College basketball season is here, and fans from all over the world are eager to catch all the action. Last season was full of excitement, and we have a feeling that the best is yet to come. With the 2016-2017 season underway at last, you’ll want to make sure you have a good way to watch NCAA basketball online so you don’t miss out!
With cable TV prices skyrocketing, many people are paying $100/month or more, just to watch their favorite programming. If you’re getting tired of paying a small fortune every month for cable, you should learn more about your alternatives. Thankfully, there are ways to watch NCAA basketball game live stream, even without a cable subscription.
Today, it’s easier than ever to watch college basketball online. In this guide, we’ll go over the various safe, easy and legal ways to access NCAA basketball streaming from home, without cable.
Use DIRECTV NOW For College Basketball Streams
Currently, one of the best ways to watch NCAA streams from home without cable TV is to use a service called DIRECTV NOW. This online streaming service gives you direct access to 60+ channels for $35 per month, with no contract and no cable required. You can watch from home on your TV using a streaming device or computer, or even on-the-go using a mobile device.
DIRECTV NOW offers a lot of great channels, but for college basketball streams, the key channels include ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, TBS, TNT, TruTV, NBCSN, SEC Network, and even FOX/FOX Sports regional networks in some areas. Combined, these channels offer TONS of NCAA streams, covering the majority of conferences in the NCAA. If a game falls on one of these networks, you’ll be able to watch it live with DIRECTV NOW! See our DIRECTV NOW review for further information.
And, don’t forget, DIRECTV NOW goes far beyond just college basketball streaming. You’ll also enjoy news on FOX News and CNN, TV shows on Comedy Central and AMC, and so much more. You can even add HBO to your plan for just $5 per month extra!
Curious to try DIRECTV NOW? Click here to start a free 7-day trial and watch NCAA basketball online free for a full week!
Sling TV Offers a Good Way to Watch NCAA Basketball Online
There are a variety of viable options for a legal NCAA basketball live stream, but one of the best and most affordable choices is Sling TV.
If you’re not familiar with the service, Sling TV is a live streaming service that serves as an excellent alternative to expensive cable subscriptions. Plans start from only $20 a month, with no contract required. For folks wanting to watch NCAA basketball online, here’s what useful channels Sling TV offers (note that different packages offer different channel selections, but you can get all of these via Sling):
- ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are useful for tons of conferences, including ACC, American, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and more
- TBS, TNT, and TruTV are useful for ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Big East and more
- FOX, FOX Sports Regional networks and FS1 are useful for ACC, SEC, Big East, Big 12, Pac-12 and more
- NBCSN is useful for Atlantic 10, Ivy League, Mountain West and more
- SEC Network is useful for SEC conference
- Pac 12 Network for Pac 12 conference
- AXS TV for select games, including night games for the Paradise Jam Tournament
- 40+ other great channels, including CNN, AMC, Comedy Central and more
ALL of these networks are available via Sling TV! That means, so long as a game falls on one of these networks, you’ll be able to stream it LIVE using Sling. All in, these channels will provide access to the vast majority of college basketball games for the entire season. To get all of them, you’ll need the Sling Orange + Blue package, which is $40 a month for more than 50 channels. You could also go with a cheaper package, which would still give you the majority of these networks. Plans range from $20 to $40 a month, and everything is non-contract.
One thing to note is that FOX and FOX Sports Regional networks are only available in certain areas, and for the Regional networks, you’ll only get the network that is applicable to your geographical location. All other channels on Sling are available nationwide. Check our Sling TV review for all the details.
As for the actual mechanics, Sling TV is pretty simple: Sign up (use the free trial offer), pick a package, and you’re good to go! From there, you can watch all these networks LIVE from anywhere with an internet connection. Watch on your streaming devices, such as Roku or Apple TV, on your computer, on your smart TV, or even on your mobile phone! If you’re not satisfied with the service, you can cancel whenever you want as Sling TV is non-contract.
