March Madness 2018: How to watch the games for free without cable TV

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March Madness 2018: How to watch the games for free without cable TV
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Are you ready for some March Madness? If you want to watch the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament but don’t have a cable or satellite TV subscription, you can stream the games for free!

Many people who no longer have a pay TV subscription still love to watch college basketball, so here’s a step-by-step game plan…

Four networks will provide coverage of the NCAA Tournament: TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. It starts with Selection Sunday on March 11 and ends with the National Championship on Monday, April 2, from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Here are some key March Madness 2018 dates to remember:

  • Selection Sunday: Sunday, March 11
  • First Four: Tuesday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 14
  • First Round: Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16
  • Second Round: Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18
  • Sweet 16: Thursday, March 22 and Friday, March 23
  • Elite Eight: Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25
  • Final Four: Saturday, March 31
  • National Championship: Monday, April 2

RELATED: Streaming TV comparison: Which service has the best channel lineup?

March Madness 2018: 3 ways to watch for free

There will be 67 games over a 21-day period: CBS and TBS will air 21 games each, 13 games will be televised on truTV and the remaining 12 games can be found on TNT.

How can you watch them all for free? Here are three ways:

1. Digital antenna

Most cord cutters have probably already invested in a $40 digital antenna to get local channels like CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, PBS and independent stations. If you don’t have an antenna, AntennaWeb.org has a tool to help you choose one.

If your antenna doesn’t pick up CBS, you can stream the games using the CBS All Access app, which has a one-week free trial and costs $6/month afterward.

2. Free trials of live TV streaming services

A digital antenna will only help you with the games that are broadcast on CBS, so you may want to sign up for a free trial of a live TV streaming service to catch the March Madness games on the Turner networks.

Depending on where you live, your local CBS may also be included with these streaming options — so this may be your best choice.

Team Clark has reviewed the channel lineups and can confirm that DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV all carry TBS, TNT and truTV.

PlayStation Vue has a 5-day free trial, but the others give you seven full days to try them out.

If you’re looking for a cable or satellite TV alternative beyond just March Madness, money expert Clark Howard has tried several of the leading options and says YouTube TV is his #1 favorite.

Here’s our comparison of the best live TV streaming plans and deals!

3. NCAA March Madness Live

If you don’t plan to watch more than one game, you can probably skip the other options and take advantage of the free 3-hour preview of the NCAA March Madness Live app, which gives pay-TV subscribers access to all 67 live games.

Keep in mind that after the free 3-hour preview ends, a paid TV subscription is required to continue watching.

The platform is available on many devices: iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Android handsets, Android tablets, Fire tablets, Chromecast, Alexa Skill for Amazon devices, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox One and NCAA.com/march-madness-live.

One limitation is that live CBS games aren’t available to stream on set-top boxes with March Madness Live.

RELATED: Clark’s TV bundle will cut your cable or satellite bill in half!

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, MichaelSaves.com.
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