleigh Dickinson, and southeastern Missouri State. Furman and Louisiana are in. And more will gain places as the week progresses.
That all leads up to Selection Sunday on March 12, when the full NCAA Tournament brackets are released. There is also a lot of fanfare at that event. It will air live on CBS at 3 pm PT/6 pm ET.
How to watch March Madness
From there, it’s time to play some basketball. We can’t tell you who is playing, when, and on which channel; that again has to wait until the brackets are set. But the games will be on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV.
That means you’ll be able to watch every game if you’re all-in on the stream. Many streaming services have CBS, TBS, and TNT, though you may need to check TruTV, and cable and satellite should as well.
All the games that will be on CBS will also be available on Paramount+.
The tournament begins on March 14 and 15 with “First Four” play-in games. Those essentially put eight teams that are lucky enough to be there into a small round of mini-tournament to earn a spot in the first round games. They are scheduled for 6:30 pm and 9 pm on both days and will be available on TruTV.
From there, the first round takes place on March 16 and 17, with 32 games beginning to narrow the field. The second round consists of 16 games on March 18 and 19. From there, the teams have a short break before the Sweet 16 matchups (so called because that’s how many teams are left at the time) on March 23 and 24. The Elite Eight games (eight teams, so four games) are on March 25 and 26.
The Best March Madness Streaming Service
As we mentioned before, there is no shortage of ways to watch March Madness. The games are available just about anywhere you can throw money at. The question, then, is which one will give you more for less.
The cheapest streaming service available is still Sling TV. It will give you access to TBS, TNT and TruTV. CBS is still missing, though, and that means you’ll be missing out on March Madness a lot. You can make up for that with an over-the-air antenna if you want (and we highly recommend you have one). But that still means you won’t get all the games in one place.
From there, your options get more expensive. YouTube TV would be our first choice. It costs $65 per month and includes your local CBS affiliate, along with TBS, TruTV, and TNT. Plus, it supports up to six accounts (all linked to one master Google account) and has free unlimited recording. And on top of that, you’ll get more than 100 channels to enjoy.
Watch it with NCAA March Madness Live
If, for whatever reason, watching TV or streaming on your phone via the above methods isn’t for you—perhaps your job frowns on that sort of thing during the day—there’s another pretty great option with NCAA March Madness Live. The app is available for iOS and Android devices, and that includes support for CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can listen to your games on the go. Or you can just check it out in a web browser if that’s how you do it.
You’ll also find March Madness Live on other platforms like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Xbox, Google TV, Android TV, and on LG smart TVs.
An important feature of March Madness Live is the ability to watch up to four games at once, in addition to the traditional picture-in-picture options.
The app will also provide you with up-to-date brackets, so you can see in real time how badly your own bracket is doing, all in one place.
And that’s all on top of traditional apps like update notifications and alerts.
When is the NCAA championship game and the Final Four?
The round of 16 is closed. The Elite Eight is over. The Final Four is over. And the original 68 teams will be whittled down to just one winner in the NCAA Championship Game on April 3, 2023.
The last three games, the two semifinals and the championship, will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston. Yes, that is the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans. But it’s a multi-use stadium that also hosts football games, rodeos, and professional wrestling. So college basketball really isn’t that far off. The stadium’s capacity is approximately 72,000, more than double the largest traditional college basketball arena (which is Syracuse’s JMA Wireless Dome with around 34,000 for basketball).
The two domestic semifinal games, collectively known as the Final Four, will be played on April 1.