Here’s the best way to watch March Madness — and it’s free

March Madness games on YouTube TV using multiview
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Tom's Guide)

March Madness is right around the corner and that means you need to know how to watch all 67 games in the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament. 

There are several options to do this, from the best streaming services and the best cable TV alternatives alike. But for my money — and I mean that literally — the best way to watch March Madness is YouTube TV

I personally use YouTube TV for nearly all my sports watching, with the lone exception being Premier League live streams that require Peacock. And last year when March Madness came around, you better believe that I was using it to watch the games at home and on the go. 

There are a few key reasons for this, from pricing to channels, but most importantly, features. Let's get into why YouTube TV is the best way to watch March Madness 2024 — and how you can get it for free.

YouTube TV multiview is a must for March Madness

First, let's talk channels. The 67 games of March Madness are shown on TruTV, TBS, TNT and CBS. The first three are all Turner networks, meaning they're owned by Warner Bros. Discovery and shown on Max. CBS, meanwhile, is owned by Paramount Global and lives on Paramount Plus.

So that means you need multiple streaming services to watch all the games. So unless you're really trying to save money and just want to watch the games, then you're better off with a live TV service. Besides, not having to switch apps to watch the games is so much better for the viewing experience.

Unfortunately, our top pick here at Tom's Guide, Sling TV, doesn't get CBS. That leaves YouTube TV as the cheapest way to get all four networks in one app.

Honestly, this is a blessing in disguise, because YouTube TV's features make it the best way to watch March Madness. Specifically, multiview, which allows you to watch four games at once

Seriously, that's not a typo. Four games on the same screen. You can even select which four games to watch through multiview's build feature, though that's still rolling out to users. But regardless, you'll be able to watch any combination of four games your heart desires, making sure that you'll never miss a moment.

And if you do miss a moment, you can catch up thanks to YouTube TV's key plays feature.

I use this feature all the time, particularly with NBA games, but it works for March Madness too. It allows me to watch a highlight reel of all the key moments in a game, then jump right into the live broadcast like I never missed a moment.

You don't have to watch the whole playlist though. If you're watching the live broadcast of a game, you can hop over to the key plays menu within the broadcast and watch individual key plays in case you missed a particular highlight.

Get YouTube TV free for a limited time

Okay, so clearly you're now sold on YouTube TV. You see the appeal of multiview and key plays allowing you to truly, never miss a moment. Plus, it's the cheapest way to get all four networks on the same app.

Here's the thing though ... cheapest and cheap are not necessarily the same thing. While YouTube TV is the cheapest way to get TruTV, TBS, TNT and CBS in one user experience, it's still $72.99 a month. Not as bad as cable, but not exactly cheap.

I have good news though. Right now, you can get YouTube TV free for three weeks. Then, once that extended free trial is over, you can get your next three months at a $10 per month discount — $62.99 a month.

YouTube TV: First three weeks free!
Right now you can get one of our favorite cable alternatives for free for your first three weeks. Then, you still get $10 a month off your next three months

YouTube TV: <a href="https://tv.youtube.com/welcome/" data-link-merchant="tv.youtube.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">First three weeks free!
Right now you can get one of our favorite cable alternatives for free for your first three weeks. Then, you still get $10 a month off your next three months. With killer features like multiview and key plays, YouTube TV is the best way to watch every second of March Madness this year. Don't miss out on this incredible deal.

There is some fine print here. The offer is limited to new users, so if you've had YouTube TV before you'll need to set up a new account, and that means setting up a new Google account too. But that's a small price to pay for free basketball.

The other catch? We don't know how long this offer will last. If you sign up right now, you'll get the first two rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament for free, but you'll be paying for the rest of March Madness. Wait until next week though? That'll get you through the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight. Wait even longer to sign up, and you'll get through the entirety of March Madness for free.

But again, we can't promise this deal will stick around that long. So if you want to play it safe, sign up now and get three weeks of YouTube TV and then a $10 per month discount on your next three months. You won't regret it when you're watching the best way to watch March Madness thanks to multiview and key plays.

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.


Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.