The 2020 NCAA college basketball season is here (starting Wednesday, November 25), but there are some notable changes in how it’s run. Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, most games will take place without a live audience. Thankfully, most NCAA teams have existing TV contracts to broadcast games live. Watching the NCAA college basketball season online is now easier than ever. You can also live stream NCAA games abroad and without cable in most countries, including Canada, the UK, China, and more.
This guide only recommends official streaming services. NCAA broadcast rights are among the most fragmented in the sports broadcast market. Most conferences secure their own contracts. Some of the powerhouse schools also have separate contracts with broadcasters. With dozens of conferences and over 100 teams, you may find it difficult to get the exact stream you want. Streaming pirates take advantage of this situation by offering illegal streaming for many popular games. Nevertheless, pirated streaming sites carry security risks. We recommend you use official streaming sources for all NCAA basketball games.
If you’re looking to watch NCAA College Basketball while traveling out of state or abroad, you may find many of the streams are region-locked. This means you’ll need the help of a VPN to access your usual home services.
How to live stream NCAA College Basketball with a VPN
Here’s how to stream NCAA college basketball live streams online from anywhere:
- Create an account with a trustworthy VPN service provider. We recommend NordVPN although Surfshark and ExpressVPN are both great alternatives.
- Connect to a US-based server through your VPN on your chosen streaming device. We recommend US servers as most streaming services carrying NCAA games block connections from outside the US
- Log onto the website or app for your preferred streaming service.
- Launch your NCAA basketball streams. Whether viewing games live on on-demand, you can bypass geographic content blocks.
If you’re struggling to access a service and still getting an “out of region” message, you may need to adjust your browser settings. Try clearing your cache, browsing history, and cookies. Additionally, you may need to turn off or adjust your device location services.
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Where to watch NCAA College Basketball
NCAA college basketball is one of the most popular pastimes for American sports fans. It’s also specific to the US. Although some Canadian teams compete, you’ll be hard-pressed to find broadcast internationally. As such, watching both live and on-demand games legally requires access to a US streaming service. And if you’re abroad, that means a VPN to access those services.
In the US, you can watch most games through ESPN, ABC, CBS, CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports, NBC Sports Network, Pac-12 Network, and SEC Network. There is currently no streaming service that has all of these channels, so you’ll need to hop around across several different networks to get them.
Canadian fans can turn to Sportsnet Now, DAZN, and TSN for most broadcasts.
Not in the US or Canada? You may still have options to watch NCAA online abroad in countries like the UK, Australia, Canada, and even China if you use a VPN for available services. From a wide view, however, the vast majority of games will be available through US- and Canada-based streaming services.
United States NCAA Basketball streaming
Charting US broadcast rights for NCAA games come down to which conference the team is part of. There are over 30 NCAA Division 1 conferences. As a body, the NCAA does not secure broadcast rights; it leaves that up to teams and conferences. The result? Division 1 games happen all across the sports streaming environment through nearly a dozen different channels.
Use the chart below to navigate through the streaming options. The chart includes broadcast networks, conferences within that network, and the streaming services you can use to access that conference’s games.
|Broadcast Network||Conferences Covered||Streaming Services|
|ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU||A10, ACC, American, America East, Atlantic Sun, Big 12, Big South, Big Sky, Big Ten, Big West, Conference USA, Horizon, Ivy, MAC, MAAC, MEAC, MVC, MWC, NEC, OVC, Pac-12, SEC, SoCon, Southland, Summit League, Sun Belt, SWAC, WAC, WCC||Sling TV, YouTube TV, Vidgo, AT&T TV Now, Hulu + Live TV, ESPN+, fuboTV|
|Fox/FS1/Fox Sports Network||Big East, Big Ten, and Pac-12, ACC, Big 12, Big East||Sling TV, YouTube TV, Vidgo, AT&T TV Now, Hulu + Live TV, ESPN+, fuboTV|
|ACC Network||ACC||Sling TV, YouTube TV Vidgo, AT&T TV Now, Hulu + Live TV|
|CBS/CBS Sports Network||ACC, American, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, Mountain West Conference, Conference USA, MAC, Atlantic 10 Conference, American, Northeast Conference and Patriot League, and NCAA Tournament||CBS All Access, YouTube TV, AT&T TV Now, Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV|
|Stadium||Atlantic 10, American, Big South, CAA, Conference USA, Horizon, Ivy, MAC, OVC, Patriot, SoCon, Southland, WAC||Stadium 24/7, Sling TV, Youtube TV, fuboTV, Samsung TV Plus, PlutoTV, Xumo, The Roku Channel, STIRR, PLEX, MOBITV, Twitch.TV|
|Pac-12 Network||Pac-12||Sling TV, Vigdo, fuboTV|
|SEC Network||SEC||Sling TV, YouTube TV, Vidgo, AT&T TV Now, Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV|
|Big Ten Network||Big Ten||YouTube TV, Vidgo, AT&T TV Now, Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV|
|NBCSN||Atlantic 10 Conference||Sling TV, YouTube TV, AT&T TV Now, Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV|
|beIN Sports||Conference USA||Sling TV, fuboTV|
Free streaming is available through some of the networks listed in the chart above. If you want free games, explore PlutoTV, Twitch, and Xumo, all of which offer any games that stream online through Stadium.
