College Basketball Without Cable: All the Streaming and OTA Options

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Any fan of college basketball will tell you how much fun watching your favorite team progress through the season can be. Whether you’re rooting for your hometown team, your alma mater, or another school entirely, fans love keeping up with their teams any way they can.

Even if you’re not the biggest NCAA basketball fan, March Madness is always fun to watch. It used to be that NCAA fans would crowd around the TV and watch their favorite teams on cable. Now, you can ditch cable and watch college basketball online!

2022’s March Madness will start on March 15th with the selection schedule and will carry on through to the NCAA Championship starting on April 1st, 2022. See our summary of the full schedule here.

Are you ready for Olympic basketball?! Learn to stream it live!

The benefit to watching college basketball through a streaming service is that you’ll save a lot of money. You can also watch the games from more places. With streaming services you’re not tied to your TV.

You can watch from computers, mobile devices, and more. This means you can watch college basketball online from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.

With that in mind, keep reading to learn all of the ways you can watch college basketball without cable this season.

How to Watch College Basketball Online Without Cable: At a Glance

Like most sports, you won’t find the college basketball live stream on just one channel. Throughout the season games will air on a wide variety of channels. So, you will need multiple channels to watch college basketball without cable.

The good news is that all of the channels you need are available on a variety of streaming services. This gives you multiple ways to watch and allows you to choose the service that suits you best.

In order to watch the majority of the college basketball season you’ll need some or all of the following channels: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, FS1, CBS, CBSSN, TBS, TNT, and truTV. Conference channels like BTN and SECN also air games, so you might need one of these channels depending on which teams you follow. Some games will also air on regional FOX Sports and NBC Sports Networks.

There are several streaming services that offer these channels. Here is an overview on two of our favorites. If you continue reading, you’ll find a full list of available options below!

Hulu with Live TV: Hulu Live is a great option because all of the channels that were mentioned are available through this one service. Plans start at $64.99 per month. In addition to the 60+ channels you receive, Hulu’s on-demand service is included. This gives you a cable-like package with a full on-demand library including Hulu Originals. You’ll also have your own cloud-DVR. Families will have the option of making user profiles for up to 5 people.

fuboTV: fuboTV offers 100+ channels and more than 30 channels offer sports. You’ll find more regional sports channels here than with any other service. That said, you will have ESPN, CBS, CBS Sports, NBCSN, FSN, FS1, and a wide variety of other channels. Like Hulu, fubo starts at $59.99 per month. A wide range of add-on channels are also available.

Keep reading to learn more about streaming college basketball without cable!

2021 March Madness Schedule

This year’s March Madness is already underway. The build-up schedule to the April NCAA Championship final looks like this:

  • Selection Sunday: March 13
  • First Four: March 15, 16
  • First/Second Rounds: March 17, 18, 19, 20
  • Sweet 16/Elite 8: March 24, 25, 26, 27
  • Final Four: April 2, 4
  • NCAA Championship: 9 p.m. Monday, April 5 (ET)

Here’s the full schedule:

Selection SundayMarch 13N/A
First FourMarch 15-16Dayton, Ohio
First/SecondMarch 17 and 19
Buffalo, New York
First/SecondMarch 17 and 19Cincinnati, Ohio
First/SecondMarch 17 and 19
Fort Worth, Texas
First/SecondMarch 17 and 19
Portland, Oregon
First/SecondMarch 18 and 20
Greenville, South Carolina
First/SecondMarch 18 and 20
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
First/SecondMarch 18 and 20
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
First/SecondMarch 18 and 20
San Diego, California
Sweet 16/Elite EightMarch 24 and 26
San Antonio, Texas
Sweet 16/Elite EightMarch 24 and 26
San Francisco, California
Sweet 16/Elite EightMarch 25 and 27Chicago, Illinois
Sweet 16/Elite EightMarch 25 and 27
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Final FourApril 2 and 4New Orleans

Save Money and Watch College Basketball Streaming Online

Over the last couple of years, cable has lost millions of customers. People don’t want to be bound by contracts or forced to deal with rising prices anymore. Some sports fans have held onto cable longer than most because it used to be harder to find sports channels. That’s definitely not the case anymore. Still, if you’re a sports fan on the fence about switching, here are some good reasons to consider it:

