Spring is almost here, and for most of us that means three things: rising temperatures, blooming flowers, and a bracket that’s busted before the second round. This year’s tournament promises plenty of intrigue. With Zion Williamson reportedly back for the big dance, will he be able to return to form, destroying rims (and shoes) when the games count the most? Can Virginia redeem itself after last year’s first ever 1-16 upset? Is this the year I finally win the Reviews.com pool?
Fortunately for hoops junkies, you no longer need a cable bill to watch the tournament. We’ll walk you through everything you need to catch all the games — all without paying a dime. Because cutting the cord shouldn’t cut you off from basketball. Especially in March.
You’ll need CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV
If you want to catch all the March Madness games, these are the four channels you need. Once the tournament advances to the Final Four, all the games are shown on CBS, so you can get away with using a TV antenna or Locast, a free service that streams broadcast networks in select markets, if you only want to see the biggest games.
March Madness Schedule
Sign up for a free trial of a live streaming service
Almost 70 percent of the tournament’s games are broadcast on TBS, TNT, and TruTV. The only way to watch these without a cable subscription is through a live streaming service. Luckily, most of them come with at least a one-week free trial, so you can rotate through them during the three weeks of the tournament.
All of the following services include every channel that shows March Madness games — CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV — so you can rotate between their free trials for the three weeks of the tournament.
Streaming Service Trial Periods
Check out the March Madness Live App
Once you’ve signed up for a live streaming service (or if you already pay for cable), you can use that login to access the NCAA’s March Madness Live app. Of the five services listed above, only fuboTV doesn’t have access.
Once you’re logged in, you can watch every game on the same screen, ensuring you won’t miss any of the action. The NCAA also rolled out the Fast Break channel as a part of the app last year — think NFL RedZone for March Madness — that constantly alerts viewers to key plays and close games.
For more on how to stream TV for free year round, check out our recap of the 11 best free streaming services.