Watch NCAA Basketball Online: 2017-2018 College Basketball Live Stream

Looking for the best way to watch NCAA basketball online? Check out our complete guide to access a college basketball live stream today - without cable TV!

One could argue that college basketball offers the purest form of hoops out there. Players play their hearts out for their schools and for the opportunity to be recognized. Plus, there are at most 31 games in a college basketball season per team, so every match counts. You college basketball fans know exactly what we’re talking about.

Whether you are rooting for your alma mater or you just want to watch college basketball online in general, we’ve got you covered. We’ve ranked the best ways to stream college basketball and laid out the pros and cons for each streaming service below.

Best Streaming Services to Watch College Basketball Online

Here’s a snapshot of the major channels needed to stream college basketball and what streaming services carry them:

1

Package

Orange + Blue

Sling TV offers you the most ways to watch college basketball with tons of add-on options to choose from.
$40/mo.
Free Trial
2

Package

Core Package

Playstation Vue offers fantastic streaming quality along with multiple options to watch college basketball.
$44.99/mo
Free Trial
3

Package

Go Big

DIRECTV NOW offers multiple options to watch college basketball along with channel variety for everyone.
$60/mo.
Free Trial
SlingTV logoplaystation vueDIRECTV NOW logoHulu logoFuboTV logo
Free TrialFree TrialFree TrialFree TrialFree Trial
ACC Network Extra
AXS TV
BeIn Sports
*
CBS
ESPN
FOX Sports
NBCSN
Pac-12 Network
*
SEC Network
TBS
Big Ten Network
TNT
TruTV
*Costs an additional $10 with the Sports Extra add-on

#1 Sling TV: The Most College Basketball Channels

Starting At $25/mo
Price
$25 - $40
Channels
26 - 58
Most channels offered to watch college basketball
Free Trial

What We Like about It: Offers the most channels that stream college basketball

Drawbacks: No CBS or Big Ten Network

Who It’s Perfect For: Fans of schools outside of the Big Ten

Since there are thousands of colleges out there, our rankings are mostly structured around which service offers the most channels that stream college basketball online. Sling TV streams 11 of the 13 college sports channels, making it our first recommendation. That’s actually pretty good, considering no streaming service picks up every channel to watch college basketball online. Before you commit to anything, check out the Sling TV trial, and watch college basketball free for a week.

Pricing and Plans for Sling TV

Sling TV prides itself on offering à la carte channel selection; however, it’s not quite that simple. It breaks down its channel packages into two separate colors: Sling Blue and Sling Orange. To watch college basketball online, we’ll need both Sling Orange and Sling Blue, which you can get for a combined rate of $40 a month.

That might sound like a lot, but if you want to get as many college basketball streaming channels as possible, Sling TV is the best option. You’ll get most of the major channels, except for CBS and the Big Ten Network. In other words, if you’re a Michigan, Wisconsin, or Ohio State fan, you should look elsewhere. For the rest of us who support the Pac-12, ACC, or other conference, you can’t go wrong with Sling TV.

Watching College Basketball with Sling TV

Your experience watching college basketball with Sling TV totally depends on what college teams you want to watch. If your team is part of the Big Ten conference, for example, steer clear since Sling TV doesn’t have the channels you most need. Likewise, if you’re a fan of a major program, like Duke or Kansas, not having CBS may be a problem—especially come March Madness.

In terms of streaming quality, Sling TV offers a great picture. We tested Sling TV for hours, and any streaming hiccups were very few and far between. As long as your internet has a good connection, you should be good to go. Also, if you’re a fan of cloud DVR, Sling TV offers you one with 50 hours of storage for an extra $5 a month. If you want our opinion, $5 is a small price to pay to watch college basketball on your timetable.

The biggest downside with Sling TV is missing out on CBS, which is a vital channel for watching college basketball. We suggest pairing Sling TV with the CBS All Access app. We go over CBS All Access below, so feel free to skip to #6 for more info.

