Colleges

FAQ: NCAA Tournament on TV, radio, Web, mobile

Posted March 5, 2011
Updated March 24

An overall view of the Greensboro Coliseum during semifinal action of the 2013 ACC Men's Basketball Conference Tournament on March 16, 2013 in Greensboro, NC.

It's NCAA Tournament time on television, radio and digital platforms. Here's how to find and track your teams and even play to win $1 million if you can pick a perfect bracket.

You’ll find most of your questions about game times, regular programming and how to keep track of both answered below. Let us know if you have other questions, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

NCAA basketball on TV

Q: When do the games begin?
A:
The Sweet 16 features with four games apiece on Thursday and Friday nights. The games will air as double-headers, beginning around 7 p.m., on WRAL-TV and TBS.

Teams, times, TV, scores: NCAA interactive bracket

Q: What does this mean for primetime programs and the evening news?

A: Episodes of CBS Thursday comedies and Friday dramas are pre-empted across the country on Thursday and Friday. The following shows will not available anywhere at any time:

The Big Bang Theory
The Millers
Two and a Half Men
The Crazy Ones
Elementary
Undercover Boss
Hawaii Five-0
Blue Bloods

Find the full WRAL-TV schedule here

 The primetime programs return during the first week in April at their regular times. On April 4, "Unforgettable" replaces "Undercover Boss" on the CBS Friday night schedule.

WRAL’s late night newscast is scheduled to begin after the games, at about midnight on Thursday and Friday nights.

Q: What is new for 2014?
A:
For the first time, the three Turner networks -- TNT, TBS and truTV – will each carry the Saturday semifinal games. Each network will offer commentary and camera angles specific to one of the competing teams. Viewers can choose which version to watch.

Unfortunately, fans who do not have cable or satellite, or whose channel lineups do not include all three Turner networks, do not have access to those games on TV.

Q: Why is this good for viewers?
A:
The NCAA’s 14-year contract with CBS and Turner Sports makes every tournament game available in its entirety on TV nationwide.

No longer are fans subject to the decision of the network of when to switch away from a game, and no longer will you have to wait for your game to be "joined in progress." If you have access to all four networks, you can customize your viewing to see the games you want from start to finish, and you can switch from game to game whenever you choose.

The broadcast windows are staggered in such a fashion that a fan can essentially watch wall-to-wall basketball all day and all night.

Q: How do the networks divvy up the games?
A:
Over the course of the 67 games of the tournament, 16 air on CBS/WRAL (including the championship game).

CBS television stations across the country, including WRAL, do not have any choice of what games to air, even regarding teams of local interest. The national game selections are determined by CBS and the three Turner networks.

Q: Will WRAL carry the games featuring Duke or UNC?
A:
Not necessarily. WRAL has no choice in what game it airs. The station carries whatever game CBS chooses to broadcast nationally.

Q: Can CBS/WRAL pick any game it wants?
A:
Actually the networks pick “locations” instead of “games” for each broadcast window. The networks evaluate the interest in the combination of the two games being played at each site and make a selection accordingly.

In each broadcast window (afternoon and evening), CBS will stick to a single site, not take one game from one site and the second game from another.

Q: If a game is a blowout, will the network shift to another, more competitive game?
A:
No. Each network must stay with the game that they were scheduled to broadcast. This puts the power in the hands of the viewer. You can change the channel to see a closer game or decide to stay with one until the end.

Q: Will the network switch to another game when a game ends early?
A:
CBS is not permitted to take viewers to other games in progress other than a brief “look-in.” (Each network is only allowed a total of three minutes of “look-ins” during the course of a given time block.) If you choose to stay on a single channel, you will see studio updates, highlights and possibly brief “look-ins” between games, schedule permitting.

Q: Will the games be available in high definition?
A:
All games on WRAL are in high definition. The three Turner networks have the games in high definition on their respective HD channels. Check with your cable or satellite provider to confirm whether you can receive the Turner channels in HD.

