It's March once again, and while that might signify the beginning of spring for some, basketball fans have this month marked on their calendars for one good reason: NCAA March Madness. Though the tournament is already underway, the Sweet Sixteen leg begins Thursday, March 23, 2017. If you fear you may miss the upcoming games, worry not, as free apps for smartphones and tablets are available to help you watch all the action.
Several apps are available to help you watch through the championship. Not all are completely free, as TV provider credentials are required for the majority of sport streaming solutions. However, by using a combination of the following apps for iPhone or Android, it should be easy to a catch games you'd otherwise miss, should you find yourself in a position where you're not posted in a front of a television or at the arena.
1. NCAA March Madness Live
First up is the official app sponsored by the NCAA from Turner Sports Interactive. Whether on Android or iPhone, this app is available as a free download.
- Install NCAA March Madness Live for free from the Google Play Store
- Install NCAA March Madness Live for free from the iOS App Store
When games aren't available for live streaming, several recaps will appear within the app. During game time, you'll be able to pull up the game based on the TV provider and network hosting the game, depending on your geographic location. With that said, to watch games for an unlimited amount of time, you will need to login with your TV provider's credentials for access.
If you tap the vertical dot icon in the corner, a small menu appears where you can enter account credentials. Should you not have TV service or lack the proper channel package, the app provides three free hours of viewing time. If all else fails and you're in a tight spot, ask a friend to borrow their login credentials.
2. PlayStation Vue
The Vue service from PlayStation is Sony's official TV streaming service. The cross-platform app is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
- Install PlayStation Vue for free from the Google Play Store
- Install PlayStation Vue for free from the iOS App Store
While the Vue app itself is free, the streaming service requires a subscription ranging from $29.99 to $64.99 a month. But you can still watch the NCAA Tournament for free by starting a seven-day trial, then cancelling when the tourney's over.
To activate your free trial, it's easiest to use a PlayStation console—however, you can at least begin the process from a browser. Head to the PlayStation Vue page and get started by clicking on the "Start Free Trial" button at the top. Login with your PlayStation credentials, or create an account if you don't already have one.
All plans come with a free trial, as well as access to your local CBS affiliate, so pick any tier that includes TBS to ensure that you'll get access to all games, then head to your cart. You'll need to put a credit card on file for the seven-day trial (PayPal does not work), so take care of that when prompted. Then, you'll need to finalize your profile from a PlayStation console, so either log in to one of your systems, or use your info on a friend or family member's console. After that, you'll be all set to stream every NCAA Tournament game from any device.
3. CBS Sports App
As half the remaining games air on CBS, the CBS app is a good solution for the games in the Midwest and South brackets. Install on either Android or iOS by picking the appropriate link below.
- Install the CBS app for free from the Google Play Store
- Install the CBS app for free from the iOS App Store
After the app is installed, you'll need to sign in or create an account. Tap the "Sign In" link in the corner and either provide your credentials or create a new account, which can be done via email, or with a social account such as Google, Twitter, or Facebook. In order to access content, you will need to subscribe using a credit card. Though the two tiers of service run $5.99 or $9.99 a month, there is a seven-day free trial available, so you can sign up and cancel after the tourney's over if you want.
4. Sling TV
As one of the more popular TV streaming services, Sling TV pickups the slack from CBS by providing the TBS network for the East and West brackets. Pick a link below to install it to your smart device.
- Install Sling TV for free from the Google Play Store
- Install Sling TV for free from the iOS App Store
Like other streaming cable services, several tiers are available starting as low as $20 a month for a respectable number of channels. If you're just looking for a quick fix to watch the games aired on TBS, any level of service will come with a seven-day trial. Simply open the app after installation, sign up with an email, pick a level of service, and add a credit card.
The apps above mostly provide a temporary, free solution for a quick fix, should you find yourself unable to sit and watch a game on a big screen. By using a combination of the above apps, you should be able to find a free solution to watch just about any game until the end of the tournament.
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