NCAA March Madness 2021: Schedule, channel and how to watch Elite Eight on TV today

March Madness is back and it’s time for the Elite Eight. After the pandemic caused last year’s tournament to be canceled, the NCAA men’s basketball bonanza returned in 2021 with upsets and surprises during the first two rounds, while the Sweet 16 games this weekend were a bit more predictable. The Oregon State Beavers and UCLA Bruins both managed upsets, but all of the No. 1 seeds advanced. Four more games will determine who goes on to the Final Four next weekend.

Here’s what you need to know about the 2021 men’s tournament. 

As a No. 12 seed, Oregon State is the biggest underdog left in the tournament. The Beavers play No. 2 Houston tonight for a berth among the Final Four.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

What is the schedule for the Elite Eight games? 

Here’s the complete schedule for the Elite Eight games. Check out the scores for in-progress and completed games at

Monday, March 29

  • (2) Houston vs. (12) Oregon State, 7:15 p.m. ET (4:15 p.m. PT) on CBS
  • (1) Baylor vs. (3) Arkansas, 9:57 p.m. ET (6:57 p.m. PT) on CBS

Tuesday March 30

  • (1) Gonzaga vs. (6) USC, 7:15 p.m. ET (4:15 p.m. PT) on TBS
  • (1) Michigan vs. (11) UCLA, 9:57 p.m. ET (6:57 p.m. PT) on TBS

When is the Final Four and the NCAA Championship? 

As in past years, you’ll need access to CBS to watch the Final Four and the championship game. Here’s the remaining list of dates.

  • Final Four: Saturday, April 3 on CBS
  • National Championship: Monday, April 5 on CBS

Who are the top seeds, where can I find the bracket? 

Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan and Illinois were the top seeds in the tournament, each No. 1 seed in their respective regions, and only Illinois has been eliminated so far. The full bracket can be found at a number of locations including on the NCAA’s website

Can I watch live on TV without a cable subscription? 

Yes you can.

Live TV streaming services YouTube TV, Hulu Plus Live TV and AT&T TV offer both channels you’ll need to catch the action. They start at $65 per month ($70 per month for AT&T). Cheaper streaming services like Sling TV’s $35 per month Orange and Blue packages have TBS but lack CBS. FuboTV has CBS but lacks TBS. 

You can also get CBS with an antenna or with Paramount Plus, the new name for CBS All Access, a streaming service that runs $6 per month. 

Games will be available to stream on the NCAA’s March Madness Live website and app, with the CBS-broadcasted games available for free without needing to first authenticate with a cable provider. Watching the games that are broadcast on TBS, however, will require you to first log in with your cable provider’s credentials.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes CBS and TBS. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see what live, local networks are available where you live.

Hulu With Live TV costs $65 a month and includes CBS and TBS. Click the “View all channels in your area” link on its welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your ZIP code. 

Both of Sling TV’s packages offer TBS, but not CBS, for $35 per month. 

FuboTV costs $60 a month and includes CBS, but not TBS. Click here to see which local channels you get.

Outside the US? Consider using a VPN: CNET editors choose the best VPN

How does the pandemic affect the 2021 tournament? 

The NCAA took a number of precautions to protect players, coaches and fans and to reduce the potential for COVID-19 to disrupt play. Usually the tournament is spread all across the country in various venues, but this year, to reduce travel, all 67 men’s games are taking place in Indiana with the bulk of the action happening in Indianapolis. Teams are also required to quarantine upon arrival, and in-person attendance by fans is limited to 25% capacity to allow physical distancing.

COVID-19 also has impacted some games, with Oregon advancing past VCU in the first round due to the Rams’ having multiple positive tests

In which venues will the games take place? 

Per the NCAA, this year’s games will be played two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium (home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts) plus Bankers Life Fieldhouse (home of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers), Hinkle Fieldhouse (Butler’s stadium), Indiana Farmers Coliseum (home of the IUPUI Jaguars), Mackey Arena in West Lafayette (Purdue’s arena) and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington (home of the Indiana Hoosiers). 

The NCAA says that only one game will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium at a time, while teams will practice at the Indiana Convention Center. Dedicated hotel floors will house each team. 

On March 1, the NCAA tweeted out images of this year’s floor layout for Lucas Oil Stadium as well as some of the other venues. 

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