How to watch and get ready for NCAA March Madness

Mar 14, 2021, 2:54 PM
March Madness 2021...
Signs on the side of Lucas Oil Stadium promote the NCAA March Madness tournament on Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Indianapolis. Photo credit: Jenna Watson / IndyStar /Imagn 14 Mar 21
Originally Published: 14 MAR 21 15:57 ET

(CNN) — After the coronavirus pandemic prevented March Madness last year, it’s back and ready for your brackets — but before you fill them out here are a few things to know.

How to watch:

The games will air on Turner Sports networks and CBS, so most cable providers will have every channel you need. You can stream the games on the NCAA’s March Madness website by logging in with your cable or streaming service credentials. (Turner Sports is owned by WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company.)

Selection and first games:

The tournament selection starts at 6 p.m. ET Sunday on CBS followed by the first four games on Thursday on CBS and truTV.

First round

The first round starts at noon Friday. This is your bracket deadline so make sure everything is filled out by 11:59 a.m. ET. The games will be live on CBS and all Turner Sports stations.

Second round

One week later, the teams that survive move on to round two on March 19 and March 20. All games start at noon and are once again on CBS and all Turner Sports stations.

Sweet 16

The first round of top teams starts on March 27 at 2 pm EST on CBS and TBS. Day two begins at 1 p.m. ET on the same stations.

Elite 8

These four games are all played in evening spots at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Games start Monday, March 29 at 7 p.m. ET on CBS. Tuesday’s games begin at 6 p.m. ET on TBS.

Final Four

The Final Four starts on April 3 at 5 p.m. ET on CBS, again in Indianapolis — and then it’s on to the Big Dance.

National championship

The title game will be held on April 5 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

Who to watch:

Here are some teams to watch in the tournament: Ohio State, Loyola, Illinois, Georgia Tech, San Diego State, Gonzaga, Baylor, Alabama, Ohio and Iowa.

Some won their perspective conference championship and others have been on a hot streak all season. When you fill out your bracket, you may want to take a second look at where you place them.

How to get a bracket

ESPN, CBS and Yahoo are three of the more popular apps, but the NCAA will have copies as well if you like a good old fashioned paper copy to print out.

How to fill it out

Don’t over think it. Keep your picks simple and usually go with your first gut reaction. Or just do it randomly by color or mascot. It’s up to you and there is no right or wrong answer.

If your bracket gets “busted,” meaning your champion ends us losing before the big game, make a new bracket for fun starting where the team lost or just sit back and relax.

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How to watch and get ready for NCAA March Madness