March Madness 2021 schedule, channels
Tournament beings: March 18
Round 1: March 19, 20
Round 2: March 22
Sweet 16: March 27, 28
Elite 8: March 29, 30
Semifinals: April 3
National Championship: April 5
Channels: CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV
March Madness live streams are here. With round 1 games underway, we see Gonzaga enter as the No. 1 overall seed. And that’s not a big shock as the Bulldogs went undefeated this past season — which means they face the winner of Norfolk State and Appalachian State.
The other three No. 1 seeds were earned, in order, by Baylor, Illinois and Michigan.
But while we’re all excited for March Madness 2021 — especially since last year’s tourney was cancelled due to Covid-19 — this year’s games may require multiple streaming services if you cut the cord. Yes, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV both have all the channels, but the our two best streaming service picks with live TV, do not.
Those are Sling TV and Fubo TV, and when the former is known for customization and the latter is made for sports, this might be a big disappointment. Fortunately, there is a way to get most of the channels from Sling, and net CBS for free — full details below.
March Madness 2021 bracket
As noted above, Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois and Michigan all got No. 1 seeds, and nobody’s crying foul over those. Alabama’s Crimson Tide just didn’t have a strong enough year. For once, it seems, nobody’s crying foul about the top 16 rankings either.
March Madness 2021 schedule and results
While the play-in games start on Thursday, we’re waiting until Friday and Saturday for round 1 action. Later round dates are below round 1’s announced games.
Thursday, March 18: Play-in games
- 5:10 p.m. ET: (16) Texas Southern vs. (16) Mount St. Mary’s on truTV
- 6:27 p.m. ET: (11) Drake vs. (11) Wichita State on TBS
- 8:40 p.m. ET: (16) Appalachian State vs. (16) Norfolk State on truTV
- 9:57 p.m. ET: (11) UCLA vs. (11) Michigan State on TBS
Friday, March 19: First round
- 12:15 p.m. ET: (7) Florida vs. (10) Virginia Tech on CBS
- 12:45 p.m. ET: (3) Arkansas vs. (14) Colgate on truTV
- 1:15 p.m. ET: (1) Illinois vs. (16) Drexel on TBS
- 1:45 p.m. ET: (6) Texas Tech vs. (11) Utah State on TNT
- 3 p.m. ET: (2) Ohio State vs. (15) Oral Roberts on CBS
- 3:30 p.m. ET: (1) Baylor vs. (16) Hartford on truTV
- 4 p.m. ET: (8) Loyola Chicago vs. (9) Georgia Tech on TBS
- 4:30 p.m. ET: (5) Tennessee vs. (12) Oregon State on TNT
- 6:25 p.m. ET: (4) Oklahoma State vs. (13) Liberty on TBS
- 7:10 p.m. ET: North Carolina vs. (9) Wisconsin on CBS
- 7:15 p.m. ET: (2) Houston vs. (15) Cleveland State on truTV
- 7:25 p.m. ET: (4) Purdue vs. (13) North Texas on TNT
- 9:20 p.m. ET: (7) Clemson vs. (10) Rutgers on TBS
- 9:40 p.m. ET (6) San Diego State vs. (11) Syracuse on CBS
- 9:50 p.m. ET: (3) West Virginia vs. (14) Morehead State on truTV
- 9:57 p.m. ET: (5) Villanova vs. (12) Winthrop on TNT
Saturday, March 20: Second round
- 12:15 p.m. ET: (5) Colorado vs. (12) Georgetown on CBS
- 12:45 p.m. ET: (4) Florida State vs. (13) UNC Greensboro on truTV
- 1:15 p.m. ET: (3) Kansas vs. (14) Eastern Washington on TBS
- 1:45 p.m. ET: (8) LSU vs. (9) St. Bonaventure on TNT
- 3 p.m. ET: (1) Michigan vs. (16) Mount St. Mary’s/Texas Southern on CBS
- 3:30 p.m. ET: (5) Creighton vs. (12) UC Santa Barbara on truTV
- 4 p.m. ET: (2) Alabama vs. (15) Iona on TBS
- 4:30 p.m. ET: (6) USC vs. (11) Wichita State/Drake on TNT
- 6:25 p.m. ET: (2) Iowa vs. (15) Grand Canyon on TBS
- 7:10 p.m. ET: (7) UConn vs. (10) Maryland on CBS
- 7:15 p.m. ET: (4) Virginia vs. (13) Ohio on truTV
- 7:25 p.m. ET: (8) Oklahoma vs. (9) Missouri on TNT
- 9:20 p.m. ET: (1) Gonzaga vs. (16) Norfolk State/Appalachian State on TBS
- 9:40 p.m. ET (6) BYU vs. (11) Michigan State/UCLA on CBS
- 9:50 p.m. ET: (3) Texas vs. (14) Abilene Christian on truTV
- 9:57 p.m. ET: (7) Oregon vs. (10) VCU on TNT
- Monday, March 22: Round 2
- Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28: Sweet 16
- Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, March 30: Elite 8
- Saturday, April 3: Semifinals
- Monday, April 5: Championship game
How to watch 2021 March Madness live streams with a VPN
Hoops fans, if for some reason you’ve had to leave your own “bubble” — or you can’t get CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV where you are for some strange reason — and you can’t watch the 2021 March Madness live streams you want, you’re not out of luck. With a virtual private network, or VPN, you can appear to be surfing the web from your home town (or somewhere that blackouts won’t hit), and access the same streaming services you already paid for.
Not sure which VPN is right for you? We’ve tested many different services and our pick for the best VPN overall is ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN offers superb speeds and excellent customer service, and IPVanish’s low pricing is shocking.
We think speed, security and simplicity make ExpressVPN second to none. During our tests, we saw fast connection times, and we’re impressed by the service’s ability to access more than 3,000 services spread out across 160 locations in 94 countries. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.
2021 March Madness live streams live streams in the US
In the US, the March Madness is on four networks: CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, all of which are on Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV. And while Sling TV is one of our favorite streaming services, it lacks something here: CBS in particular.
This is where the newly launched Paramount Plus comes in. It’s got CBS affiliates and costs only $5.99 per month. Plus, it has a 30-day free trial which could make it your ticket to a complete March Madness.
If you can stand to miss CBS games, Sling TV provides a middle ground. The $35 per month Sling Blue package has all of the aforementioned channels, minus CBS. Which is why we’re also recommending…View Deal
Paramount Plus free trial: One month with code MOUNTAIN
To celebrate its launch on March 4, Paramount Plus is extending its usual week-long free trial to last an entire month. That gives you plenty of time to see everything the streaming service has to offer, from blockbuster movies to classic comedies to originals like Star Trek: Picard.View Deal
March Madness live streams in the UK
American basketball fans unable to watch the tournament while travelling may need to check out a service such as ExpressVPN, as we can’t find those games in UK streaming services. ESPN Player (£9.99 per month or £69.99 annually) will also have every game and every basket.
March Madness live streams in Canada
We can’t tell how many of the March Madness games will be airing on TSN, but we can see it has some NCAA games. Completists without a way to watch the games, though should — like those in the UK — take a VPN service such as ExpressVPN for a spin.