If you’re still not convinced that Sling TV is the best method to watch college basketball games online, maybe these limited-time deals will help convince you:
- Get a FREE Roku when you prepay for 3 months of Sling TV
- Or, get a deep discount on an Apple TV with the same 3-month term
- T-Mobile customers can score a 30% discount on Sling TV (for the Sling Orange package only)
Want to try it out before signing up? Click here to try Sling TV for free for 7 days.
CBS All Access Offers College Basketball Live Stream in Select Markets
Another good way to stream NCAA basketball games is to use CBS All Access. Throughout the regular season, CBS will be airing featured college basketball game live stream on just about every weekend. If you want to watch these games online live, you can do so with CBS All Access, the network’s standalone streaming service. While All Access (review) is mostly known for carrying a huge library of hit CBS shows, it also offers NCAA basketball streaming in many markets throughout the country.
If you live in a market where All Access offers live streaming (click here to find out), you’ll be able to watch NCAA basketball online every weekend this way, including March Madness games airing on CBS.
Use FuboTV to Watch NCAA Basketball Online
FuboTV is an online streaming service designed mostly for sports fans. It offers over 40 channels for a starting price of $35 per month, and most of its key offerings are sports networks. It offers channels like FS1, FS2, NBCSN, NBA TV, Big Ten Network, BeIn Sports, and many more. Also offered are more general channels, including FX, Bravo, USA and others. See the FuboTV channel list for more info.
FuboTV is currently $35 per month, but this price is set to go up eventually. If you’re interested in the service, now is the time to lock in that lower price. There’s also a free 7-day trial available, which provides an easy way to watch NCAA basketball online free while you explore FuboTV.
PlayStation Vue Gives Fans Another Way to Live Stream College Basketball
Like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue is a live streaming service that gives users access to a bundle of popular pay TV channels, all without the cable contract. Vue offers a number of channels that will be useful to watch NCAA basketball games online. Depending on the package you choose, you can get FS1 and FS2, regional FOX Sports networks, ESPN, TBS, TNT, truTV, CBS, and more. These channels will all be useful to stream NCAA basketball games online.
There are some things you should be aware of, however, about PlayStation Vue. First off. you can’t use it while outside of your home as mobile viewing is restricted. Second, it’s not available on all streaming devices. And third, it’s a bit pricey, with plans starting from $30 (but at least $40 for most of the best plans for watching college basketball online). You can see our PlayStation Vue review for details. For now, know that while this service is an option to stream college basketball games, it’s not as good of a deal as Sling TV.
Watch NCAA Basketball Online Free for Select Games Using the WatchESPN App with ISP
The WatchESPN App provides access to a variety of live sports channels and content, including ESPN3, which lets you watch several college basketball game live streams each week. If you’re ISP or cable provider is participating provider (check here), you can gain free access to ESPN3 on the WatchESPN App.
Here’s the thing, though. This free access only lets you watch what comes on ESPN3. You do not get access to content streaming from ESPN, ESPN2, SEC Network, ESPNU, or any other ESPN networks, so this is a very limited solutions for watching NCAA basketball online.
WatchESPN has apps for Android and iOS devices, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One and Xbox 360 devices. It’s a great way to watch college basketball online on a variety of devices.
If your ISP is not on the list, you can also access the WatchESPN App at anytime for free using your Sling TV login. This will give you access to much more NCAA basketball and sports content on the app than you can get with just your ISP account.
Watch Featured College Basketball Games for Free Using Your Antenna
If you have an antenna, you can pick up many channels over the air, for free! And in fact, you can watch college basketball online free when games fall on CBS. CBS is an over-the-air channel, meaning any quality HD antenna can pick up all CBS content live, without cable, depending on your location. CBS airs some NCAA basketball games throughout the season, mostly during March Madness. If you don’t have an antenna, check out our recommendations here.
Using your antenna in combination with a quality DVR will give you the most flexibility, letting you record games as they air and watch them on your own schedule. Take a look at our DVR comparison guide if you’re in need of a new DVR. This is far from a complete solution for college basketball streaming, but hey – it’s free!
Check Out Our College Basketball Conference Guides