Your boss probably wants you to be all “productive” this week, but we know you have a lot of money riding on the March Madness tournament this year, and you don’t want to miss a second of the action. We’re here to help. Below you’ll find the easiest and most reliable ways to watch March Madness online, along with some pro tips for staying undetected while you slack off.
Where to Stream March Madness
Basically, it’s the same drill as last year. The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament will be viewable on pretty much every platform imaginable: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Amazon Kindle Fire, or simply on your browser. Unfortunately, however, in order to (legally) watch all 67 games on any of these platforms, you need to have a cable TV subscription. All games broadcast on CBS will stream for free, but all games airing on TNT, TBS and TruTV will require you to provide your pay-tv provider logins before you’re granted access. So, if you’re one of the intrepid few who ditched cable long ago, you’re probably wondering which games you can catch for free and which ones you’ll have to borrow a friend’s login info for. To help you with that, we’ve compiled the entire first round schedule below. The ones in red are the ones you can watch for free, and all the others you’ll need to steal somebody’s login info to view.
Thursday, March 21
- (6) Ohio State vs. (11) Dayton; 12:15 p.m. on CBS
- (2) Wisconsin vs. (15) American; 12:40 p.m. on truTV
- (8) Colorado vs. (9) Pittsburgh; 1:40 p.m. on TBS
- (5) Cincinnati vs. (12) Harvard; 2:10 p.m. on TNT
- (3) Syracuse vs. (14) Western Michigan; 2:45 p.m. on CBS
- (7) Oregon vs. (10) BYU; 3:10 p.m. on truTV
- (1) Florida vs. (16) Albany/Mount St. Mary’s; 4:10 p.m. on TBS
- (4) Michigan State vs. (13) Delaware; 4:40 p.m. on TNT
- (7) UConn vs. (10) Saint Joseph’s; 6:55 p.m. on TBS
- (2) Michigan vs. (15) Wofford, 7:10 p.m. on CBS
- (5) Saint Louis vs. (12) N.C. State/Xavier; 7:20 p.m. on TNT
- (5) Oklahoma vs. (12) North Dakota State; 7:27 p.m. on truTV
- (2) Villanova vs. (15) Milwaukee; 9:25 p.m. on TBS
- (7) Texas vs. (10) Arizona State; 9:40 p.m. on CBS
- (4) Louisville vs. (13) Manhattan; 9:50 p.m. on TNT
- (4) San Diego State vs. (13) New Mexico State; 9:57 p.m. on truTV
Friday, March 22
- (3) Duke vs. (14) Mercer; 12:15 p.m. on CBS
- (6) Baylor vs. (11) Nebraska; 12:40 p.m. on truTV
- (7) New Mexico vs. (10) Stanford; 1:40 p.m. on TBS
- (1) Arizona vs. (16) Weber State; 2:10 p.m. on TNT
- (6) UMass vs. (11) Iowa/Tennessee; 2:45 p.m. on CBS
- (3) Creighton vs. (14) UL Lafayette; 3:10 p.m. on truTV
- (2) Kansas vs. (15) Eastern Kentucky; 4:10 p.m. on TBS
- (8) Gonzaga vs. (9) Oklahoma State; 4:40 p.m. on TNT
- (8) Memphis vs. (9) George Washington; 6:55 p.m. on TBS
- (1) Wichita State vs. (16) Cal Poly/Texas Southern; 7:10 p.m. on CBS
- (6) North Carolina vs. (11) Providence; 7:20 p.m. on TNT
- (5) VCU vs. (12) Stephen F. Austin; 7:27 p.m. on truTV
- (1) Virginia vs. (16) Coastal Carolina; 9:25 p.m. on TBS
- (8) Kentucky vs. (9) Kansas State; 9:40 p.m. on CBS
- (3) Iowa State vs. (14) North Carolina Central; 9:50 p.m. on TNT
- (4) UCLA vs. (13) Tulsa; 9:57 p.m. on truTV
Pro Tip: March Madness Live allows up to 4 hours of streaming until it asks for payment, but if you don’t want to pay, you can circumvent this problem by using a proxy server to obscure your IP address.
Tips & Tricks
Chances are good that your boss will walk by at some point to make sure you’re not slacking off, so here are some pro tips for keeping your activities hidden from prying eyes.
- Get yourself some wireless in-ear headphones. Watching the tournament with your computer on mute is simply out of the question, but wearing a big pair of cans isn’t the best idea either. Instead of wearing a giant pair of over-ears and completely giving yourself away, we recommend going with the one-earbud approach. It’s functional, low profile, and doesn’t hinder your ability to hear your boss’s footsteps approaching your cubicle.
- Download a tab-hider browser extension or app. There will inevitably come a time when one of your superiors walks past your workspace and takes a quick glance at your computer screen, and when that time comes, you’ll need a quick way to hide the live video stream you’re watching. The NCAA Live site offers a “Boss Button” that brings up a fake window with a pie chart, but it probably won’t stand up to close scrutiny. Instead, we recommend using the Panic Button extension and setting a custom keyboard shortcut that can be used to activate it quickly.