Sling TV Device Compatibility

Sling TV streams on tons of different devices, PlayStation consoles being the biggest exception. Here’s a complete list of compatible devices for Sling TV:

TV and Video Players:

  • Apple TV
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Roku
  • Chromecast
  • Android TV
  • ZTE
  • AirTV Player
  • Xiaomi
  • Leeco
  • Channel Master
  • LG Webos

Phones and Tablets:

  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • Amazon Fire tablets
  • Android tablets
  • Android phones

Video game consoles:

  • Xbox One

Laptops and Computers:

  • Chrome

#2 PlayStation Vue: The Best-Looking Stream for College Basketball

Starting At $39.99/mo
Price
$39.99 - $74.99
Channels
47 - 72
Fantastic live streaming quality
Free Trial

What We Like about It: Streams live TV very well

Drawbacks: No AXS TV, BeIn Sports, or Pac-12 Network

Who It’s Perfect For: Fans of Big Ten, SEC, and top-tier schools

As with other streaming options,  PlayStation’s value totally depends on what college teams you want to watch. However, if we had to choose the best streaming quality out there, we’d choose PlayStation Vue. Give the PlayStation Vue trial a go, watch college basketball for free, and see if it suits your needs.

Pricing and Plans for PlayStation Vue

In order to get the most college basketball channels possible, we recommend going with PlayStation Vue’s Core package for $44.99 a month. Along with 8 of the 13 major college basketball channels, you can stream over 60 popular channels. Check out the channel list and make sure you can stream all of your favorites.

Fun fact about PlayStation Vue: it streams by far the most CBS affiliate markets. So if you want to stream CBS (and you do, because you’re a college basketball fan) along with other college basketball channels all in one place, PlayStation Vue is your best bet.

Of course, if you want to upgrade your channel selection, PlayStation Vue offers two other higher-tier packages. You won’t get any extra college sports channels by upgrading, but those options are there if you want to expand your entertainment selection.

Watching College Basketball with PlayStation Vue

If you’re a fan of the Big Ten or SEC or just want to keep tabs on the big matchups via major networks, PlayStation Vue has got you covered. PlayStation Vue also offers the most local affiliate support, which makes rooting for your local school easy.

We’ve tested pretty much every streaming service out there, and there’s really no question: PlayStation offers the best stream out there. Where other streaming services occasionally bug out or lag behind real time, PlayStation Vue consistently streams well. In addition to amazing streaming, PlayStation Vue comes with cloud DVR. PlayStation Vue’s website mentions hundreds of hours of storage on its cloud DVR, but keep in mind that recorded shows last for only 28 days. After that, whatever you recorded will be deleted.

PlayStation Vue Device Compatibility

Even though it sounds like you need a PlayStation to stream PlayStation Vue, you don’t. In fact, PlayStation Vue streams on basically every device except for Xbox consoles. Here’s a complete list of compatible devices:

TV and Video Players:

  • Roku
  • Amazon Fire devices
  • Apple TV
  • Android TV
  • Chromecast

Phones and Tablets:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android devices

Video game consoles:

  • PlayStation 3 and 4

Laptops and Computers:

  • Chrome
  • Windows 10
  • Macs running Lion 10.7 or higher

#3 DIRECTV NOW: Watch College Basketball and Tons of Other Channels

Starting At $35/mo
Price
$35 - $70
Channels
64 - 99
Channel variety for everyone to enjoy
Free Trial

What We Like about It: Great channel variety for the price

Drawbacks: No AXS TV, BeIn Sports, or Pac-12 Network

Who It’s Perfect For: College basketball fans who share streaming with others

DIRECTV NOW offers many key channels for watching college basketball, but take another look at the table above and make sure it offers the channel you want. You can test out the DIRECTV NOW trial and livestream college basketball for free while you’re at it.