Q: Will any games be simulcast on more than one network?
A:
No. Each of the games are shown nationally and independently.

Q: What if viewers do not have access to TBS, TNT or truTV?
A:
Unfortunately, fans who do not have cable or satellite, or whose channel lineups do not include all three Turner networks, do not have access to those games on TV. Any game that is not assigned to CBS is shown on one of the Turner networks only. CBS, Turner and the NCAA are cooperating to offer some games online. See below for how to access "March Madness on Demand." 

NCAA basketball on radio

Q: When I listen to NCAA games on local sports radio?
A:
Both 99.9FM The Fan ESPN Radio and 620AM The Buzz will air live play-by-play of NCAA Tournament games up to and including the national championship.

Listen live: 99.9 The Fan | Listen live: 620AM The Buzz

The games of the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 will alternate radio stations to allow for broadcasts of the Carolina Hurricanes.

All four games on Thursday night will air on 620 AM The Buzz. Friday's games begin immediately after Adam & Joe at 7 p.m. on 99.9 FM The Fan.

On Saturday, 620 AM The Buzz has an NCAA basketball double header beginning at 6 p.m. The basketball games air on 99.9 FM The Fan on Sunday starting at 2 p.m.

Note: Due to contractual restrictions, NCAA Tournament games cannot be streamed on WRALSportsFan.com or on The WRALSportsFan App.

Q: What happens to Adam & Joe's afternoon radio show during the games?
A:
Adam and Joe will broadcast during their regular time slot on Thursday and Friday, immediately before the NCAA game resume.

Adam and Joe will take their show on the road to North Texas on April 5 and 8 as they broadcast live from Radio Row at The Final Four.

Q: What about coverage of the Carolina Hurricanes?
A:
Carolina Hurricanes games, including the pregame "Stormfront" and postgame "Aftermath," will air as scheduled on 99.9FM The Fan throughout the NCAA Tournament.

Click for the complete Carolina Hurricanes schedule.

Q: Can I listen to games on The Fan and The Buzz online or on my mobile phone?
A:
Unfortunately, no. The contract to broadcast NCAA games covers only radio, not our digital stream.

Track the NCAA Tournament on WRALSportsFan.com

Log on to WRALSportsFan.com for round-the-clock coverage of the Road to the Final Four.

Q: How can I find the TV/Radio schedule online?
A:
Keep up with the four-network television schedule, the NIT and Division II championship and where to find your games on radio.

Q: Will WRALSportsFan.com have real-time scores?
A:
Use the interactive NCAA bracket to choose any game for time, place and date, and track real-time running scores for all the games and summaries and box scores as the contests are complete.

Q: Where is the bracket contest?
A:
A perfect bracket can win you $1 Million. Enter up front – make all your picks by Thursday – for a chance at the big prize.

Moe's $1 million bracket challenge

Even once your bracket is busted you can still play for prizes. The round-by-round bracket challenge starts over with each round.

Round-by-Round NCAA bracket challenge

You can even compare how you rate up against our “experts,” the guys who watch these games for a living.

Q: How about interviews? Photos?
A:
After the games, go behind the scenes with streaming video and audio of postgame interviews with the players and coaches and relive all the action with round-by-round photo galleries.

Q: Can I get this on my phone or tablet?
A:
WRALSportsFan.com – schedules, scores, brackets, stories, and video and audio interviews – is redesigned this year for your mobile device. Use your browser to access all the stories, video and audio of WRALSportsFan.com.

If you prefer an app, download WRALSportsFan for your iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

WRALSportsFan and individual reporters are also active on Twitter. You can follow them as they follow the games or connect to headlines and updates from WRALSportsFan at Twitter.com/WRALsportsfan.

Elsewhere on the Web

"NCAA March Madness Live," a cooperative effort of the NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports will offer live game video over the internet.

