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How to watch NCAA basketball from anywhere for free

March Madness is the most exciting time of the year for college basketball fans. With NCAA basketball games being broadcasted on TBS, TNT, ESPN, CBS, and TruTV, it’s easier than ever to catch all the action, and you have more than a few options for doing so. However, the selection of games airing on each channel depends on which networks have broadcasting rights to various conferences, so if you want to watch every NCAA basketball game, you’ll want a TV streaming package that includes these channels.

The good news is that there are multiple live TV streaming services that cover these networks, allowing fans to tune into every NCAA live stream without cable. To help you choose the right one for your needs and budget, we’ve laid out all the different platforms to stream NCAA basketball and watch March Madness online, including some ways you can catch the games for free (if only for a limited time).  If you’re in a hurry, though, just sign up for YouTube TV: It has a 14-day free trial, and offers all of the channels mentioned above.

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Watch NCAA basketball on FuboTV

FuboTV app icon on Apple TV.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

FuboTV is a great option for streamers looking to watch NCAA basketball online. However, it is important to note that FuboTV only carries ESPN and CBS, and does not have TNT, TBS, or TruTV, which also broadcast games. Nonetheless, if ESPN and CBS cover the conferences you are interested in, FuboTV is a great choice for sports lovers looking to ditch cable and cut the cord. It has one of the most impressive channel lineups (the aforementioned omissions notwithstanding), offering more than 150 channels with its base plan. The service also offers a one-week free trial for new subscribers, allowing you to test it out before committing to a subscription. After the trial, pricing starts at $75 per month.

Watch NCAA basketball on Sling TV

Sling TV app icon on Apple TV.

Sling TV is an excellent and affordable live TV package for streamers looking to watch NCAA basketball online. Both the $40/month Sling Orange and Sling Blue carry TNT and TBS, two channels that broadcast the majority of the games. However, Sling Orange is the only one that carries ESPN, which broadcasts many of the games as well. On the other hand, Sling Blue is the only one that carries TruTV, which airs some other rounds of the tournament. If you only pick one of the two, we recommend Sling Blue because it offers more channels overall and allows for up to three simultaneous streams. This means that you can watch multiple games at once or share your account with friends and family (Sling Orange allows for only one stream at a time). However, you can combine the two plans into Sling Orange and Blue for $55 per month, giving you all the channels you need to access most NCAA live streams. You’re still missing CBS, though, so you might want to consider adding Paramount+ so you’re covered for all the NCAA games this season.

Watch NCAA basketball on ESPN Plus

The ESPN+ logo on a black background.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option to watch NCAA basketball, ESPN+ is a solid choice. While ESPN+ only has access to select conferences, namely the Big 12 and SEC Network games, it’s still an excellent way to catch much of the season without breaking the bank. ESPN+ is available for $10 per month or $100 per year, and offers a variety of other sports content as well, including UFC, LaLiga soccer, and more. Additionally, you can watch games on demand after they’ve aired, making it easy to catch up on any action that you may have missed. While ESPN+ doesn’t offer access to every NCAA live stream, it’s still a great app for sports fans looking for an affordable way to stay up-to-date with their favorite teams and conferences. It’s also a must-have for MMA fans, as ESPN+ is the best way to watch UFC fights online and is the only venue for UFC pay-per-views in the U.S.

Watch NCAA basketball on Paramount Plus

Paramount Plus logo on TV.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Paramount Plus is another cheap standalone app for streamers who want to watch NCAA basketball games online. Since CBS is one of the networks that broadcasts the games, Paramount Plus will air all the same games that CBS does, which covers the entire March Madness men’s tournament. Paramount Plus offers a range of other content as well, including original shows, movies, and more, making it a great platform for entertainment and sports, even if it’s not a complete cord-cutting TV streaming package by itself. Plus, new subscribers can take advantage of a one-week free trial to test out the service and see if it’s worth the small fee. It’s by far the cheapest service on our roundup, coming in at $5 per month or $50 per year.

Watch NCAA basketball on Hulu with Live TV

Hulu app icon on Roku.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Hulu with Live TV might be our favorite option for streamers who want to enjoy all the NCAA basketball games in one place. With TBS, TNT, ESPN, CBS, and TruTV all included in its 85+ channel lineup, Hulu with Live TV offers access to all the channels that you need to broadcast every NCAA live stream. It’s also great for cord-cutters because it includes Hulu’s library of on-demand content, as well as Disney+ and ESPN+, with its live TV package. This means that you can sink your teeth into a huge library of shows and movies on Hulu, as well as additional exclusive content on Disney+ and ESPN+. With plans competitively priced at $70 per month, Hulu with Live TV is an excellent all-in-one solution for streaming NCAA basketball and tons of other live and on-demand entertainment.

Watch NCAA basketball on YouTube TV

YouTube TV on Roku.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Last but not least is YouTube TV, which is another great live TV streaming service for watching NCAA basketball online. With TBS, TNT, ESPN, CBS, and TruTV all included in its 100+ channel lineup, YouTube TV offers access to all the channels that broadcast NCAA games. This makes it easy to enjoy all the action in one place without having to switch between different streaming services. Better still, YouTube TV offers a 14-day free trial for new subscribers, giving users the chance to watch NCAA basketball games for free for two weeks. This is the longest free trial of any streaming service on this list and a great way to test out YouTube TV before committing to a subscription, which starts at $65 per month.

Watch NCAA basketball from abroad with a VPN

NordVPN running on a MacBook Pro.

If you’re outside the U.S. and want to watch region-restricted NCAA basketball games, you’ll need a virtual private network to bypass geographical restrictions and access the streams. With a VPN, you can connect to a remote server in the U.S. and appear as if you’re located in the country, giving you access to the games just as if you were in the U.S. You can also enjoy privacy and peace of mind knowing that your online traffic is encrypted and hidden from prying eyes. Our favorite VPN service for streaming NCAA basketball games is NordVPN, thanks to its speedy and stable connectivity. NordVPN also offers a great suite of security features, including encryption and a strict no-logs policy, ensuring your internet activity remains private and secure.

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