  • Money – The average cable package is about $100 per month and it seems to be steadily rising. Meanwhile, you can find cable packages, starting on average for $25 to $64.99 per month. While there are more expensive packages, most of them are still cheaper than cable. If you can save that much money and still get the channels you want, why not?
  • No Risk – Most streaming services offer some type of free trial. Usually you get about one-week free. Even for the services that don’t offer a trial, you won’t be forced into a contract. Every streaming service currently on the market will allow you to cancel whenever you want. So, even if you sign up for a service with no trial, you can cancel if you’re unhappy and you’ll only pay for the time you spent watching the service. If you find a service with a trial and end up canceling before it’s over, you won’t have to pay anything at all.
  • Stream Where You Want – Want to watch TV on your couch? You can do it. Want to watch on the bus? You can do that, too. You can also watch from your hotel room, a friend’s house, or at the park. As long as you have a compatible streaming device (many are portable) and an internet connection, you’ll have the freedom to stream from just about anywhere. Some options include Roku, mobile devices like phones and tablets, computers, gaming consoles, Apple TV, and others. If you want to find out more about streaming devices, our guide about streaming devices is a good place to start!
  • Added Account Features – Each service will give you access to live TV. You’ll also have an on-demand library that ranges in size depending on the service. Many services also give you access to your own cloud-based DVR. Other features allow you to customize your package, watch TV Everywhere apps, or to stream on multiple devices simultaneously. As an added benefit, all of the options mentioned with exception to customizing your account, are included with your package, so they don’t require any extra fees!

When you add all these things together it means that streaming is a feature-rich option that allows you to replace cable and save money doing it. Now it’s time to learn more about the services that will let you watch college basketball online without cable.

Watch College Basketball Online with Hulu with Live TV

Hulu with Live TV offers 60+ channels, including many of the channels you’ll need to catch a college basketball live stream. Channels like ESPN, FS1, FSN, TNT, and more are included. You’ll also have the full Hulu on-demand service available to you. Hulu allows you to make multiple user profiles to keep your viewing habits set to your pace. You’ll also be able to stream on two devices at once or you can upgrade for more simultaneous streams. Hulu Live is available starting at $64.99 per month with no contracts! Here are some more highlights:

  • 60+ channels
  • Many college basketball channels plus local channels, USA, Syfy, FX, and more
  • Hulu’s on-demand content is included
  • A cloud-DVR is also available, and space is upgradeable
  • $64.99 per month
  • No commitments – you can cancel anytime
  • A free Hulu Live trial will get you started
  • Watch Hulu Live on computers, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, mobile devices, Fire TV, etc.

If your plan is to replace cable, Hulu Live might be an easy way to do it. If you’re thinking of giving Hulu a try, there’s a risk-free 7-day free trial available to new customers. Make sure to check it out and if you’re not satisfied you can always cancel before it’s over. Our Hulu with Live TV review has added details.

Stream College Basketball Live on fuboTV

fuboTV has ESPN, CBS (in many areas), and more regional channels than any other service. However, it doesn’t have TBS or TNT. However, this still means that you’ll have access to plenty of college basketball and many other sports, too. Plans start at $64.99 per month. If you want more than the 95+ included channels, there are several add-ons available. In addition to a college basketball live stream, you may have on-demand streaming options, as well, thanks to the 3-day replay feature. Check out more on fuboTV:

  • $59.99 a month per month
  • 100+ channels or there are dozens of add-on options
  • Some local channels are available in many cities
  • Watch content in the on-demand library or catch it live
  • Stream on iOS/Android, Apple TV, computers, Chromecast, Fire TV, and other devices
  • A cloud-DVR is included

The best way to learn more about this exciting sports-forward service, is to check out the fuboTV 7-day trial. Like other services, fuboTV is a contract-free service. This means you can cancel at any time, even during the trial! In fact, fuboTV even reminds you when your trial is almost up, so you’ll have time to cancel if you want! Our fuboTV review can tell you more.