As noted in the service chart, you can access most channels carrying NCAA games through subscription-based multi-channel services, including Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Vidgo, AT&T TV Now, and fuboTV. Some games will also broadcast live on CBS All Access and ESPN+.
Then there’s DAZN, which is a special case for American NCAA fans. In the US, DAZN does not offer NCAA college basketball. But it does provide Pac-12 Network games through its Canada service. We’ve found ExpressVPN works to bypass DAZN Canada, allowing you to access all Pac-12 content on DAZN Canada, even if you’re in the US.
All told, you have plenty of options to watch NCAA basketball online in the US. It’s worth mentioning that many of these services are region-locked, though, so if you’re traveling abroad, you’ll need a VPN to access them. NordVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try it risk-free and claim a full refund if unsatisfied.
Canada NCAA Basketball streaming
If you’re in Canada, your best options to stream NCAA games are through DAZN (for PAC-12 Network), TSN (ESPN games) or RDS (ESPN games in French).
That said, those US streams are right next door, ready for the taking. All you need is a VPN like NordVPN and in some cases, a US payment option to create accounts for US subscription services. With those in hand, you can live stream NCAA games regardless of your location.
International NCAA Basketball streaming
Broadcast rights outside the US for NCAA conferences are exceedingly rare. With the exception of Canada, you’ll primarily need to use a VPN to access games from streaming services listed above in the section for US residents.
DAZN will also work to get Pac-12 Network games if you’re in a country where DAZN is available. Just use a VPN to unblock the Canada DAZN library to access those games.
Games streaming through Stadium are easy to get even without a US payment method. Just use a VPN with PlutoTV, Xumo, or Stadium’s Twitch.TV channel.
Can I watch NCAA basketball on Hulu?
Yes, but you'll need a Hulu + Live TV subscription. These cost $64.99 USD per month with ads or $70.99 per month without. Additionally, certain games may not be available due to local restrictions (although you can bypass these easily using a VPN).
Where can I stream the NCAA Women's basketball games?
WNCAA games are usually broadcast on ESPN, which means you can live stream them using WatchESPN, fuboTV, YouTube TV, or any other service that carries this channel. Notably, most of these offer a trial period, so if you're only interested in watching one game, you can usually do so for free.
Is using a VPN to stream basketball legal?
There actually aren't any laws in most countries that specifically forbid accessing geo-blocked content using a VPN. However, it usually goes against the terms of whichever streaming service you're using. The worst that's likely to happen is you'll be asked to turn the VPN off, though, so there's really nothing to worry about.
Can I use a free VPN to stream NCAA games abroad?
Free VPNs usually aren't a good choice for streaming, for several reasons. First, they tend to only have a handful of servers, which limits your choice of locations. Given how popular these services are, you'll usually also experience slow speeds, which isn't ideal when live streaming basketball.
Additionally, these services are often nowhere near as secure as they should be. In fact, according to research, around one in five fails to use any encryption at all, and a staggering 37% of free VPN apps tested came packaged with malware. For these reasons, we strongly recommend making a decision based on other factors (reputation, logging policy, and network size, for instance), instead of on price alone.