There are countless ways to watch the NCAA tournament. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Everything you need to know about how to watch Thursday’s first-round NCAA tournament action.

Thursday’s schedule

All times EDT.

12:15 p.m.: Notre Dame vs. Princeton in Buffalo (CBS)

12:40 p.m.: Virginia vs. UNC Wilmington in Orlando (truTV)

1:30 p.m.: Butler vs. Winthrop in Milwaukee (TNT)

2 p.m.: Gonzaga vs. South Dakota State in Salt Lake City (TBS)

Approx. 2:45 p.m.: West Virginia vs. Bucknell in Buffalo (CBS)

Approx. 3:10 p.m.: Florida vs. East Tennessee State in Orlando (truTV)

Approx. 4 p.m.: Minnesota vs. Middle Tennessee in Milwaukee (TNT)

Approx. 4:30 p.m.: Northwestern vs. Vanderbilt in Salt Lake City (TBS)

6:50 p.m.: Maryland vs. Xavier in Orlando (TNT)

7:10 p.m.: Villanova vs. Mount St. Mary’s/New Orleans in Buffalo (CBS)

7:20 p.m.: Saint Mary’s vs. VCU in Salt Lake City (TBS)

7:27 p.m.: Purdue vs. Vermont in Milwaukee (truTV)

Approx 9:20 p.m.: Florida State vs. Florida Gulf Coast in Orlando (TNT)

Approx. 9:40 p.m.: Wisconsin vs. Virginia Tech in Buffalo (CBS)

Approx. 9:50 p.m.: Arizona vs. North Dakota in Salt Lake City (TBS)

Approx. 9:57 p.m.: Iowa State vs. Nevada in Milwaukee (truTV)

Where is truTV?

Ah yes, it’s the one time of year when television viewers are actively searching out truTV. Here’s where you can find it on some of the larger cable and satellite companies:

DirecTV: Channel 246

Dish Network: Channel 9430

Verizon Fios: Channel 683


Once again, the NCAA is broadcasting the games via its March Madness Live app. It can be accessed through Apple, Android, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Windows platforms. Here’s the catch, though: Unless you have a cable-TV subscription, you can only watch the games televised by CBS free, and then only on your desktop or mobile devices (not on streaming services like Roku or AppleTV). For the games televised by TBS, TNT and truTV — or to watch through a streaming service on your TV — you’ll need to log in with your cable-provider credentials. You do, however, get a three-hour grace period, meaning you can probably catch one full TBS/TNT/truTV game before being asked to log in.

But I’m a cord-cutter. What about me?

The folks at Cut Cable Today have the scoop on how to watch March Madness if you’ve cut your cord. Many of the options listed below have free trial periods, so you could split each weekend tournament action between them.

DirecTV Now: The basic package includes TBS, TNT and truTV. You can stream games on your computer, tablet, smartphone or streaming device. Plus, they’re offering a free seven-day trial, which you could use to cover one weekend of games.

SlingTV: Similar to DirecTV, SlingTV is offering a free seven-day trial. TBS, TNT and truTV all are available in the Sling Blue package.

CBS All Access: For the games that actually are on CBS, you can access the network’s streaming service for $5.99 per month. It’s available in most metropolitan areas.

PlayStation Vue: This offering is similarly priced to Sling and DirecTV and, depending on where you live, you might be able to get the CBS games included.