Ready to watch the 2021 NCAA Final Four action? Whether you‘ve cut the cord or just want to access the games on the go, you have plenty of great options to tune in from anywhere without cable TV. In this guide, I‘ll break down the full Final Four schedule and walk you through the simple steps to live stream every slam dunk and buzzer beater online. Let‘s get started!
When and Where is the Final Four?
The Final Four will take place on April 3rd at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. The two games are:
- (1) Baylor vs (2) Houston at 5:14 PM ET on CBS
- (1) Gonzaga vs (11) UCLA at 8:34 PM ET on CBS
The winners will then advance to the National Championship on April 5th at 9 PM ET, also televised on CBS.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, only 25% stadium capacity will be allowed at this year‘s tournament. But fortunately, the games will be more accessible than ever online through legal live streams.
Cord-Cutting Continues to Rise
Streaming the Final Four is a great option, especially as over 33 million US households have now cut the cord according to Research firm eMarketer. The reasons are clear – cable TV is expensive, locks you into contracts and requires equipment rentals and installation.
Streaming delivers flexibility to watch your favorite content on any device, anywhere. And with the easy streaming setup I‘ll outline below, you can save money and still enjoy all the NCAA March Madness action.
Streaming Services for the Final Four
Since the tournament airs on CBS and Turner channels (TBS, TNT, truTV), here are the best streaming options to catch every game live:
Paramount+ offers live CBS stations nationwide, so you can easily watch the Final Four in up to 4K HD. It‘s available on all major streaming platforms and starts at just $4.99/month after a one week free trial.
In my experience, Paramount+ provides reliable HD quality streams without cable. It also includes extras like 24/7 sports news and CBS shows on-demand.
If you‘re located in one of the 36 coverage regions, Locast is a free non-profit service for streaming live local stations such as CBS. They provide high-quality streams accessible on all devices, funded by user donations. Definitely worth checking out!
Live TV Streaming Services
Options like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, FuboTV and Sling all include CBS in certain markets. I recommend YouTube TV for the most reliable Final Four streams with unlimited DVR to record games. Here‘s how they compare:
|YouTube TV||$64.99/month||90% CBS availability, unlimited cloud DVR|
|Hulu + Live TV||$64.99/month||Wide CBS access, 50 hours DVR included|
|FuboTV||$64.99/month||CBS, tons of sports channels, 250 hour DVR|
|Sling TV||$35/month||Limited CBS markets, better value for sports|
I suggest the free trials to test the CBS live streams before picking a service.
NCAA March Madness App
With a cable, streaming or satellite provider login, you can use the March Madness app for live game streams and highlights on nearly any device.
If you‘re located near the broadcast towers, an Over-The-Air antenna pulls in local channels like CBS for free in crystal clear HD. Just connect the antenna to your TV and scan for channels – it‘s the most inexpensive route for watching live.
Use a VPN for Enhanced Streaming
I recommend considering a VPN service like ExpressVPN or NordVPN when live streaming the tournament. Here are the benefits a VPN provides:
- Access geo-blocked content – change locations to avoid blackouts
- Prevent throttling and enjoy faster streaming speeds
- Enhanced security, privacy and anonymity online
Make sure to choose a high-speed VPN designed for HD streaming. My advice is to connect to a server in the CBS viewing area you want for the most reliable Final Four experience.
Devices and Best Practices
Today‘s streaming devices provide all the power you need for watching March Madness. I suggest:
- Apple TV 4K – great quality with app and AirPlay support
- Roku Streaming Stick+ – affordable, loads of apps and easy to use
- Fire TV Stick 4K – new Alexa remote, UHD streaming
- NVIDIA SHIELD TV – top performance, perfect for sports fans
Aim for at least 25 Mbps internet speeds for smooth HD streaming. Connect your device via ethernet if possible, and close extra apps and devices using your home‘s bandwidth.
I also recommend the CBS Sports app on mobile to monitor live scores, stats and news while watching. Enjoy the games!
Recap and Highlights
Don‘t forget to catch up on all the excitement after live broadcasts through:
- NCAA March Madness app and Paramount+ replays
- YouTube highlight clips
- Sports news and analysis on ESPN, CBS Sports, radio, podcasts and social media
Bars and restaurants are also good spots to enjoy the games with other fans.
The Final Four is always memorable, and this guide will ensure you don‘t miss a minute of the action. Feel free to reach out with any other streaming questions!