It’s that time.
The Men’s NCAA basketball tournament begins on Thursday, as millions fill out their brackets and try to figure out a way to watch the games from their desks at work.
March Madness will see 68 teams vie for one of two spots in the April 2 championship game.
Office pool betting has begun in earnest and according to the America Gaming Association, the NCAA tournament is one of the most illegally bet on sporting events of the year. The AGA estimates that only 3 percent of March Madness wagers (about $300 million) will be placed legally.
So how does this all work? Here’s a look at what time the games will be played, what channel, how to fill out a bracket, the odds on winning the whole thing, and more.
When does it start?
The tournament actually started on Tuesday with two of the “First Four” games. The First Four are games played by the eight weakest teams (at least on paper) in the tournament.
On Tuesday, Radford and St. Bonaventure were winners. On Wednesday, Texas Southern and Syracuse both came out on top.
What channel is it on?
The games are broadcast on several channels so fans can see their favorite teams play and networks can make money. CBS, truTV, TBS and TNT will broadcast the games. The championship game will be on TBS. Galavision will provide Spanish language coverage.
How do I fill out an NCAA tournament bracket?
You can click here to fill out a printable bracket to keep up with your picks. ESPN offers a bracket contest where you fill out a bracket and compete with millions of others trying to pick the winner. No one has ever picked every game correctly in the ESPN bracket contest. (Can you say upset?)
How can I watch the tournament without cable?
You can stream the games live by clicking here. It is the NCAA March Madness Live app.
Watching the games at work? Then you could need a “Boss Button” to keep your nosy employer from seeing you enjoy the games. The button, one of which is on the March Madness website, lets you one-click to replace the game with a fake screenshot of something more work-appropriate when the boss (read: killjoy) strolls through the office.
What channel is truTV on my television?
Many of the games will be broadcast on the cable channel truTV. Below is a guide to finding the station on your cable network. You can also go to truTV's website using their channel locator by clicking here.
AT&T Uverse: Channel 164, Channel 1164 (HD)
DISH Network: Channel 204, Channel 9430 (HD)
DIRECTV: Channel 246, Channel 246-1 (HD)
SlingTV: Click Here
PlayStation VUE: Click Here
Time Warner Cable: Click Here to search by zip code
Comcast/XFinity Cable: Click Here to search by zip code
Charter Cable: Click Here to search by zip code
Cox Communications: Click Here to search by zip code
Bright House Networks: Click Here to search by zip code
Cablevision/Optimum: Click Here to search by zip code
Cable One: Click Here to search by zip code
Mediacom: Click Here to search by zip code
Suddenlink Communications: Click Here to search by zip code
WOW! cable: Click Here to search by zip code
What is the schedule?
Here is the schedule of games, times and the channel they are being broadcast on.
Elite Eight: Saturday, March 24
6:09 p.m. --Kansas State vs. Loyola-Chicago (TBS)
8:49 p.m. -- Michigan vs. Florida State (TBS)
Elite Eight: Sunday, March 25
2:20 p.m. -- Villanova vs. Texas Tech (CBS)
4:55 p.m. -- Kansas vs. Duke (CBS)
Final Four: Saturday, March 31
6:00 p.m. -- Elite Eight winners (TBS)
8:30 p.m. -- Elite Eight winners (TBS)
National Championship: Monday, April 2
9:00 p.m. -- Final Four winners (TBS)