Update: Due to the Coronavirus, the NCAA has made the decision to call off March Madness. We will update this guide with any new information that arises!
The basketball bonanza that is March Madness is upon us, with the 64 best college basketball teams in the USA set to battle it out in a hectic three weeks of balls and hoops. With a long list of fairytale stories and famous upsets, the NCAA tournament rarely fails in delivering sporting drama and has become one of the hallmarks of American sport.
Things begin in earnest this weekend with Selection Sunday when the NCAA's Selection Committee reveal the full tournament bracket, including teams and seedings. The action technically starts on Tuesday, March 17 in Dayton, Ohio with the opening pair of play-in games, however the March Madness chaos doesn't truly gets underway until the afternoon of Thursday, March 19, when the first of 32 first-round showdowns tips off. This signals the start of four days of near non-stop action that doesn't relent until the Sweet 16 participants are determined. Due to the Coronavirus, the NCAA has decided not to let fans attend the games, so the only way to watch this year will be via a live stream.
Week two sees the remaining 'Elite Eight' battle it out with the winners of each region before heading into the final week's 'Final Four' showdown where the eventual national champions will be crowned.
The Kansas Jayhawks currently lead the betting for this year's tournament after finishing the season 28-3 SU through 31 games, and feature seven-foot Nigerian centre Udoka Azubuike who many predict will be the stand out player of this year's tournament. Gonzaga, led by the 13.6 point-averaging French forward Killian Tillie, have secured the West Coast Conference's automatic bid and are also being heavily backed for glory this year.
Whether you're supporting your favorite school or any of the teams in the 32 NCAA conferences this season, find out below how you can follow all the action as it happens from every game, no matter where you are in the world, with our March Madness live stream guide.
March Madness 2020: Where and when?
The action lasts for three weeks from mid-March to early April. The tournament kicks off with Selection Sunday and the First Four.
Rounds 1 and 2 will take place from March 19-22, the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight are scheduled between March 28-30, the Final Four will take place on April 4 and finally the National Championship Game will take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on April 6.
Watch March Madness online from outside your country
We have details of all the US, UK, and Canadian broadcasters of March Madness further down in this guide. If you're intent on watching all the college basketball action, but find yourself away from home then you'll run into problems when trying to stream your domestic coverage online from abroad as its likely to be geo-blocked.
That's where a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can be a lifesaver. They allow you to virtually change the ISP of your laptop, tablet or mobile to one that's back in your home country, letting you watch as if you were back there.
VPN's are incredibly easy to use and have the added benefit of giving you a further layer of security when surfing the web. There are lots of options, and we recommend ExpressVPN as our #1 pick due to its speed, security and ease of use. It can be used on a vast array of operating systems and devices (e.g. iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Fire TV Stick, Roku, games consoles, etc). Sign up for ExpressVPN now now and enjoy a 49% discount and 3 months FREE with an annual subscription. Or give it a try with its 30-day money back guarantee. Looking for other options? Here are some alternatives that are on sale right now.
How to watch March Madness online in the U.S.
If you're a cable subscriber in the U.S. and would prefer to watch March Madness on your TV, truTV will show all of the games in the First Four, CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV will show the first and second rounds, CBS and TBS will show the regional semifinals and finals and CBS will show the Final Four as well as the national championship.
If you're looking to cut the cord, there are a number of streaming services that give you access to CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV.
- Hulu with Live TV $54.99 per month - Hulu offers access to ESPN, FS1, ABC and Fox and you'll also be able to watch the service's own Hulu Originals.
- Sling TV starting at $20 per month - With Sling's combined Orange & Blue plan you'll have access to ESPN, FS1, Fox as well as many other channels. The service costs just $20 for your first month but after that the price increases to $45 per month.
- FuboTV starting at $54.99 per month - FuboTV's base plan gives you access to 103 channels including Fox, FS1 and FS2. The service doesn't include every channel you'll need to watch XFL this season but there is a great deal of variety plus you'll get 30 hours of Cloud DVR and the ability to watch on two screens at once.
- YouTube TV $49.99 per month - YouTube TV gives you access to more than 70 channels including Fox, ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, FS1 and FS2 which means you'll easily be able to watch every XFL game this season. YouTube TV also provides you with unlimited cloud DVR storage in case you want to record a game for later.
- AT&T TV Now $65 per month - AT&T Now gives you access to over 45 channels including Fox, FS1, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. While more expensive than the other options on this list, AT&T TV Now also comes with HBO for the same price.
Finally, the NCAA's own March Madness Live app and accompanying website will show all 67 tournament games with a 3-hour free preview that will let you watch games airing on TBS, TNT and truTV. Once the time limit is up, however, you'll have to login using the credentials from your cable provider.
How to stream March Madness live in the UK
The great news for basketball fans in the UK, or if indeed you're a US expat currently residing across the pond, you'll be able to watch March Madness games live via ESPN Player. A similar service to ESPN+, the service allows you to stream a huge chunk of the network's live content online and through its corresponding app, including its college basketball coverage.
The service costs £9.99/€11.99 per month or £69.99/€79.99 for a year's subscription which also gets you access to additional content from ESPN.
Live stream March Madness live in Canada
TSN is home to coverage of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in Canada. You can watch every single game live across the TSN Network and streaming on TSN.ca, the TSN App and TSN Direct.
How is the Coronavirus impacting March Madness?
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic that's spreading throughout the U.S., the NCAA has already decided to close the doors to the games for fans. As it stands right now, only players and coaches will be in the stadiums, and you'll have to watch via a live stream if you want to see the action as it happens.
The NBA has already suspended the 2020 season indefinitely, so it wouldn't be overly surprising to see the NCAA follow suit and cancel the big tournament before it really begins.
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