March Madness live stream: how to watch the Championship game online from anywhere

2019 march madness live stream
Image credit: Shutterstock
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

68 teams entered the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball tournament and now, after three weeks and 67 games, we’re down to just two teams for the 2019 March Madness - Virginia and Texas Tech. With TechRadar’s handy guide, you can make sure you get a March Madness live stream from wherever in the world you are.

March Madness - when and where

March Madness lasts for three weeks from mid-March to early April. 

The tournament began with Selection Sunday and the First Four. Rounds 1 and 2 will take place from March 21-24, the Sweet Sixteen will take place on March 28-29, the Elite Eight will take place on March 30-31, the Final Four will take place on April 6 and finally the National Championship Game will take place on April 8.

It was a hectic and heart-racing Saturday of Final Four action as Virginia, Auburn, Michigan State and Texas Tech battled it out to see which two teams would move onto today’s National Championship game. Texas Tech and number one ranked Virginia made it through and will play for ultimate college basketball glory in Minneapolis.

Whether you’re a student trying to watch your college’s team play, an alumni rooting for your alma mater or just a fan of the sport of basketball, we’ll show you how to live stream March Madness 2019 online from anywhere in the world.

How to live stream March Madness 2019 from outside your country

If you live in the US and want to know how to catch the game, then keep scrolling and we’ll tell you your best 2019 March Madness live stream and viewing options. There's even a service for you if you live elsewhere in the world.

But if you discover that your chosen broadcaster from your home country is geo-blocked then we can suggest a clever alternative (and no, it doesn’t involve finding some dodgy feed on Reddit). Using a VPN - or Virtual Private Network - you can change the IP address to one in a different state or country which does have the stream so that you can live stream March Madness 2019 from anywhere in the world. The process is very straightforward… 

We've tested all of the major VPN services and we rate ExpressVPN as the absolute best. It's compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services and ranks amongst the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox and PlayStation. So for a one-stop shop, you can't go wrong with Express - but there are more fantastic VPN options out there as well:

1. ExpressVPN:  the best all-round VPN for streaming, comes with 30-day trial and then 3 months FREE with an annual plan. We really admire ExpressVPN's speed, security and simplicity to use - a great plan.
2. IPVanish: supports up to 10 devices, so great on the go
3. NordVPN: SmartPlay tech makes NordVPN a great, affordable choice for streaming

From there, you simply open the VPN app, hit 'choose location' and select the appropriate location - it's super easy to do. Choose your country that you know is showing a March Madness live stream and watch as if you were back at home.

How to watch March Madness 2019 in the US

If you live in the US and want to watch all 67 games in the NCAA tournament, then you’re in luck as there are plenty of ways to watch.

While you could watch the games on television, you can also do so from the NCAA’s own March Madness Live app. The app and accompanying website will show all 67 tournament games with a 3-hour free preview that will let you watch games airing on TBS, TNT and truTV. However, once the time limit is up, you’ll have to login using the credentials from your cable provider. One thing to note is that any games shown on CBS, which is free over-the-air, won’t count against the 3-hour time limit.

If you have a cable subscription and would prefer to watch March Madness on your TV, truTV will show all of the games in the First Four, CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV will show the first and second rounds, CBS and TBS will show the regional semifinals and finals and CBS will show the Final Four as well as the national championship.

Don’t want to pay for a premium cable subscription to watch March Madness? Don’t worry as there are a number of streaming services that give you access to CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. To make things easier for you, we’ve listed some of our favorite options below.

And don't forget about our handy little VPN trick if you're outside the US when you try to watch and find that your preferred broadcaster's coverage is geo-blocked.

Your options to live stream March Madness 2019 online

One streaming service worth considering to watch this year's tournament is Sling TV. The company is currently running a promotion where new users can get 40% off its Sling Orange and Sling Blue packages for the first three months. Basically this means you can watch March Madness 2019 on Sling TV for as little as $15 per month during the tournament. Don't want Sling? Then these other options are worth a look, too.

PlayStation Vue $44.99 per month - PlayStation Vue's  basic Access package offers over 45 channels including ABC, TNT, ESPN and ESPN2. A 5-day trial to Playstation Vue is also available to help you get started.

DIRECTV NOW $50 per month - DIRECTV NOW gives users all the channels needed to watch the NBA and loads of other sporting events. Use DIRECTV NOW’s 7-day trial to test out the platform for yourself. 

YouTubeTV $40 per month - YouTubeTV gives you access to TNT, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.

Hulu with Live TV $40 per month - Hulu with Live TV includes ABC, TNT, CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.

Worldwide March Madness live stream with ESPN Player

March Madness is a phenomenon that doesn't necessarily translate that well globally. But if you want to know what all the fuss is about or you're a US expat wanting to catch the college basketball, then ESPN Player has you covered.

It's available in the UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia and comes at a cost of £9.99/€11.99 for the next month (or £69.99/€79.99 for a whole year to get additional content from ESPN).

That gets you live and on-demand coverage of every game from the 2019 March Madness, available on desktop and mobile devices.

March Madness: what is it and how does it work?

We can't imagine you will have landed on this page if you don't already know the answer to these questions. But just in case...

Over the course of three weeks, college basketball teams from across the US will play 67 games in total to decide which team will be crowned champion. The tradition dates all the way back to 1939 when there were just eight teams participating in the competition.

March Madness begins with Selection Sunday where 32 teams will gain automatic entry as a result of winning their respective conferences and the remaining teams will be picked by a selection committee. Besides learning which teams will play in the tournament, Sunday will also be the first day the bracket will be officially released to the public. The eight teams are divided into four regions and they are then seeded from one to 16 with the top team from each region earning the top seed. 

The NCAA tournament then enters the first round where the number one seed will face the number 16 team and the rest of the teams will be matched accordingly with low seed teams facing off against high seed teams. During the second week, the remaining teams will advance to the Sweet Sixteen and then the Elite Eight. Each region’s winners will then head to the Final Four during the third and final week of the tournament where they’ll compete for a place in the national championship to see who will be this year’s winner.