Watch College Basketball Tournaments Online without Cable

Want to watch college basketball tournaments online? Here's a complete guide showing you how to legally watch holiday tournaments live stream without cable.

True college basketball fans know the season doesn’t start in March. Real fans watch the college basketball holiday tournaments, scouting the competition and rooting for their teams to dominate. From one fan to another, we’re here to make sure you can watch the college basketball holiday tournaments this year.

There are so many tournaments that we can’t cover each of them individually here, but we can make sure you get access to as many as possible. We’ve done the research and compiled the most important channels to watch college basketball holiday tournaments online, and we’ve listed which streaming providers carry them.

Most Important Channels to Stream College Basketball Tournaments

PlayStation VueSling TVHulu Live TVDIRECTV NOWfuboTV
ACC Network Extra
CBS
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPN3
**
**
**
ESPNU
FOX
Fox College Sports
FOX Sports
Pac-12 Network
*
SEC Network
*
Big Ten Network
Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
*Requires the Sports Extra add-on
**Need to watch via the WatchESPN app—just log in with your streaming credentials

#1 PlayStation Vue: Lots of College Basketball Holiday Tournaments Coverage

Starting At $44.99/mo
Price
$44.99 - $79.99
Channels
47 - 72
Has the most college basketball channels
Fantastic streaming quality
Free Trial

What We Like about It: Carries the most college basketball channels

Drawbacks: A little pricey

Who It’s Perfect For: Fans looking to watch a lot of college basketball

PlayStation Vue carries nine out of the eleven main college basketball channels, making it the streaming service with the most access and therefore our first recommendation.

Pricing and Plans for PlayStation Vue

To get all those college sports channels in one place, we recommend going with the PlayStation Vue Elite package for $54.99 a month. The package comes with over 80 channels, including college sports essentials like ESPN, CBS, and FOX College Sports. Yes, the price tag may feel a tad expensive, but if you take a look at your cable bill (for those of you who haven’t cut the cord quite yet), you may feel better about it. Even at $54.99 a month, PlayStation Vue easily beats paying for cable.

Here’s a fun fact about PlayStation Vue that may push you over the edge. Currently, PlayStation Vue offers the most CBS affiliate stations (109 markets and growing). So, along with getting guaranteed coverage from channels like the SEC Network, Big Ten Network, and FOX Sports, you have an excellent chance of being able to stream holiday college basketball games on CBS. You’ll be especially happy with that CBS coverage come March Madness season.

Watching College Basketball Holiday Tournaments on PlayStation Vue

We’ve experimented with every streaming service out there and can confidently say PlayStation Vue offers the highest-quality stream out there. Even after multiple hours of viewing, the stream stays consistent and clear. So, if you recently rewarded yourself with a new television for the holidays, PlayStation Vue will do it justice.

The quality experience continues with PlayStation Vue’s solid interface. Navigating from channel to channel, setting recordings, and making favorites lists are all super simple and intuitive.

Speaking of recordings, PlayStation Vue comes with unlimited cloud DVR. That means you don’t need to revolve your schedule around watching college basketball holiday tournaments. With so many tournaments and so little time, recording the action and catching up later will certainly come in handy. Just remember your recordings last only 28 days before being deleted.

PlayStation Vue Device Compatibility

Don’t be confused by the name—you don’t need a PlayStation console to stream college basketball holiday tournaments on PlayStation Vue. In fact, here’s a list of all the compatible streaming devices:

TV and Video Players:

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

Phones and Tablets:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android devices

Gaming Consoles:

  • PlayStation 3 and 4

Laptops and Computers:

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

#2 Sling TV: ACC Fans Will Want to Read This

Starting At $25/mo
Price
$25 - $40
Channels
26 - 58
Provides exclusive ACC coverage
Plenty add-on options to choose from
Free Trial

What We Like about It: Exclusive ACC coverage

Drawbacks: No CBS coverage

Who It’s Perfect For: Fans of the ACC Network Extra

Sling TV offers 8 of the 11 main college basketball channels, so it’s tied with a couple of other streaming services in our rankings—except Sling TV offers some channels other streaming services don’t. That pushes it up above the competition. Our advice? Take advantage of the 7-day Sling trial and watch college basketball tournaments for free.

Pricing and Plans for Sling TV

To get the most college basketball channels possible with Sling TV, you’ll want to get the Sling Blue + Sling Orange channel package for $40 a month. This package is technically just a combo of the Sling Orange and Sling Blue packages, so feel free to peruse the channels in each. If you know the tournaments you want to watch will mostly air on ESPN, you could get away with just Sling Orange for $20 a month, for example.

