This NCAA Tournament 2012 TV Channel Guide decodes the mystery and shows you where to watch every March Madness game on cable or via free online live stream.
The homepage of the NCAA Tournament, NCAA.com, provides an online schedule, but this article breaks it all out for you on one page you can return to as March Madness progresses, or simply print out and carry with you to the bar, your friends' houses, or wherever you watch the games via apps on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or other mobile device.
Four channels are carrying March Madness this year: CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. To determine how to find these channels on your cable provider, consult channel information for Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Dish and Comcast, which is available on their Web sites.
The first four games, which are scheduled to take place Tuesday, March 13 (Western Kentucky vs. Mississippi Valley State at 6:40 p.m. and Iona vs. Brigham Young University at 9:10 p.m.) and Wednesday, March 14 (Vermont vs. Lamar at 6:40 p.m. and University of South Florida vs. Cal at 9:10 p.m.), are all going to be broadcast exclusively on truTV.
After Wednesday, the schedule gets a little more complicated:
On Thursday, March 15 on TBS, University of Kentucky will play the winner of the WKU/Mississippi Valley State game at 6:50 p.m., and UConn will play Iowa State at 9:20 p.m.; On CBS, Colorado State will play Murray State at 12:15 p.m., the winner of the BYU/Iona game will play Marquette at 2:45 p.m., Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) will play Wichita State at 7:15 p.m., and New Mexico State will play Indiana at 9:45 p.m.; On truTV, UNC-Ashville plays Syracuse at 3:10 p.m., Southern Mississippi plays Kansas State at 12:40 p.m., Colorado plays UNLV at 9:57 p.m., and South Dakota State plays Baylor at 7:27 p.m.; On TBS, Long Beach State University will face New Mexico at 4:10 p.m., and Davidson will play Louisville at 1:40 p.m.; and On TNT, Harvard plays Vanderbilt at 4:40 p.m., Montana plays Wisconsin at 2:10 p.m., West Virginia faces Gonzaga at 7:20 p.m., and Loyola Maryland plays Ohio State at 9:50 p.m.
On Friday, March 16 on TBS, Alabama plays Creighton at 1:40 p.m., the winner of the Lamar/Vermont game plays North Carolina (UNC) at 4:10 p.m, St. Louis University plays Memphis at 6:50 p.m., and LIU Brooklyn plays Michigan State at 9:20 p.m.; On CBS Texas plays Cincinnati at 12:15 p.m, St. Bonaventure plays Florida State University (FSU) at 2:45 p.m., Lehigh plays Duke at 7:15 p.m., and Xavier vs. Notre Dame at 9:45 p.m.; On truTV, NC State plays San DiegoState University at 12:40 p.m., Belmont plays Georgetown at 3:10 p.m., Purdue plays St. Mary's at 7:27 p.m., and Detroit plays Kansas at 9:57 p.m.; and on TNT, University of Virginia (UVA) plays Florida at 2:10 p.m., Norfolk plays University of Missouri (Mizzou) at 4:40 p.m.; Ohio plays Michigan at 7:20 p.m., and the winner of the Cal/South Florida game will play Temple at 9:50 p.m.
This site will be updated as game times, channels and match-ups on Saturday, March 17; Sunday, March 18; Thursday, March 22; Friday, March 23; Saturday, March 24; and Sunday, March 25.
But the times and channel have already been released for the Saturday, March 31, 2012, Final Four games in New Orleans (6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on CBS), and the Monday, April 2, 2012, National Championship game (9 p.m. on CBS).
March Madness on Demand is also available this year to stream NCAA tournament games for free. Unfortunately the service has been diminished, so all CBS games (including the Final Four and National Championship) will be streamed on CBSSports.com, but all other games are not entirely free to all Web users.
The games carried on TBS, TNT and truTV require viewers to authenticate that they subscribe to the channels if they want to access their games online for free. But you can also pay $3.99 to subscribe and have access to any game, both online and on apps via tablets, iPhones, Android devices and other smartphones.