When Does March Madness Start? NCAA Tournament TV Schedule, Streaming Guide

when does march madness start

The college basketball regular season is coming to end, which means that we are extremely close to the exciting March Madness tournament. The path to determine the best college basketball team in the country is easily the most entertaining time of the year for sports fans. Here is all of the information you will need in order to get the most enjoyment out of the March Madness tournament.

So, if you ask yourself, when does March Madness start, we have the answers, including the full NCAA Tournament TV schedule and streaming options!


When Does March Madness Start?

The nickname of the NCAA tournament may suggest that it lasts the entire month of March, but the tournament does not actually start until the middle of the month. All of the teams will learn their tournament fate during the selection show on March 12. The opening round of games starts March 14, 2017, in Dayton, Ohio.


How Long Does March Madness Last?

The March Madness tournament features amazing college basketball action for a total of three weeks. The first game will tip off in the evening of March 14, and the championship game will take place on April 3. Check out our full March Madness streaming guide to get all the March Madness information you can handle.


How Do You Watch March Madness Without Cable?

when does march madness start

Thanks to the power of technology, it is now possible to watch every game of the NCAA Basketball Tournament without a cable television package. The national championship as well as some of the other games will be broadcast on CBS, and you can watch all of the games on CBS for free by either using a digital receiver on your television, downloading the March Madness Live app, or by visiting CBSSports.com. TBS, TNT, and TruTV will also be broadcasting games during the tournament. You can access these channels using DIRECTV NOW.

DIRECTV NOW has all three of these channels in their packages, which start at $35 per month for over 60 channels total. The price is justified when you think about how many channels you are receiving. You can see the full DIRECTV NOW channels list in our review of the service to make sure you’re happy with the offerings. The service is still adding new features and packages, so keep checking back.

DIRECTV NOW is completely streaming-based, which means you don’t need a satellite to catch March Madness. For first-time cable-cutters, DIRECTV NOW offers a familiar streaming grid that looks like the one from cable, so the switch is more comfortable. It also offers hassle-free mobile streaming without the restrictions that plague PlayStation Vue.

Use the 7-day free trial to watch March Madness online free!


Watch March Madness Streaming with Sling

Sling TV

The basic Sling TV subscription includes all three of the cable channels broadcasting March Madness games along with more than 20 other channels for just $20 a month. Since there are no contracts with Sling TV, you can cancel the service at any time. Sling TV also has two special offers right now that will make it cheaper and easier to watch March Madness. You can take advantage of the free 7-day trial to watch free for a week, which isn’t a bad idea! You can also get a special deal like a discount on an Apple TV when you sign up for Sling, so be sure to check out the current offers to make sure you’re not missing out.


What Is The NCAA Tournament TV Schedule?

When does March Madness start on TV? The opening games, otherwise known as the First Four, take place March 14 and 15. Then, the tournament continues on March 16 and 18. Afternoon and evening games will be shown each day on CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV until the second round is concluded on March 19. The Sweet Sixteen begins on March 23. The Elite Eight games will be shown on CBS and TBS. CBS will televise both Final Four games on April 1 and the National Championship game on April 3.

Check out the full NCAA Tournament TV schedule below from our March Madness channels guide:

*All times listed in Eastern Time

*All games on TBS, TNT, and TruTV are available on DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV

For more info, make sure to check out our complete guide to watching college basketball online without cable.

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Adam Luehrs

Adam is a CutCableToday contributor.
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