In terms of channels, Sling TV stands out by offering the ACC Network Extra channel. Currently, Sling TV is the only streaming service that offers the channel. So, if you’re a fan of Duke or North Carolina, we strongly recommend Sling TV for you. Along with ACC Network Extra, Sling TV offers ESPN, FOX Sports, and other essential college basketball channels. However, you won’t find CBS with Sling TV (currently), which can become very problematic with March Madness.

Watching College Basketball Holiday Tournaments with Sling TV

After having watched Sling TV for several hours, we can confirm the streaming quality looks great. Occasionally we experienced a fuzzy picture or a slight delay in connection speed, but those instances were very few and far between. And it’s very possible we  experienced those issues only because we had been streaming continuously for more than three hours or so. If you’re just watching a game, you shouldn’t run into many issues.

If you’re a fan of cloud DVR, you’ll need to pay an extra $5 a month for 50 hours of storage. You’re already paying $40 a month, so perhaps you don’t want to incur any additional charges, but cloud DVR can make a real difference. Having the power to record college basketball games, skip commercials, and watch at your convenience can really help with the whole balancing-fandom-with-a-social-life thing.

Sling TV Device Compatibility

With the exception of PlayStation consoles, Sling TV streams on basically every other device. Here’s a list of compatible devices:

TV and Video Players:

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

Phones and Tablets:

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

Gaming Consoles:

  • Xbox One

Laptops and Computers:

  • Chrome

#3 Hulu Live TV: Watch College Basketball Holiday Tournaments and Binge-Watch Your Favorite Shows

Starting At $39.99/mo
Price
$39.99 - $43.99
Channels
55
Variety of live content to watch
Access to Hulu's on-demand content
Free Trial

What We Like about It: Tons of live and on-demand content

Drawbacks: No sports channel add-ons

Who It’s Perfect For: Fans who want to watch more than sports

Hulu has entered the streaming realm with its own live TV service, and it’s pretty impressive. It also carries 8 out of the 11 college basketball channels we want and offers tons of on-demand content to boot, making it our third recommendation. You can watch college basketball tournaments online for free with a Hulu Live TV trial.

Pricing and Plans for Hulu Live TV

You won’t need to stress about different streaming packages with Hulu Live TV—it offers only one, and it has more than 50 channels for $39.99 a month. In that one package, you’ll get your ESPN, CBS, SEC Network, Big Ten Network, and other college basketball essentials. However, there aren’t any add-on options to get you additional channels like the Pac-12 Network, or FOX College Sports. For the time being, you’re stuck with the channels it offers in the package.

Hulu Live TV’s coolest perk is getting access to its entire on-demand streaming library (a $5.99 value). You can watch college basketball holiday tournaments online and then quickly transition to watching your favorite shows. That’s especially nice when your team loses and you need to take your mind off things for a little while. The on-demand content may not help you stream more college basketball holiday tournaments, but more content, like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Seinfeld, is never a bad thing.

Watching College Basketball Holiday Tournaments with Hulu Live TV

After watching Hulu Live TV for a couple of hours, we can say the stream looks solid. Occasionally the menu guide would glitch up for a second or two while scrolling through channel options, and the picture would get a little fuzzy, but those instances were rare. In general, the picture quality looks great. And in case you’re curious, the on-demand stream is near perfection, so this gives us hope the livestream will catch up soon.

Hulu Live TV comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR built in. Let’s assume every college basketball game lasts about two hours—you can store about 25 college basketball games at once. That’s basically an entire tournament. Also, as opposed to PlayStation Vue, you won’t need to worry about your content being deleted after 28 days—you can keep your recorded content for as long as you like.

Hulu Live TV Device Compatibility

You can stream college basketball holiday tournaments on almost every device that isn’t named “PlayStation.” 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
  • Amazon Fire tablets

Gaming consoles:

  • Xbox consoles

Laptops and Computers:

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

#4 DIRECTV NOW: The Best Price for the Most Channels

Starting At $40/mo
Price
$40 - $75
Channels
64 - 99
Channel variety for everyone
Great price for all the channels you get
Free Trial

What We Like about It: Lots of channels to choose from

Drawbacks: No cloud DVR

Who It’s Perfect For: Fans looking to share a subscription

Also carrying 8 of the 11 essential college basketball channels, but not offering cloud DVR, DIRECTV NOW comes fourth in our rankings. If you want to watch college basketball tournaments for free, check out the DIRECTV NOW trial.

