It all comes down to tonight. Just one game remains in college basketball’s monstrous tournament as the Wisconsin Badgers get set to take on the Duke Blue Devils at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. While many (if not all) college basketball fans assumed it’d be Coach K versus Coach Cal, Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin Badgers squad notched an upset for the ages in Saturday’s Final Four victory over Kentucky. With just one win separating Wisconsin and its first basketball national championship since 1941, they’ll have to topple yet another top-tier team in Duke before cutting down the nets. The calendar might say April, but a fitting and exciting end to March Madness tips off tonight, and you don’t want to miss it.
Though the tournament’s popularity knows no boundaries, we’re well aware of the broadcast limitations facing some fans. Either your pesky job gets in the way of consuming March Madness, you’ve avoided shelling out extra dough for a TV, or have other hurdles preventing you from catching the action. To help solve this problem, we’ve put together this simple guide on where to catch all the Final Four action on tap for today. So bust out your face paint and put on those unwashed jerseys, here’s your (digital) ticket to NCAA March Madness.
March Madness Live
Ready for the madness, but don’t have a TV at home? Fret not, basketball fans need just make a simple visit to NCAA’s March Madness Live website for access to streaming games, up-to-the-second stats, and a quick look at the current bracket. CBS and Turner Broadcasting once again team up with the NCAA to offer comprehensive online coverage of all 67 March Madness games, assuring even the most casual of fan have the ability to stay up on all the action. Cable channels TNT, TBS, and TruTV (all Turner Broadcasting channels) join in on the streaming fun again this year, helping bring every Big Dance matchup to viewers across the globe.
There is a catch, however. March Madness Live only allows viewers to freely stream the CBS broadcast games without requiring a compatible cable or satellite subscription. Access to the TNT, TBS, or TruTV streams do require working login credentials from providers like DirecTV, DISH Network, or many others in order to view those channel’s games. The NCAA does offer viewers without a cable or satellite subscription limited preview access, though it’s unlikely it lasts long enough to take in an entire game.
March Madness Live Application
(iOS | Google Play | Windows Phone | Amazon)
Similar to the above web resource, the NCAA offers March Madness Live as an application capable of streaming each and every March Madness contest. Once again, any game playing on CBS remains streamable for free, though those taking place on TNT, TBS, or TruTV require a compatible cable or satellite subscription. Users of smartphones or tablets touting an iOS, Android, Windows, or Amazon operating system have the ability to download the March Madness Live application, and the best part is, it’s completely free.
While Sling TV isn’t a specific online streaming option, DISH Network’s latest project proves an incredible way to stream March Madness action for cordcutters everywhere. The introductory $20 per month package includes channels like TNT, TBS, and ESPN granting even basic users access to a litany of college basketball action and coverage. To completely round out the March Madness experience, Sling TV users have the ability to add TruTV to the lineup for just an additional $5 per month. These options, coupled with the free online CBS coverage, guarantees basketball fans non-stop coverage of the Big Dance.
Microsoft’s Xbox One recently gained access to a Sling TV application, with DISH Network offering One users a free month trial of everything the streaming service offers. Though the trial lasts just 30 days, it’s more than worth checking out given the sheer amount of content users have access to. Do keep in mind the service requires physical cancellation before the 30-day trial ends, otherwise you’ll notice a one-month charge for the Sling TV service on your next bank statement.
The NCAA March Madness YouTube channel provides fans with highlight clips and game updates throughout the entirety of Monday’s championship game. Visitors have access to pre and postgame interviews, expert analysis leading up to the big game, and plenty of in-game highlights and features. If watching every second of the game doesn’t fit into your evening schedule, periodically checking in via YouTube is a great way to keep up with the action.
An incredible resource for information about almost anything, Reddit has more than enough March Madness-themed information to satisfy any fan of college basketball and the massive tournament. With tournament coverage on tap for the next several weeks, expect a bevy of content related to the Big Dance like team interviews, expert analysis, historical facts, and outrageous memes. Reddit’s loyal user base generates the site’s wealth of content, which is both a blessing, and a curse. You’ll find a slew of NCAA-themed pictures, videos, and even alternative streaming sites on game days.
While Reddit is an excellent resource for anything and everything March Madness, it’s incredibly easy to waste many an hour poking around the rest of the site. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Though not a video option, ESPN does offer its signature play-by-play Gamecast presentation for all 67 March Madness matchups. Just navigate to the NCAA scoreboard page via the ESPN website, click the game you’d like to follow, and the related Gamecast window opens. This feature shows real-time events including every made basket, dunk, layup, foul, and buzzer beating ridiculousness. Gamecast also lists each team’s stats, highlight videos, and what’s trending on the social media site Twitter.
Questionable streaming sites
Keep in mind most of the illegal streaming options available come loaded with unwanted spam and a barrage of pop-up windows. Leaning on such links tends to be frustrating, particularly when it comes to finding quality video and audio feeds with little buffering.
Related: How to connect your laptop to a TV
However, you must also keep in mind many of these sites illegally broadcast the content, and your computer remains at a high risk of malware when using them. Nevertheless, you’ll notice the deep selection of links available to you once you find an adequate streaming site on the Web. Notorious sites — though technically legal given they only provide links to various broadcast streams instead of broadcasting the copyrighted content — fall upon the gray areas of the law.
Note: As a rule of thumb, never click on any link which asks you to download any HD Players, update your streaming software, or to install any “required” media players. These are often just spam links that could infect your computer with viruses.
NCAA March Madness Championship Game – April 6th (all times PST)
No. 1 Wisconsin vs. No. 1 Duke — 6:18 p.m.
Wisconsin stunned the basketball world this past Saturday by doing something no other team had accomplished all year; topple the basketball juggernaut known as the Kentucky Wildcats. The celebration likely lasted a short while after the final buzzer since the victory won the Badgers a date with a Duke team playing possibly their best basketball all season long. Led by 2015’s Associated Press Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin looks to lean on the team’s incredible chemistry and experience as they prepare for March Madness’ biggest showdown. Statistically speaking, the Badgers seem fit for Mondays contest. Saturday’s Final Four victory made Wisconsin just the fourth team since 1985 to face — and defeat — the highest possible seed in every game en route to the championship game. Bo Ryan’s squad has run the tournament gauntlet thus far and a victory over the Blue Devils would cement the Badgers as one of the most impressive NCAA champions of the last few decades.
With all the hoopla rightfully surrounding Wisconsin after its shocking upset of Kentucky, the Duke Blue Devils enter Monday’s championship game a slight underdog. What Vegas’ line doesn’t show is the fact Duke won each of its five tournament games thus far by an average of 17.6 points, and allow a meager 55 points per game. Duke’s fantastic core of game-changing freshman — led by the superb Jahlil Okafor and his suffocating defense — put Coach K and the Blue Devils in a perfect position to nab their first title since 2010. Wisconsin may have a victory over Kentucky under their belt, but they face an entirely different beast in Duke Monday night. It’s world-class offense versus world-class defense; college basketball doesn’t get better than this.