Home » How to Watch NCAA Basketball Without Cable? – Ultimate Streaming Guide

How to Watch NCAA Basketball Without Cable? – Ultimate Streaming Guide

by David Miklos Hazi
Backetball being thrown a basketball hoop in a stadium

Are you trying to NCAA basketball, but you don’t have cable? Don’t worry; there are plenty of options for watching NCAA basketball.

This article has different platforms and channels laid out to have your pick for watching both men’s and women’s NCAA Basketball. This article will even point out how you can NCAA basketball for free.

Can You Watch College Basketball Without Cable?

Yes, you can. You don’t have to rely only on cable to get your NCAA basketball fix. There are several channels where you can watch NCAA basketball. There are online platforms and apps where you can catch a game.

What Channels Have College Basketball

If you want to watch NCAA basketball without cable, you need to know about the channels that offer college basketball. There are plenty of channels that will have a minimum of one college basketball game for each season. Some of the big channels you should know about are the following:

ABC – This Disney-owned network carries plenty of college basketball games. ABC tends to focus on the 12 Big home games.

CBS network: This network shows some of the biggest college basketball games, including the largest March Madness games. CBS is a channel that you definitely need to know about if you’re a serious basketball fan.

ESPN: The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) has several college basketball games just like the Disney-owned ABC. The sister channels ESPNU and ESPN2 also carry these games. The channel also has a streaming app called ESPN Plus.

FS1 – This is the Fox channel’s sports network. This network is a must-know for any college basketball fan who doesn’t want to pay for cable. You can also catch the NCAA basketball games on its sister network FS2.

FOX network: This is another network that shows some of the big college basketball games. Like similar networks like CBS and ABC, it will often show the games on its sports network, FS1, and its sister network, FS2.

NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) – NBC doesn’t often showcase college basketball games. However, the network will show the games on NBC’s sports network, NBCSN.

Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) – These networks are limited to specific regions, but you can still watch these networks without cable. You can watch college basketball games on these channels with a live TV streaming service such as:

  • YouTube TV
  • Sling Blue
  • AT&T TV NOW MAX
  • Hulu Live TV
  • FuboTV

Conference networks: Plenty of major college basketball conferences will have their own channels. If you can’t find the NCAA basketball game you’re looking for on CBS or ESPN, you can check out networks such as SEC Network, Big Ten Network, and the ACC Network.

Which Channels Have NCAA Basketball Tournaments?

If you’re looking to watch any NCAA basketball tournaments, you only really need these four channels: TBS, CBS, TNT, and truTV.

If you want to watch replays, check out the CBS Sports Network. But you might not need it because almost every live TV streaming service will carry these tournament channels.

The networks TBS and CBS both have NCAA basketball tournaments each year. These networks are the exclusive broadcaster of the NCAA Championship Game.

The CBS network has the odd years, and TBS has the even years. This means that TBS will broadcast the season’s final in Spring 2022.

Where to Watch NCAA Basketball Online or Over The Air

If you want to watch NCAA basket online or stream some NCAA basketball games, there are some streaming services that you can check out.

DIRECTV STREAM

You can try DIRECTV STREAM live streaming service to watch college basketball. Remember that you will need to sign up for their “Choice” plan, which could cost $89.99 per month.

With this streaming service, you have to sign a contract when signing up for this service, and you can cancel at any time. With this streaming service, you will access ACC Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, CBSSN, FS1, FS2, ABC, Fox, SEC Network, Big Ten Network, and CBS.

DIRECTV STREAM will also give you access to Ballys Regional Sports Networks. The following devices also support this streaming service:

  • iOS and Android devices
  • 4th Gen Apple TV
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • 2nd gen and higher Google Chromecast
  • Chrome and Safari browsers
  • Roku
  • DIRECTV Stream has a 5-day free trial which you can sign up for.

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Hulu

The Hulu Live TV will give you access to cable channels that you need to watch NCAA basketball. The streaming service will also give you access to local broadcast channels. These channels include the following:

  • ABC (Most Markets)
  • ACC Network
  • BTN
  • CBS (Most Markets) and CBS Sports
  • ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN3 (Through the ESPN app) ESPNEWS, ESPN-U
  • FOX (Most Markets)
  • FS1 and FS2
  • NBC (Most Markets)
  • SEC Network

The following devices support the Hulu Live TV service:

  • Android and iOS
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Fire TV Devices
  • Roku

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FuboTV

The FuboTV streaming service will give you access to almost every channel that you will need to watch NCAA college basketball. You can sign up for FuboTV’s one-week free trial.

FuboTV’s “Starter Package” costs $64.99 per month, and it can give you access to most channels such as:

  • ABC (selected markets)
  • beIN Sports
  • BTN (Big Ten Network)
  • CBS (selected markets) and CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN, ESPN2, AND ESPN3 (through the ESPN app)
  • FOX (selected markets)
  • FS1 and FS2
  • NBC

If you decide to upgrade to FuboTV’s “Elite Channel Plan, you can get access to some extra networks for $79.99. These extra channels include the following:

ACC Network

ESPNU and ESPNews

PAC-12 Networks

SEC Network

Stadium

You can use the FuboTV app on various apps, including Android TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV. You will also be able to watch TV on three different screens simultaneously.

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Sling TV

With Sling TV, you will get access to most college basketball, but you might not access the CBS Sports Network.

