Colleges

NCAA Tournament on TV, radio, web and mobile

Posted March 4
Updated March 16

Battle of the Blues

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 a new TV with your picks.

Play the WRALSportsFan.com College Hoops Bracket Challenge

NCAA basketball on TV 2017 NCAA men's interactive bracket

Q: When do the games begin?

A: The tournament tips off with the NCAA First Four -- two games on Tuesday and two games on Wednesday.

Both North Carolina Central University and Wake Forest play in the First Four games on Wednesday -- Wake Forest against Kansas State and NCCU against UC-Davis.

Wake Forest is playing for the right to meet Cincinnati in Sacramento on Friday; if NCCU wins, the Eagles play Kansas in Tulsa on Friday.

The first weekend, the first and second full rounds feature a full slate of games beginning Thursday at noon.

On television, those first- and second-round games are distributed across the four participating networks – CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Each day of the first round features 32 games across eight sites.

The second round, on Saturday and Sunday, winnows the field to the Sweet 16 with 16 games per day at those same sites.

The NCAA's contract with CBS and Turner Sports makes every tournament game available in its entirety on TV nationwide. Viewers can choose, by channel, which game to watch.

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: Where can I watch games featuring Triangle teams?

A: Wake Forest and NCCU both play as part of the First Four on Wednesday in Dayton -- Wake Forest against Kansas State and NCCU against UC-Davis.

Wake Forest is playing for the right to meet Cincinnati in Sacramento on Friday; if NCCU wins, the Eagles play Kansas in Tulsa on Friday.

The Tar Heels, the No. 1 seed in the South Region, and the Blue Devils, seeded second in the West, both play on Friday in Greenville, S.C.

UNC faces Texas Southern and Duke faces Troy. Game times and channels will be announced early on Monday.

Q: How do the networks divvy up the games?

A: The television contract between CBS, Turner and the NCAA allows for each of the 67 games to be broadcast in its entirety. That means viewers without access to 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, and Turner networks are available via SlingTV, DirecTV Now and Playstation Vue.

Television stations across the country 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.

Keep up with the four-network NCAA Tournament television schedule, the NIT and Division II championship and where to find your games.

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 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: Can I listen to the games on the radio?

A: The games of the First Four on Tuesday begin at 7 p.m. on Buzz Sports Radio (620 AM/99.3 FM/96.5 FM/99.9 HD-2). Wednesday night's games will air on 99.9 FM The Fan ESPN Radio.

On Thursday and Friday, a special edition of Adam and Joe kicks off the action each day from 10 a.m. until noon on The Fan.

Play-by-play and the best of all the games will air daily through the Elite Eight on Buzz Sports Radio.

Track the NCAA Tournament on your computer, phone or tablet

Log on to WRALSportsFan.com for round-the-clock coverage of the Road to the Final Four. Our reporters will follow the Carolina teams as they pursue the national title.

Check out interviews with the players and coaches, analysis and daily reports from each region.

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.

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

Q: Can I get this on my phone or tablet?

A: WRALSportsFan.com -- schedules, scores, brackets, stories, and video and audio interviews -- is designed especially 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 or Android device.

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.

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