2016 March Madness Opening Weekend Live Stream: 1st & 2nd Round Guide

watch the sweet 16 online

To many, the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament is one of the most exciting times in sports. It is the kickoff to the craziness that is March Madness and when some of the best games in the tournament happen. This is the first opportunity for Cinderella teams to start their run and other teams to solidify that they belong with a strong seed. There are always upsets in the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament as well as incredible finishes and individual performances.

If you are a cable cutter, you will want to make sure you don’t miss any of NCAA tournament. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there to watch March Madness opening weekend online. Read the guide we put together below to help you get the perfect setup to stream the NCAA Tournament.


Sling TV- The Best Option for Cable Cutters to Watch NCAA Tournament Online

Sling TV

Sling TV will most likely be the easiest and highest quality option to watch March Madness online. Subscribers to Sling TV can watch more than 20 popular cable channels live streaming for only $20 per month. The channels in the starting package include TBS, TNT, truTV, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 (Via WatchESPN with your Sling TV credentials).

The first three channels will be broadcasting two thirds of the entire NCAA tournament and a large amount of the games in the first and second round. Sling TV even improved their basic package just for March Madness by including truTV, which is normally accessible by including the Lifestyle Extra package for $5 more per month. Learn more about watching March Madness in our full guide.

Sling TV (review) is compatible with just about all major devices, meaning you can easily stream March Madness. Not only can you watch Sling TV streaming on your computer, tablet, or phone, but you can watch it directly on your TV with Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Chromecast.

If you’re sold or close to it, the final kicker may be Sling TV’s current deal. In return for a three month Sling TV subscription, you can pick between either a free Roku 2 or half-off a Roku 3. Just to frame this deal, the Roku 2 actually retails at $69.99, so you’re getting it for $10 off and Sling TV for three months is just an added bonus. It’s a great deal to sign up for now, so you can watch the first and second round of March Madness live streaming right on your TV.

You can even watch the first and second round of March Madness online free with Sling TV’s 7-day free trial. You just need to time the trial right and it will work perfect to let you try out Sling TV and watch the first two rounds for no cost at all.


Watch March Madness Opening Weekend Free on CBS in Multiple Ways


CBS broadcasts 21 of the 67 March Madness games. The 21 games include a big chunk of the games during the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament. CBS is the only station where fans can watch March Madness games free.

One way to do this is by accessing CBS’s over-the-air network broadcast with an antenna. These aren’t the rabbit ears of old, but antennas like the Mohu Leaf 50 receive channels like CBS, FOX, ABC, and NBC to let you watch them directly on your TV. You can even watch March Madness live stream in HD.

You can even improve this setup by adding an over-the-air DVR and record the games to be watched later. Our recommended DVR, the Tablo, includes all the traditional features (record, rewind, pause, etc…), but will also let you watch a March Madness live stream on your phone, tablet, or computer. The Tablo connects to the internet and even allows you to watch previously recorded shows or games streaming on your devices. This is an incredibly easy and efficient way to watch March Madness online, especially during the first two rounds of the tournament.


Use the March Madness Live App to Watch NCAA Tournament Live Stream

The March Madness Live App is another option out there for cable cutters to watch March Madness live streaming. The NCAA says this is the best option out there to watch March Madness online, since all 67 games can be watched on the app. But, for cable cutters only the CBS games will be available for free on the app.

The additional games on TBS, TNT, and truTV are only available if you have a cable login. If you have a generous friend this could be an option, but even just to watch the CBS March Madness games free is a great deal. It is definitely a great option to stream March Madness during the first and second round of the tournament.


Subscribe to PlayStation Vue to Watch March Madness Opening Weekend Online

Playstation Vue

Sony’s competing cable alternative, PlayStation Vue, actually features all four channels broadcasting March Madness games. PlayStation Vue is structured similar to Sling TV and can easily let you watch an NCAA Tournament live stream. For $29.99 per month, you can watch over 60 cable channels online. Channels include CBS (in select markets only), TNT, TBS, truTV, ESPN, and ESPN2. So, you can not only watch March Madness online, but you can watch tons of other sports as well. You can learn more about  You can stream March Madness with PlayStation consoles, iPhones/iPads, Rokus, or Amazon Fire TV.

Vue has just become available nationwide, offering another legal way to watch March Madness without cable. However, the nationwide package does not include CBS, that’s still only available in 7 cities across the country. Check out our PlayStation Vue review for more info.

If you want to learn more about watching college basketball online in general, head over to our full guide for college basketball fans that cut cable.


March Madness Schedule 2016 – First and Second Round

*All times listed in Eastern Time

Saturday, March 19 – Second Round

12:10 PM Miami vs. Wichita St. (CBS)

After conclusion Duke vs. Yale (CBS)

5:15 PM Kentucky vs. Indiana (CBS)

6:10 PM Iowa State vs. Arkansas-Little Rock (TNT)

7:10 PM Virginia vs. Butler (TBS)

After conclusion Kansas vs. Connecticut (CBS)

After conclusion Utah vs. Gonzaga (TNT)

After conclusion North Carolina vs. Providence (TBS)

Sunday, March 20 – Second Round

12:10 PM Villanova vs. Iowa (CBS)

After conclusion Notre Dame vs Stephen F. Austin (CBS)

5:15 PM Oklahoma vs. VCU (CBS)

6:10 PM Syracuse vs. Middle Tennessee (TNT)

7:10 PM Maryland vs. Hawaii (TBS)

After conclusion Texas A&M vs. Northern Iowa (truTV)

After conclusion Wisconsin vs. Xavier (TNT)

After conclusion Oregon vs. St. Joseph’s (TBS)


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Matt Pelletier

Matt Pelletier

Matt Pelletier has a background in finance and information technology and has written for publications with themes ranging from sports to enterprise technology and investments.
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Matt Pelletier