Pricing and Plans for DIRECTV NOW

To get the most college basketball channels at the best price, we recommend going with DIRECTV NOW’s Just Right package for $50 a month. In terms of livestreaming college basketball holiday tournaments, you’ll have access to all the ESPNs, CBS (limited availability), the Big Ten Network, and more. Along with those college basketball channels, you’ll get over 80 other channels to choose from. You won’t find a better price for that many channels with any other streaming service (for now).

And with so many great channels comes great responsibility . . . to share with a friend. DIRECTV NOW allows for two simultaneous streams with one subscription, making this an excellent opportunity to find a friend to split the monthly fee. Considering there are so many channels to choose from, it shouldn’t be hard to find someone willing to go halfsies with you on a DIRECTV NOW account. You can bring your monthly charge down to $25 a month for 80 channels.

Watching College Basketball Holiday Tournaments on DIRECTV NOW

Admittedly, we did run into a few issues while streaming DIRECTV NOW. This is going to come off as super nitpicky, but when you stream as much as we do, it’s hard to not notice the little imperfections. For example, if you want to switch to a different input on your TV while streaming DIRECTV NOW, the stream gets a little glitchy. Likewise, if you scroll through your guide too quickly, the interface glitches out as well. Hopefully these issues will be patched out soon, but in the meantime, it’s a little annoying. That being said, the streaming quality generally looks great despite occasional issues.

Another thing to remember with DIRECTV NOW—there’s no cloud DVR. If you want to livestream a college basketball holiday tournament, you’ll need to plan on watching live. Hopefully you have a flexible calendar because those tournaments certainly can be time consuming. Worth it, for sure, but time consuming.

DIRECTV NOW Compatibility

DIRECTV NOW streams college basketball holiday tournaments on almost every device except for video game consoles. We guess it decided not mess with consoles at all for whatever reason. 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
  • Android phones
  • Android tablets
  • Amazon Fire tablets

Gaming Consoles:

  • None

Laptops and Computers:

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

#5 fuboTV: Unique Channel Offerings

Starting At $44.99/mo
Price
$44.99 - $49.99
Channels
53 - 57
Carries the Pac-12 Network
Great for fans of other sports
Free Trial

What We Like about It: Carries the Pac-12 Network

Drawbacks: Missing essential college basketball channels like ESPN

Who It’s Perfect For: Pac-12 fans

fuboTV offers only 5 of the 11 college basketball channels we’re looking for. However, fuboTV is the only streaming service that includes the Pac-12 Network in its channel package. You can watch some college basketball tournaments for free with a fuboTV trial.

Pricing and Plans for fuboTV

You’ll be happy to know fuboTV costs only $19.99 a month for the first two months. After that, the price jumps back up to the original price, $39.99 a month, so we suggest taking advantage of those first couple of months to see if fuboTV is a good fit for you. In terms of channel packages, fuboTV offers only one with more than 60 channels to choose from with CBS, CBS Sports, FOX, FOX Sports, the Pac-12 Network, and the Big Ten Network included.

Like we mentioned, fuboTV has a unique channel selection. We strongly recommend taking a look at its channel offerings and seeing what you think. For example, if you are a fan of the Pac-12 or happen to be a fan of international soccer, then fuboTV might be a perfect fit for you.

Watching College Basketball Holiday Tournaments on fuboTV

As it stands now, fuboTV is probably the weakest option here in terms of streaming quality. We noticed the picture getting fuzzy a little too often for our taste. We didn’t have any problems navigating the guide, though, so that’s a bright spot.

One nice thing about fuboTV is the fact that it comes with 30 hours of cloud DVR storage. You won’t need to worry about content being deleted either—you are welcome to keep whatever you record for as long as you want.

fuboTV Compatibility

You can download the fuboTV app on pretty much any streaming device that isn’t a video game console. 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
  • Android phones
  • Android tablets

Gaming Consoles:

  • None

Laptops and Computers:

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

Take Your Pick

Now that you’ve got options to watch the college basketball holiday tournaments, all you need is to choose what’s best for you.

Our top pick was Playstation Vue, but what did you end up choosing to livestream holiday tournaments? We’re always reviewing your comments to make sure we’re staying updated with user experiences, so let us know below!