All CBS games will be available without registration or charge. Games broadcast by the Turner networks will require that viewers log in with the password used for their cable or satellite provider.

Fans will also have access to live radio broadcasts, courtesy of Westwood One/Dial Global Radio Network, for all 67 games.

"NCAA March Madness Live" will work on computers, smart phones, the iPad and tablets with the Android 4.0+ operating system, the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini.

13 Comments

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  • apostolicdude7 Mar 18, 5:29 p.m.

    Then North Carolina State plays in the nightcap, at about 9:10 p.m. against Xavier. The winner... View More

    I think the winner of the NCState/Xavier game goes on the play Saint Louis, not Louisville.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Mar 18, 5:25 p.m.

    Where can I listen to the game??

    — Posted by RomneyRyan2012

    Mix 101.5

  • mattcli Mar 18, 4:55 p.m.

    As a cord cutter I hate the new shared setup with Ted Turner's Colorized Classics Networks, but I guess a "true" sports fan sacrifices everything else so he can afford all the channels. I guess I'll find something else to do.

  • thomasew Mar 13, 12:49 p.m.

    The ACC has become a behemoth, so much that it takes a week to play the tournament. We have way too many teams now. We don't need these New York and Florida teams in the ACC. I miss the times when everyone took off Fri. afternoon to watch the tournament, and there were only three days of it. Now, it takes a week to play the thing. I bet people will get to where they say, so what, it is just the ACC tourny.

  • sportznutv2.11 Mar 12, 9:35 a.m.

    Will WRAL stream the games on your web site?

    — Posted by milletar

    theacc.com
    Championships - m basketball link under each game

    — Posted by sportznutv2.11

    Thanks! I'll be sitting in a chemo chair on Friday and did not want to miss seeing the Tarheels... View More

    — Posted by milletar

    good luck to you and Go Heels!

  • milletar Mar 12, 9:15 a.m.

    Will WRAL stream the games on your web site?

    — Posted by milletar

    theacc.com
    Championships - m basketball link under each game

    — Posted by sportznutv2.11

    Thanks! I'll be sitting in a chemo chair on Friday and did not want to miss seeing the Tarheels beat ???

  • GOPtakersSociety Mar 12, 8:19 a.m.

    Where can I listen to the game??

    — Posted by RomneyRyan2012

    Love your screen name BBBBBAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHAAAAAAA
    Newt!

  • kmws Mar 12, 6:44 a.m.

    There has been a big deal made about the new channel listings for Time Warner customers, but where can ATT Uverse customers access WRAL-2? Not to watch the programming that is moved there while tournament games....but to see the games you're not covering on WRAL?

  • sportznutv2.11 Mar 12, 5:47 a.m.

    Will WRAL stream the games on your web site?

    — Posted by milletar

    theacc.com
    Championships - m basketball link under each game

  • milletar Mar 11, 9:30 p.m.

    Will WRAL stream the games on your web site?

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 78
UCLA 56
12:00pm Today
NCCU
EILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
BSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
GSW
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
 
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
1:00pm Today
BOS
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
GSW
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
MIL
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
NOP
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
LAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
IND
ORL
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
PHO
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MEM
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIN
 
