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

March Madness Opening Weekend Book Cover March Madness Opening Weekend
College Basketball

March Madness Opening Weekend is the grand tip-off to the exciting NCAA Tournament. Want to watch Opening Weekend online?

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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 runs 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.


March Madness Opening Weekend is Available on DIRECTV NOW

march madness opening weekend

DIRECTV NOW is a newer streaming service that offers TBS, TNT, and TruTV in its packages which start at $35 a month. It does not require a satellite and is actually fantastic for on-the-go streaming if you want to watch March Madness opening weekend on mobile. If you’re thinking it’s a little pricey, we should tell you that you get over 60 channels for the $35 per month, making DIRECTV NOW a very attractive option for streaming beyond March Madness. The full DIRECTV NOW channels list is over on our review of the service.

You’ll be able to watch March Madness opening weekend with DIRECTV NOW, plus many of the games leading up to the championship. This service is still adding new features and packages, and it’s got a similar setup to cable, making it a nice switch for those still new to cord cutting.

If you want to watch March Madness opening weekend online free of charge, we recommend testing out DIRECTV NOW with the free 7-day trial. This way, you get a week of free streaming while you decide if this service is right for you. DIRECTV NOW also runs special promos from time to time (such as offering a free device), so make sure you’re getting the best deal if and when you do decide to purchase the service.


Watch the NCAA Tournament Online with Sling

Sling TV

Sling TV is a great 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. 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 one of Sling TV’s current deals. They are always changing, so be sure to check them out, but Sling has been known to offer things like a free Roku if you pay for three months of service.

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 many of the March Madness games, including the ever-important championship game. 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 for the Final Four and nationial championship.


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 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 recently 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 seven 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.

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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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