Watch College Basketball without Cable on Sling TV

Sling TV is definitely the cheapest option on this list when it comes to a cable replacement service that allows you to stream sports. For the most NCAA coverage, you’ll want the Sling Orange + Blue package, which is available for $45. This will give you access to multiple ESPN networks, FS1, NBCSN, TNT, TBS, and many other channels. Sling TV also offers a wide array of add-on bundles that will allow you to customize your plan without spending too much money. Here is more on Sling TV:

  • Sling Orange + Blue is $45 per month
  • 50+ channels are available with some locals in certain areas
  • Several bundle packages are available to customize your lineup
  • An on-demand library is included – You can also stream on TV Everywhere apps
  • Stream Sling TV free for a week
  • A cloud-DVR is now included
  • Sling often runs multiple specials — Check Sling TV deals here
  • Stream on Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, AirTV, computers, mobile devices, Roku, Apple TV, and more devices

Sling TV is a great budget option. Like the other services mentioned here, you can cancel at any point in your subscription, so there’s really no risk involved. Before you pay a cent, you’ll get to sign up for the Sling TV free trial to see if Sling TV is right for you. You can find out more in our Sling TV review.

Watch College Basketball Streaming on YouTube TV

YouTube TV starts you off with 70+ channels and offers little room for customization from there. That said, you’ll have local channels in most areas, ESPN, FSN, NBCSN, truTV, TBS, TNT, and most other sports channels you’ll need to watch college basketball without cable. You’ll also have a range of general entertainment and news channels at your disposal. YouTube TV starts at $50 per month. This package also includes a limited on-demand library and an unlimited cloud-based DVR. Here are some more details about YouTube TV:

  • 70+ channels are included
  • Many channels offering college basketball are included
  • $64.99 per month
  • No contracts!
  • Watch on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, computers, Chromecast, Roku, and mobile devices
  • Save as much as you want – the cloud-DVR features unlimited space

YouTube TV offers as much as some of the larger services on this list, but they charge a little bit less. They also are the only service on this list to offer a cloud-DVR with unlimited space. You can try YouTube TV free for 7-days! Our YouTube TV review has more details.

Get College Basketball without Cable on AT&T TV NOW

AT&T TV NOW is another option, though they are the most expensive on this list. Multiple packages are available. The cheapest package offered is $64.99 per month, but the $80/month package has more college basketball channels. Other than the price, AT&T TV NOW offers a similar service. You can use TV Everywhere apps, stream on multiple devices simultaneously, and an on-demand library is included. You’ll even have a cloud-DVR, though space is limited. Here’s more on AT&T TV NOW:

  • Packages from $64.99 per month
  • 40+ channels to start
  • Some packages offer HBO
  • Local channels are available in some cities
  • An on-demand library and cloud-DVR are included
  • Watch on Apple TV, computers, iOS/Android apps, Roku, and more

If you’re curious about AT&T TV NOW, the best thing you can do is sign up for the free weeklong trial. Once you’ve tried the service, if you find it’s not for you, just cancel before the end of the trial to avoid payment. You can learn more in our AT&T TV NOW review.

Watch Some College Basketball Games on CBS All Access

CBS All Access is available for $6 per month, which is a great price for all the content you receive. As the name implies, CBS All Access offers just CBS. Over 90% of the country gets a CBS live stream. You’ll also have over 10,000 episodes of CBS shows and events in the on-demand library. You can stream CBS All Access on most common streaming and mobile devices. Limited commercials are included, or you can upgrade and get no commercials in the on-demand content. Here are the highlights:

  • CBS is offered live in 90% of the country
  • The on-demand library includes over 10,000 episodes of CBS shows, sports, and more
  • Stream on computers, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, mobile devices, and more
  • $5.99 per month
  • A free one-week trial is available

CBS All Access will only give you access to CBS, but if you’re missing it through your main streaming service, this makes a cheap option to get it. Before you pay anything, you can try it out for free. New customers get access to a free one-week trial! Find out more in our CBS All Access review.

College Basketball Team Guides

Check out these team-specific guides for your local favorites:

Wrapping Up

College basketball games might air on a wide variety of channels, but those channels are all available without cable. The exact channels you need will likely depend on the teams you want to watch, but the options are here!

You can watch College basketball online without cable. Best of all, you’ll have extra money in your pocket when you do it!

If you have any questions about how to watch college basketball online, just let us know in the comments!

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