If you sign up for the Sling TV Blue package and the Orange package, and the “Sports Extra” add-on, you will need to pay a total of $65 a month. Both packages cost about $50, and the Sports Extra plan costs $15 per month. With this, you’ll get access to the following networks:

  • ACC Network
  • beIN Sports
  • BTN
  • ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and the Longhorn Network (through the ESPN app)
  • ESPN
  • FS1 and FS2
  • Pac-12 Network
  • SEC Network
  • Stadium

If you don’t want access to all of these channels, you can try the Sling TV Blue or Sling TV Orange plans for $35 per month per plan. The Sports Extra Package costs $11 when you sign up for one of these plans with these plans.

With the Sling Blue plan, you’ll get access to the FS1, and with the Sports Extra Add-on to the BTN, beIN Sports FS2, and BTN.

If you sign up for the Sling Orange plan, you’ll get ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 (through the ESPN app). With the Sports Extra Add-on, you’ll get access to the ACC Network, beIN Sports, ESPNU and ESPNews, Longhorn Network (through the ESPN app), Pac-12, SEC Network.

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Vidgo

Vidgo is the most affordable and comprehensive streaming service to NCAA basketball. The monthly cost for the “Plus” plan is only $55 per month. You can also sign up for the seven-day free trial.

With this “Plus” plan, you will get access to the following networks:

  • ABC (in more than 100 markets)
  • ACC Network
  • Big Ten Network (BTN)
  • BYU TV
  • ESPN Deportes, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews
  • FOX (in more than 100 markets) and FOX Deportes
  • FS1 and FS2
  • Longhorn Network
  • PAC-12 Network (Arizona, Bay Area, Los Angeles, Mountain, Oregon, Washington)
  • SEC Network
  • Stadium

The only down to using Vidgo is that it doesn’t give you access to CBS and the CBS Sports Network. But you

However, you can watch CBS using a TV antenna and other local network channels. You could also opt to subscribe to Paramount+ for your local CBS station. Check out our review of Vidgo for more details on this service.

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YouTube TV

Signing up for YouTube TV will give you access to local channels from different regions in the country. You can get access to the following channels:

  • ABC (select markets)
  • BTN
  • CBS (select markets) and CBS Sports network
  • ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU
  • FS1 and FS2
  • FOX
  • NBC (select markets)
  • SEC Network
  • Stadium (if you sign up for the add-on plan)

For just $64.99 a month, you’ll be able to enjoy all these channels mentioned. The streaming service is supported by iOS, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Fire TV.

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How To Watch College Basketball For Free?

If you have a tight budget, there are some ways that you can watch NCAA basketball without paying a single cent to TV providers.

Streaming free trials

If you plan carefully, you might be able to watch plenty of games right from the November tip-off to the NCAA Championship Game. You sign-up for the streaming service’s free trial period, as mentioned before.

You just need to remember to cancel the subscription before the trial ends. If you forget, you might end up paying a few dollars for their service.

OTA antennas

You can use OTA antennas to access some extra free channels such as local network affiliates such as NBC, FOX, and CBS. These antennas usually are very affordable and easy to install.

How To Watch NCAA Basketball Without Cable FAQs

Is there an app to watch NCAA basketball games?

Yes, the NCAA is the official app of the NCAA. The NCAA March Madness app will give you access to each game and replays. You will also have direct access to championship coverage, highlights, scores, and stats about every game during the season.

You can download the app from Google Play and the App Store. You also have a three-hour window to enjoy live broadcasting if you don’t have a TV provider. After this three-hour window, you’ll need to use your provider’s information to sign in.

What other apps can you watch NCAA basketball?

The NCAA app isn’t the only app out there that will allow you NCAA basketball on your device. Some networks, such as ESPN, even have their own apps.

ESPN

The ESPN app has a high rank as an NCAA college football app, making it an excellent platform for getting your latest dose of sports news. You’ll be able to get the latest information on scores, commentary, and highlights.

ESPN Tournament Challenge

If you want an app that will let you create your own brackets, then the ESPN Tournament Challenge app is definitely for you. The app will give you specific information about every team, and you will be able to create a maximum of 25 brackets for March Madness.

FanSided

FanSided is an app that has only recently become popular with sports fans. This app is unique and an excellent choice for NCAA basketball enthusiasts in that it allows you to check fanbase-specific for your favorite teams.

What streaming devices can I watch basketball on?

Usually, most streaming services will support most devices and TVs that are used today. These streaming services support iOS and Android mobile devices along with Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV.

Other supported devices include Vizio smart TVs, LG, Samsung, Android TV devices. These streaming services also support the Xbox One gaming system and PlayStation.

Can I watch March Madness for free?

The OTA antenna, such as the Mohu Leaf, allows you to choose March Madness games for free. Antenna such as these can cost as little as $20, and they are quick and easy to install.

You can also watch March Madness for free by using a live TV streaming service free trial such as YouTube TV, Sling TV, and DIRECTV STREAM. Typically, the free trials last for seven days.

In some cases, you’ll be able to cancel the subscription when the trial ends and sign up again. Usually, you might be able to go through three or four trials.

How can you watch college basketball live?

Various streaming services can show NCAA basketball or any other college basketball game. These streaming services include AT&T and Hulu.

The Hulu + Live TV Plan and the Sling Orange plan with the Sports Extra add-on are excellent options if you want to watch most college basketball games. Hulu’s streaming service also has an ESPN+ add-on.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to watching NCAA basketball without cable, you have a plethora of options. There are plenty of affordable online options such as Vidgo and Youtube TV.

If you want to NCAA Basketball while you’re on the go, there is an official NCAA app that you can use on your phone to get the latest updates on your favorite teams.

With all these affordable options available to you with just a tap of the finger or click of the mouse, you won’t miss a single game.

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