College Basketball Holiday Tournaments TV Schedule

Here’s a quick rundown of all the major holiday college basketball tournaments and where to watch them.

2K Classic

When: November 10–19

Competing Teams: Virginia Tech, Saint Louis, Providence, Washington

Channels: ACC Network Extra, ESPN2, FS Midwest, FSN, Pac-12 Network

Puerto Rico Tip-Off

When: November 16–19

Competing Teams:  Illinois State, Appalachian State, Boise State, Iowa State, South Carolina, Tulsa, UTEP, Western Michigan

Channels: ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, SEC Network

Charleston Classic

When: November 16–19

Competing Teams: Auburn, Clemson, Hofstra, Indiana State, Dayton, Old Dominion, Ohio, Temple

Channels: ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNews

Hall of Fame Tip-Off

When: November 18–19

Competing Teams: (Naismith bracket) Boston College, Texas Tech, Northwestern, La Salle; (Springfield bracket)  St. Peter’s, Sacred Heart, South Alabama, Maine

Channels: ACC Network Extra, Big Ten Network, ESPN3, FOX College Sports, FS Southwest Plus

Legends Classic

When: November 20–21

Competing Teams: Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Pittsburgh

Channels: ACC Network Extra, Big Ten Network, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, FOX College Sports, FS Southwest Plus, SEC Network, TheW.tv

CBE Hall of Fame Classic

When: November 20–21

Competing Teams: Baylor, Creighton, UCLA, Wisconsin

Channels: Big Ten Network, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, FS1, FSN, FS Southwest, FOX College Sports, Pac-12 Network

Maui Jim Maui Invitational

When: November 20–22

Competing Teams: Marquette,  California, VCU, Wichita State, Notre Dame, Chaminade, Michigan, LSU

Channels: ACC Network Extra, Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FSN, Pac-12 Network Bay Area

MGM Main Event

When: November 20–22

Competing Teams: UNLV, Rice, Prairie View A&M, Ole Miss, Utah, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia State, Eastern Washington

Channels: ESPN2, ESPNU, Pac-12 Network Mountain, SEC Network

Cayman Islands Classic

When: November 20–22

Competing Teams: Cincinnati, Iowa, Louisiana, Wyoming, Buffalo, South Dakota State, Richmond, UAB

Channels: ESPN3

Gulf Coast Showcase

When: November 20–22

Competing Teams: TBA

Channels: ESPN3

Cancun Challenge

When: November 21–22

Competing Teams: Evansville,  Louisiana Tech, Binghamton, Fresno State, George Mason, Cal State Northridge, Montana State, Southeast Missouri State

Channels: CBSSN, ESPN3

Battle 4 Atlantis

When: November 22–24

Competing Teams: Villanova, Arizona, Purdue, NC State, Tennessee, SMU, Western Kentucky, Northern Iowa

Channels: ACC Network Extra, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3

NIT Season Tip-Off

When: November 23–24

Competing Teams: Rhode Island, Seton Hall, Vanderbilt, Virginia

Channels: ACC Network Extra, ESPNews, ESPNU, FS1, FS2, SEC Network

Las Vegas Invitational

When: November 23–24

Competing Teams: Hampton, Xavier, Northern Arizona, George Washington, Kansas State, Arizona State, Rider, UC Irvine

Channels: ESPN3, FOX, FS1, Pac-12 Network

AdvoCare Invitational

When: November 23–26

Competing Teams: North Carolina, Portland, Arkansas, Oklahoma, DePaul, Michigan State, UConn, Oregon

Channels: ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNews, FS1, AT&T Sportsnet Pittsburgh

Phil Knight Invitational

When: November 23–26

Competing Teams: Missouri, St. John’s, Oregon State, West Virginia, Long Beach State, Nebraska, Marist, UCF

Channels: Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU

Wooden Legacy

When: November 23–26

Competing Teams Competing: Saint Joseph’s,  DePaul, Harvard, Georgia, Cal State Fullerton, Saint Mary’s, Washington State, San Diego State

Channels: ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNews, ESPNU

Emerald Coast Classic

When: November 24–25

Competing Teams: Jackson State, Maryland, Maryland Eastern Shore, Omaha, New Mexico, St. Bonaventure, TCU, Tennessee Tech

Channels: Big Ten Network, CBSSN, FS Southwest Plus

Jimmy V Classic

When: December 5

Competing Teams: Gonzaga, Syracuse, UConn, Villanova

Channels: ESPN

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