Final
TEXAM 17
LSU 23
Final
TEX 10
TCU 48
11:00am Today
WMICH
NILL
12:00pm Today
SMU
HOU
12:00pm Today
IOWA
NEB
12:00pm Today
SFLA
UCF
12:00pm Today
MARS
WKENT
1:00pm Today
KSU
AKR
1:00pm Today
BGU
BST
1:00pm Today
UMASS
BUF
1:00pm Today
EMICH
TOL
2:30pm Today
MIZZ
ARK
3:00pm Today
SALABAMA
NAVY
3:30pm Today
ARZ
ARST
3:30pm Today
AFA
COLST
3:30pm Today
UCLA
STAN
8:00pm Tonight
VT
UVA
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
TENN 64
SCU 57
Final
RMU 71
LAMON 54
Final
BUT 46
OKLA 59
Final
BRO 58
PEAY 79
Final
UTEP 62
PRIN 56
Final
CHAT 78
CCAR 67
Final
RIU 60
KU 76
Final
USCU 68
FIU 53
Final
GEOR 65
WISC 68
Final
USB 73
LIU 54
Final
XAV 82
SDU 71
Final
INDST 62
ILL 88
Final
WRST 62
CSFU 67
Final
STJOE 59
WKENT 62
Final
RIDE 45
MSU 77
Final
UNC 78
UCLA 56
Final
WMICH 55
LBSU 73
Final
GT 70
MARQ 72
Final
PVU 61
STEPH 73
 
Final
MERC 77
RICE 71
 
Final
UF 56
UAB 47
2nd
WASH 66
SJST 39
 
1st
MEM 27
BAY 25
 
1st
UCSB 2
WASU 0
 
12:00pm Today
NCCU
EILL
 
12:00pm Today
KU
TENN
 
1:00pm Today
TEXAM
NO
 
1:30pm Today
NCAT
RAD
 
2:00pm Today
GEOR
BUT
 
2:30pm Today
BRO
PVU
 
2:30pm Today
RIU
SCU
 
2:30pm Today
NARZ
SOUTH
 
3:00pm Today
DART
MAST
 
3:30pm Today
WRST
FIU
 
3:30pm Today
XAV
UTEP
 
4:00pm Today
OSU
JMU
 
4:00pm Today
TXSOU
LAM
 
4:00pm Today
TAMCC
MVSU
 
4:00pm Today
AKAN
MIZST
 
4:00pm Today
BUCK
PSU
 
4:00pm Today
PROV
YALE
 
4:30pm Today
UGA
MINN
 
4:30pm Today
WISC
OKLA
 
5:00pm Tonight
Terriers
NORST
 
5:00pm Tonight
PEAY
STEPH
 
6:00pm Tonight
FSU
CSOU
 
6:00pm Tonight
VALPO
DRAK
 
6:00pm Tonight
CIN
MTST
 
6:00pm Tonight
SDU
PRIN
 
6:00pm Tonight
CSFU
USCU
 
6:15pm Tonight
TBA
TBA
 
6:30pm Tonight
GT
RIDE
 
7:00pm Tonight
TXPA
ALAST
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
BSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
TCU
BRAD
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
HART
EMERSON
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GONZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
HIGH
 
7:00pm Tonight
SYR
HC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MD
MON
 
7:00pm Tonight
JVST
SAV
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
SALA
 
7:00pm Tonight
RUTG
VANDY
 
7:30pm Tonight
PETE
TENST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
CLST
 
8:00pm Tonight
JST
HOF
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
 
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
SAMF
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
SELA
 
8:00pm Tonight
TBA
TBA
 
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
TENNM
 
8:30pm Tonight
MISS
CREI
 
8:30pm Tonight
PORT
MURST
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
MSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
UNT
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
STET
 
9:00pm Tonight
TBA
TBA
 
9:00pm Tonight
IND
UNCG
 
9:05pm Tonight
MNTST
TXARL
 
9:30pm Tonight
UVA
LAS
 
9:30pm Tonight
STLU
MSST
 
9:30pm Tonight
COLST
PAC
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
NDAK
 
10:30pm Tonight
TBA
TBA
 
10:30pm Tonight
UAB
UCLA
 
11:30pm Tonight
TBA
TBA
 
11:59pm Tonight
TBA
TBA
 
Final
NAS 1
EDM 0
1:00pm Today
PHI
NYR
 
4:00pm Today
ANA
CHI
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
NYI
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
MON
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
VAN
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
WIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
EDM
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MIN
 
Final
DET 34
CHI 17
Final
DAL 10
PHI 33
Final
SFX 3
SEA 19