Pricing and Plans for DIRECTV NOW

To watch college basketball online, we recommend going with the Go Big channel package for $60 a month. That may sound like a lot for a streaming service, but keep in mind you’ll get over 80 channels. You won’t find a better deal for that many channels. Then again, if you’re a channel minimalist and don’t want to pay for that many channels, consider a different streaming service to stream college basketball online.

Before deciding the service isn’t for you, you should know we’ve got a killer tip that can potentially split your DIRECTV NOW subscription fee in half. You can stream two devices simultaneously with DIRECTV NOW, which means you can share a subscription with a friend and split the bill. If you can find a willing participant, you can cut your bill to $30 a month for over 80 channels—which is pretty amazing.

Watching College Basketball with DIRECTV NOW

If you’re looking to watch the Big Ten, the SEC, or nationally televised college basketball, DIRECTV NOW might be a great fit. But keep in mind that even though DIRECTV NOW offers CBS, you may not be able to stream it in your area. To be safe, you should enter your ZIPcode and make sure you can stream college basketball on CBS.

Now, let’s talk streaming quality. As long as you stay on the same input, DIRECTV NOW offers a very reliable stream. If you’re a serial input switcher, you may run into problems when you switch back to your stream. We noticed that our DIRECTV NOW stream was a few seconds behind real time, but it wasn’t so significant that we were in danger of spoilers.

As for DVR features, DIRECTV NOW doesn’t offer cloud DVR access to the general public (yet). That will likely change soon, and we’ll update you on the details when it does.

DIRECTV NOW Compatibility

Apologies to gamers—DIRECTV NOW doesn’t stream college basketball on any video game consoles. Besides that, DIRECTV NOW streams on almost every other major device. Here’s a complete list:

TV and Video Players:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Android TV
  • Roku

Phones and Tablets:

  • Amazon Fire tablets
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android phones
  • Android tablets

Video game consoles

  • None

Laptops and Computers:

  • Chrome
  • Windows 10
  • Macs running Lion 10.7 or higher

#4 Hulu Live TV: Stream College Basketball and Binge Favorite Shows

Starting At $39.99/mo
Price
$39.99 - $43.99
Channels
55
Access to Hulu's streaming library
Free Trial

What We Like about It: Tons of content to enjoy

Drawbacks: No AXS TV, BeIn Sports, or Pac-12 Network

Who It’s Perfect For: College basketball fans who love other shows too

There are so many college basketball teams out there, so make sure you know what network your teams play on before committing to any streaming service. We suggest signing up for a Hulu Live TV trial to make sure you can watch your team.

Pricing and Plans for Hulu Live TV

Hulu Live TV makes things pretty simple by offering only one streaming package. For $39.99 a month, you’ll get access to over 55 channels, and, as an added perk, Hulu’s on-demand streaming library. Check out the channel list to see what you’re paying for. While you’re at it, you should take a look at Hulu’s streaming library. The combination of livestreaming channels and a massive library of on-demand content makes for a pretty solid deal.

Here’s another tip—like DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live TV allows users to stream on two different screens simultaneously. If you’re a thrifty type of person, you can try to find someone you can share a subscription with. All of a sudden, you’re paying $20 a month to stream college basketball online and watch tons of other content (Rick and Morty, anyone?). It’s something to think about, anyway.

Watching College Basketball with Hulu Live TV

In terms of college basketball channels, you’ll get access to the Big Ten, the SEC, and most nationally televised games. Speaking of nationally televised games, you’ll want to make sure Hulu offers CBS access to your area. To do that, go to Hulu Live TV’s website, scroll down to the channel list, and click the button that says “View all channels in your area.” Enter your ZIP code and make sure you see CBS. If you don’t, you may want to consider the CBS All Access app in addition to or instead of Hulu.

Hulu Live TV continues its reputation as an excellent streaming provider with vibrant streaming quality. We watched for a couple of hours and ran into only a few streaming hiccups with occasional buffering issues and glitchy menus. None were so bad that they took away from the experience. Factor in 50 hours of cloud DVR included with your subscription, and Hulu Live TV makes for a great package.

