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How to watch the NCAA Tournament: Schedules, TV channels and streaming options

Duke's Marvin Bagley lll on lessons learned in his first NCAA Tournament

Duke's Marvin Bagley lll tells reporters that he's quickly learned that any game can be your last in his first NCAA Tournament.
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Duke's Marvin Bagley lll tells reporters that he's quickly learned that any game can be your last in his first NCAA Tournament.

We're nearing the end of March Madness, but there are still games to watch.

Games have been spread across CBS and cable channels TBS, TNT and truTV, but the big BIG change this year is that the Final Four game and the NCAA Championship game on April 2 will not be played on CBS. Those games will be played on TBS.

That means cord-cutters better get a plan ready (and we'll help you with all that, too).

Here's everything we know about the schedules and channels for the games — including streaming options if you don't have cable.

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SCHEDULE

We'll update the schedule often. Please note that tip times for later games are subject to change.



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ELITE EIGHT — Saturday, March 24

6:09 p.m., TBS: No. 9 Kansas State vs. No. 11 Loyola Chicago

8:30 p.m., TBS: No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 9 Florida State

ELITE EIGHT — Sunday, March 25

2 p.m., CBS: No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 3 Texas Tech

4:55 p.m., CBS: No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 2 Duke

FINAL FOUR — Saturday, March 31

6:09 p.m., TBS: No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 11 Loyola Chicago

8:49 p.m., TBS: No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 1 Kansas

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP — Monday, April 2

9:20 p.m.. TBS: No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 3 Michigan — Wildcats vs. Wolverines — in the championship game. You'll get the national broadcast on TBS but the Michigan announcers on TNT and Villanova's crew on truTV.

WHERE'S THAT CHANNEL?

"What the heck is truTV!?" Come on, truTV is great — it's the home of "At Home with Amy Sedaris," featuring Raleigh's own Amy Sedaris. But if you only watch some of these channels during March Madness, here's some help.

CBS — Locally, that's WNCN. You can get that channel without cable with an over-the-air antenna (channel 17). If you have cable: channels 6 and 1203 on Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable); channel 6 on Google Fiber TV; channel 390 on DirecTV; and channel 17 and 1017 on AT&T U-verse.

TBS — Channels 34 and 104 on Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable); channel 284 on Google Fiber TV; channel 139 on DISH; channel 247 on DirecTV; and channel 112 and 1112 on AT&T U-verse.

TNT — Channels 26 and 103 on Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable); channel 285 on Google Fiber TV; channel 138 on DISH; channel 245 on DirecTV; and channel 108 and 1108 on AT&T U-verse.

truTV — Channels 44 and 112 on Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable); channel 297 on Google Fiber TV; channel 242 on DISH; channel 246 on DirecTV; and channel 164 and 1164 on AT&T U-verse.

HOW CAN I STREAM GAMES?

You're not going to get everything you want in one place — one of the costs of cord-cutting.

To make it work, you're going to need YouTube Live TV or an antenna to get CBS. Or add CBS All-Access to whatever situation you have going.

Here's a rundown of popular streaming services if you don't already have one, and please note that all of these allow for free trials. Most of these services are available to stream through Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire devices (meaning you can watch them on your TV), as well as Android and iOS apps, so you can watch on your phone or tablet.

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YouTube TV: A sharp reader alerted me that I was mistaken about no CBS here – you do get CBS with YouTube TV. They also have TBS, TNT and truTV. Cost: $35 per month. Info: tv.youtube.com .

Sling: CBS is not available on Sling, but you can get TBS, TNT and truTV depending on the package level. Cost: $20-$45 per month. Info: sling.com.

DirecTV Now: CBS is available in many markets, but not ours. They do have TBS, TNT and truTV all available. Cost: $35-$70 per month. Info: directvnow.com.

Playstation Vue: Vue has TBS, TNT and truTV, but no CBS in this market. Cost: $40-$75 per month. Info: playstation.com/en-us/network/vue.

Hulu: Stop me if you've heard this one ... No CBS, but TBS, TNT and truTV are available. Cost: $39.99 per month. Info: hulu.com/live-tv.

CBS All Access: This is another way way to stream CBS in this market. Cost: $5.99-$9.99 per month. Info: cbs.com/all-access.

March Madness Live: You can watch all of the games here online, but you'll need authentication — which means you'll have to sign in with your cable or satellite password — to see the TBS, TNT and truTV games. If you're watching on your computer, the CBS games are free. If you want to stream over Roku or a similar device, you'll need CBS All-Access. Not a solution for cord-cutters, but handy if you're not at home (and if you're watching from work, there's a handy "Boss Button" that will quickly switch your screen to a power point or spreadsheet). Info: ncaa.com/march-madness-live/watch.

Brooke Cain: 919-829-4579, bcain@newsobserver.com, @warmtv, @brookecain

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