Best TVs for March Madness — OLED, QLED, and Mini-LED top picks

Hisense U8K Mini-LED TV with basketball
(Image credit: Hisense)

With March Madness TV sales now in full swing ahead of the biggest tournament in college sports, there’s no better time to experience the courtside action than on a truly immersive display. All the TVs listed below are frontrunners in the race for the top motion processing, price, picture, and performance, making them not only ideal for high-stakes action movies but among the best March Madness TVs yet. 

This year’s March Madness is set to tip-off on March 19, which means you don’t have long to snag one of the best TVs for the event. Team selections will begin two days prior, on March 17, with current predictions for the men's tournament pointing to a stacked list of 68 teams corralling big names like Purdue, Kentucky, Villanova, Seton Hall, Clemson, Duke, and many more. The women's tournament starting on March 20 figures to be highlighted by the likes of South Carolina and Stanford — not to mention Iowa scoring sensation Caitlin Clark.

Although your first priority is watching those aforementioned titans of basketball duke it out for the crown, the TVs listed below blend the perfect amount of motion processing in tandem with general performance and will serve as excellent displays beyond the tournament's end. 

Let’s hit the courts and see who among TV manufacturers delivers a slam dunk of a display worthy of the forthcoming madness. 

Samsung S95C OLED TV

Samsung S95C OLED TV on stand in living room

(Image credit: Samsung)

As one of the few TVs we’ve gifted a perfect score, the Samsung S95C OLED is a three pointer among best March Madness TVs. It’s not a budget option by any means, given its $2,000-plus price tag, but if you want the crème de la crème of sports viewing, the S95C is your ticket to the big leagues. 

It’s nearly unmatched in terms of its brightness, leveraging a peak HDR brightness of 1,370 nits — a remarkable feat for an OLED TV. On the gaming front, the S95C is equipped with an exceptionally low 9.2ms of input lag and also features AMD’s screen tearing technology, FreeSync Premium Pro, to ensure you get crisp gaming no matter the fps. 

The S95C OLED also proves to be a motion-processing beast with little to no artifacting in high-octane scenes. In our own review of the S95C, we highlighted the most recent James Bond flick “No Time Die” and its intense, fast-paced car chases, which all looked smooth and unblemished. 

Now what about audio? Unlike other TVs in the space, Samsung handles this category quite well as the S95C uses a 70W 4.2.2 channel speaker for unrivalled, punchy sound quality. Thus, you won’t have to pair it up with any among the best Dolby Atmos soundbars for the big games this month. 

Samsung's Spring sale event is still in fool bloom, meaning you could nab the highly touted S95C OLED for an utter steal ahead of March Madness. 

Sony Bravia XR A80L OLED TV

Sony A80L on stand in living room

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony’s OLED TVs always delight through incredible performance and a setlist of features that make them stand out as perfect windows into the content you love. Built on the Google TV platform, the Sony Bravia XR A80L OLED is an easy layup among best March Madness TVs, proving itself as a stellar OLED option to experience college hoops and so much more. 

The A80L comes equipped with one of the highest coverage of color volume in the space at 109.529 percent on the Rec709 Gamut. Brightness might be a tad bit low at 676 nits for HDR content and just 224 nits in standard definition. In our review of the Sony Bravia XR A80L OLED, we praised its speakers and audio technology, uplifted by an Acoustic Surface Audio+ feature that makes sounds as captivating as they are true to form. 

Given its association with PlayStation, you can expect the Sony A80L OLED TV to be among the best gaming TVs. It’s literally built for the PlayStation 5, including exclusive specs for the console, like Auto Genre Picture Mode and Auto HDR Tone Mapping. A refresh rate of 120Hz is also the perfect match for high-speed gaming content. 

In terms of upscaling and motion processing — the two most important factors when it comes to watching sports — Sony’s proprietary XR Processors can’t be beat. If you want the top performer for both action movies and sports broadcasts alike, the A80L is a sure-fire first round draft pick.


LG C3 OLED on stand in living room with sports

(Image credit: LG)

If you’re aiming to get one of the best March Madness TVs but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to procure it, the LG C3 OLED is a top pick. It’s a proven contender in the TV arena, sporting some awesome performance and specs at a lower sticker price relative to the competition. The 65-inch LG OLED65C3 is available for just $1,599, during March Madness. 

Sporting a 120Hz refresh rate, LG’s C3 is a tried and true sports OLED with all the latest screen technologies, including Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG. It might not be quite as good as LG’s G3 OLED that features the latest META panel technology from LG Display, but it’s hard to beat the C3 OLED’s price to performance ratio. 

Want the latest and greatest LG OLED TV? LG recently announced its pricing for its LC G4 OLED and LG C4 OLED in the 2024 TV lineup, both of which could also prove to be perfect displays for the Madness to come — if they launch in time for the big games coming in late March.  

Hisense U8K Mini-LED TV

Hisense U8K Mini-LED TV on stand in living room

(Image credit: Hisense)

Hisense has come around as quite the affordable option against more popular TV brands like LG and Sony. It, alongside TCL, even gave Samsung a run for its money last year, and 2024 could prove no different — especially given the hype surrounding Hisense's 110-in UX Mini-LED TV. But you’ll have to wait for that monster of a display and it surely won’t be as cheap as the Hisense U8K Mini-LED TV, one of the best March Madness TVs for its price. 

At just around $800 for its 65-inch model, the U8K stands tall in the paint, pushing out serious specs for an unbeatable rate. It’s loaded up with four total HDMI 2.1 ports, with one being dedicated to a 144Hz refresh rate for optimal gaming prowess. It even comes equipped with an ATSC 3.0 tuner, which LG’s 2024 lineup will be without this year

Even at its lower price, the U8K still provides ample coverage across the board, witnessed especially in its color volume and brightness. It measures pretty high for its SDR and HDR brightness, respectively at 1,536.53 nits and 1,788.31 nits. As for color, the U8K Mini-LED drives 99.83 percent of the Rec709 Gamut and 97.51 percent of UDHA-P3, meaning even animated content like the fantasy escape "Frieren: Beyond Journey's End" will look remarkable beyond March Madness. 

The U8K also uses both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos for perfect HDR and surround sound, meaning even content beyond March Madness will look as crisp as ever and give you that much-needed level of immersion. 

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Ryan Epps
Staff Writer

Ryan Epps is a Staff Writer under the TV/AV section at Tom's Guide focusing on TVs and projectors. When not researching PHOLEDs and writing about the next major innovation in the projector space, he's consuming random anime from the 90's, playing Dark Souls 3 again, or reading yet another Haruki Murakami novel.