Hulu Live TV Device Compatibility

Hulu Live TV covers the usual suspects in terms of device compatibility, except for PlayStation consoles. Here’s a complete list of compatible devices:

TV and Video Players:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Android TV
  • Roku

Phones and Tablets:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Amazon Fire tablets
  • Android phones
  • Android tablets

Video game consoles:

  • Xbox consoles

Laptops and Computers:

  • Chrome
  • Windows 10
  • Macs running Lion 10.7 or higher

#5 fuboTV: Stream Certain College Basketball Conferences

Starting At $44.99/mo
Price
$44.99 - $49.99
Channels
53 - 57
Includes multiple sports channels
Free Trial

What We Like about It: Includes BeIn Sports, Big Ten, and the Pac-12 Network

Drawbacks: Missing ESPN, TBS, and SEC Network

Who It’s Perfect For: Fans of teams that play on BeIn Sports or the Pac-12 Network

fuboTV stands out from the competition by offering channels in its base package that other streaming services don’t. You can see what we mean by doing a fuboTV trial (and watch college basketball free while you do it).

Pricing and Plans for fuboTV

Currently, fuboTV offers only one package (Premier package), and it does a great job of offering niche channels. Plus, there’s a really cool promotion going on with fuboTV right now—the first two months of your subscription cost only $19.99 a month. Even if it lasts for only two months, that’s the cheapest price tag you’ll find for a streaming service that carries so many channels (over 70). After that two-month period, the price jumps back to the regular $39.99 a month.

You can make that monthly subscription fee even cheaper by splitting the cost with another person since subscribers can stream on two different devices simultaneously. We recommend looking for a fellow sports fan because fuboTV’s channel offerings are largely geared toward sports coverage.

Watching College Basketball with fuboTV

If you’re a fan of the Pac-12 or teams that stream on BeIn sports, fuboTV could be a perfect fit for you. Along with streaming college basketball, fuboTV carries tons of soccer channels that no other streaming service provides. So, if you happen to be a big fan of both soccer and college basketball, look no further. Keep in mind you will miss out on the nationally-televised games on TBS and ESPN, though.

We’ll be honest—we did run into a few streaming hiccups with fuboTV. The technology isn’t broken by any means, but occasionally the stream would get a little choppy and fall a couple seconds behind real time. But it’s not all bad news—fuboTV comes with 30 hours of cloud DVR included with your subscription. That’s a big deal for those who want to watch college basketball when it’s most convenient.

fuboTV Compatibility

You can stream college basketball with fuboTV on almost any device that isn’t a video game console. Here’s a complete list:

TV and Video Players:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Android TV
  • Roku

Phones and Tablets:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android phones
  • Android tablets

Video game consoles

  • None

Laptops and Computers:

  • Chrome
  • Windows 10
  • Macs running Lion 10.7 or higher

#6 CBS All-Access: Don’t Miss the Big Matchups

Starting At $5.99/mo
Price
$5.99 - $9.99
Channels
1
Cheap for quality streaming content
Free Trial

What We Like about It: Pretty cheap for a lot of quality content

Drawbacks: Unnecessary if you can already stream CBS

Who It’s Perfect For: Fans living in areas without CBS streaming coverage

Unfortunately, CBS makes streaming its programs fairly difficult, but the CBS All Access app makes things super easy. You can stream college basketball for free with a CBS All Access app trial.

Pricing and Plans for CBS All Access

The CBS All Access app is the answer to our CBS streaming problems. If you live in an area without CBS streaming access, the CBS All Access app will let you stream college basketball games regardless of your location.

For unlimited access to CBS content, it’ll cost you $5.99 a month for two simultaneous streams with ads or $9.99 a month for two simultaneous streams without ads. With such a cheap price tag, you could easily combine the CBS All Access app with another streaming service and have unlimited access to watch college basketball online.

