For the second time since the tournament was expanded to 64 teams in 1985 (and the first time since 2009), all No. 1, 2 and 3 survived the first weekend. Only one double-digit seed has advanced to Sweet Sixteen and No. 12 Oregon – A huge state school that is no stranger to athletic achievement – hardly seems like a Cinderella story. The biggest story from last weekend was no. 9 UCF that came and a point away from disturbing no. 1 Duke.
While the first weekend of the tournament may have lacked drama in recent years, some fantastic matchups are created which the field narrows from 16 to elite eight and then the last four. The best part is yet to come.
Want to look? Here's your guide.
When are the March Madness games on?
We started with 68 teams and have reduced the field to 16. The game continues on Thursday. Here is the schedule for the next two days of the tournament:
Thursday, March 28
|No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 1 Gonzaga||7:09 p.m. ET||CBS|
No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 2 Tennessee|
7:29 p.m. ET
No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 2 Michigan|
9:39 p.m. ET
No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 1 Virginia|
9:59 p.m. ET
Friday, March 29,
|No. 3 LSU vs. No. 2 Michigan State||7:09 p.m. ET||CBS|
No. 5 Auburn vs No. 1 North Carolina|
7:29 p.m. ET
No. 4 Virginia Tech vs. No. 1 Duke|
9:39 p.m. ET
No. 3 Houston vs. No. 2 Kentucky|
9:59 p.m. ET
The winners on Thursday will play on Saturday, and the winners on Friday will play on Sunday as they continue to travel down the road to the Final Four in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The last four semifinal games will be played on Saturday, April 6, followed by the National Championship Game on Monday, April 8th.
What channels are the games on?
The remaining March Madness games will be shown on CBS and TBS. (Editor's note: CNET is a division of CBS.)
How can I watch for free?
Visit the NCAA's March Madness Live website or use its March Madness Live app and you'll be able to watch games for free. As with most things that are free, there is a catch.
To get full access to each game, you must log in with login details (username and password) from a pay-TV provider, usually your cable, satellite or live TV streaming service.
If you do not log in, you will be limited to just a preview of 3 hours, after which you will need to log in to continue watching games at TBS. Games at CBS, meanwhile, do not require pay-TV data so you can stream them all for free.
What are my other streaming options?
Cord cutters can use ato watch March Madness. However, to see CBS coverage, you must . Some streaming services carry all four channels of Mars Madness, but others will require you to mix and match services that can save money but can give a challenge when you frantically switch channels to capture a potential buzzer beater at the end of a close game .
Other Things to Know About Live TV Streaming Services:
- You Need A .
- You can watch any of them on TV as long as your smart TV has the service app. You can also watch your TV with a media streamer, including Roku, Fire TV, and Chromecast.
- You can also watch Android phones, tablets and
- You can register and cancel at any time, no contract required.
- Everyone offers free trial, so you can sign up to watch and then cancel.
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Streaming services with CBS and TBS
DirecTV Now ($ 50)
DirecTV Now the cheapest, plus package of $ 50 per month is CBS and TBS. Click here to check the availability of local live channels in your area.
Mix-and-match March Madness option
AT & T WatchTV ($ 15 or free) + CBS All Access ($ 6) = $ 21 or $ 6
AT & T WatchTV is a relative newcomer to the streaming game. It offers a more limited number of channels compared to its competitors but is much cheaper. It costs $ 15 a month for most, but AT&T wireless customers on qualified plans can get it for free. Among the 35 channels, Watch TV is TBS.
At the same time, CBS All Access carries live CBS stations in many parts of the country (check the location to see if you are covered) for $ 6 per month. Combine the two and you can watch all tournament games for about half the cost of a more complete streaming service above.
Sling Blue ($ 25) + CBS All Access ($ 6) = $ 31
None of Sling TV's plans offer CBS, but its $ 25 Sling Blue plan per month includes TBS. Connect it to CBS All Access to download games at CBS and you still pay less than a competing streaming service of $ 31 per month. Better than you can sign up for a discount: Sling Blue is currently $ 15 per month for the first three months for new subscribers, giving your Madness cost $ 21 for the tournament when linked to CBS All Access.
OTA antenna for CBS games = free
Another option for watching games at CBS is to use an antenna to get free, over-the-air TV. You can connect ato almost any TV, and solid antennas start as little as $ 10.
Mars Madness in 4K
Subscribers to DirecTV's satellite service are for a treat this month . DirecTV will reportedly send march games from March 19 to 30 in both 4K and HDR. You can only watch a selection of games in 4K. The 4K broadcast plan will include games on March 28 and March 30 from Anaheim, California.
Competing satellite provider Dish also broadcasts a selection of games in 4K. You can see their 4K broadcast schedule here, which will include an elite text game or two on March 30.
Originally published March 5.
Update, March 26 : Adds details for the second week of the tournament.