Watching College Sports on CBS All-Access

If you’re a fan of college basketball (or CBS shows in general), CBS All Access makes things super easy for you. The overall streaming quality looks great, and you can relax knowing that you won’t run into any blackouts.

However, CBS All Access streams only CBS content, so we recommend combining your CBS All Access app with another inexpensive streaming service (like the Sling TV Orange package). This way, you get the most college sports channels.

TV and Video Players:

  • Roku
  • Amazon Fire devices
  • Apple TV
  • Android TV
  • Chromecast

Phones and Tablets:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android devices

Video Game Consoles:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox consoles

Laptops and Computers:

  • Macs
  • PCs

#7 Wild card—YouTube TV: Great Service—If You Can Use It

We didn’t include YouTube TV in our initial rankings for two reasons:

  • YouTube TV isn’t available in many areas yet.
  • It doesn’t offer very many college sports channels.

That being said, if you have access to YouTube TV, you can enjoy a good amount of college basketball. Here are the channels will you get:

  • CBS (depending upon your area)
  • ESPN
  • FOX Sports
  • NBCSN
  • SEC Network
  • Big Ten Network

If your college team plays on those networks, then you’re in good hands with YouTube TV. You get unlimited cloud DVR and over 40 channels for $35 a month. We can’t fully recommend it yet because so many of you won’t be able to use it, but definitely consider checking it out if you’re able.

We’ll make sure to update you once YouTube TV becomes more available.

#8 Wild card—Antenna: Unlimited and Cheap Access to Local Channels

For the college basketball games that air on local channels, consider buying an antenna. You can avoid all the stress of local affiliate coverage with streaming services and just watch your local CBS, FOX, and NBC over the air.

What Antenna Should I Get?

Thankfully, antennas have improved over the years, and you don’t need to have a huge pair of bunny ears sticking out of your television. Antennas nowadays are sleek and easy on the eyes.

We’ve tested a few HD antennas, and we recommend the Mohu Leaf 50 HD antenna. Just put the antenna in some out-of-sight area, and enjoy your local channels without any additional payments.

Using your antenna in combination with a quality DVR will give you the most flexibility, letting you record games as they air and watch them on your own schedule. Take a look at our DVR comparison guide if you’re in need of a new DVR. This is far from a complete solution for college basketball streaming, but hey – it’s free!

How Do I Know If It Will Work?

You don’t want to buy an antenna only to find out you can’t access any desirable channels from your home. Before you buy anything, put in your ZIP code and make sure you can get CBS and other major channels.

Watch NCAA Basketball Online Free for Select Games Using the WatchESPN App with ISP

The WatchESPN App provides access to a variety of live sports channels and content, including ESPN3, which lets you watch several college basketball game live streams each week. If you’re ISP or cable provider is participating provider (check here), you can gain free access to ESPN3 on the WatchESPN App.

Here’s the thing, though. This free access only lets you watch what comes on ESPN3. You do not get access to content streaming from ESPN, ESPN2, SEC Network, ESPNU, or any other ESPN networks, so this is a very limited solutions for watching NCAA basketball online.

WatchESPN has apps for Android and iOS devices, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One and Xbox 360 devices. It’s a great way to watch college basketball online on a variety of devices.

If your ISP is not on the list, you can also access the WatchESPN App at anytime for free using your Sling TV login. This will give you access to much more NCAA basketball and sports content on the app than you can get with just your ISP account.

Check Out Our College Basketball Guides

Take Your Pick

College basketball manages to be exciting every year, and we want to make sure you can watch as much as possible. Like we’ve mentioned, so much depends on what teams or conferences you want to watch, so take a close look at our list and make sure you’re getting the right streaming service for you. Have any questions about how to watch NCAA basketball live stream without cable? Let us know and we’ll help. If you want to watch March Madness, holiday college basketball tournaments, conference tournaments or other sports, head over to our main sports page.

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