We are close to that time of the year! The NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament is almost around the corner, and basketball fans in the United States will rejoice while seeing their favorite universities, colleges and players battle for a month to see which educational institution takes home the honors. And the best part is that you will be able to watch the NCAA ‘March Madness’ live online, even if you are outside of the USA.
Basketball was born in the US, and naturally, the sport is widely acclaimed and celebrated in the country. The thing that most of the international observers don’t quite understand yet is that college sports, in America, is as popular as the professional leagues, if not more.
That is why the March Madness, which is the informal name of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, is such a big event in the United States. It is an enormous window for college players, which receive no pay for their services, to showcase their talents to earn a future spot in the NBA Draft.
The format, since 2011, allows 68 teams to dispute the glory. The tournament starts with the “First Four,” a stage that will see four winning teams joining the best 60 programs in the country to form the total of 64 that will participate in the first round. The whole championship plays under the single elimination mode: the winner of each game advances, the loser goes home.
Format, schedule, and venues
After the first cut, there will be 32 teams vying for the triumph. Then, there will be 16 teams; a phase called the “Sweet Sixteen.” The “Elite Eight” and the “Final Four” are the subsequent phases of the NCAA tournament.
The First Four (March 13 and 14) will be at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio. The First and Second Rounds will be at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, the Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, the American Airlines Center in Dallas, the Taco Bell Arena in Boise, the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, and in the Viejas Arena in San Diego.
The Regional Semifinals and Finals (Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight) will be on March 22 and 24. The West championship game will be in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the South championship game will be at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, the East championship game will be in Boston, specifically in the TD Garden, and the Midwest will be at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha.
The National Semifinals and Championship (Final Four and Championship) will be played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on March 31 and April 2, respectively.
The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament is around since 1939, with UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) as the most winning program with eleven titles. However, under the format of 64 teams (in 1985) the most successful colleges have been North Carolina and Duke, with five championships each.
March Madness Broadcasting rights holders
Year after year, cable television companies compete to earn the broadcasting rights of the March Madness because of its enormous potential for financial success. For some time, ESPN and CBS shared the coverage rights, but right now, several communication networks hold them: CBS, TNT, TruTV, and TBS will air live games, while CBS Sports Network will have re-airs. Galavision will have coverage in Spanish for the big that portion of immigrants in the country.
The only issue about March Madness and the companies that will air the games and all the thrill is that the content is reserved for the United States only. People currently residing outside of the US borders will not have access to the broadcasts, not on TV. If they try to enter the streaming site of one of those channels from abroad, they will find a message telling them that the content is limited to American residents for geographical and licensing reasons.
However, don’t lose your hope! If you live outside the US, but can’t stand the thought of missing out on the March Madness, not everything is a lost cause. The Internet provides people with tools and resources to do just about anything, and unblocking internationally restricted content is not the exception.
How a VPN can Unblock March Madness
For that end, there is a perfect solution in the form of VPNs, which means Virtual Private Networks. These resources reroute all the user traffic and info regarding the connection and equipment to remote servers, where they will travel with end-to-end encryption.
Why is the content encrypted? Because that way, no external agents can have access to the mentioned information and data. Your traffic will be off-limits to hackers trying to acquire your passwords and credit card numbers; to viruses, ransomware, malware, Trojan horses, and worms lurking around the net, to government and its surveillance agencies, to Google and other Internet companies watching you online, and more.
VPNs hide Activity and Assign new IP for March Madness
VPNs, since they can make you incognito on the web, enhance a user’s privacy, anonymity and security. As Muhammad Ali used to say, “You can’t hit what you can’t see!” But one of the primary features of these fantastic tools is their ability to take the word accessibility to a whole new level of meaning.
Take the example of the NCAA tournament. If you aren’t physically in the US, you can’t enjoy all the action. That’s not fair to all the dedicated fans outside the country, or is it? If you live in Brazil, Spain, or the Dominican Republic, just to name a few samples, you can do wonders with a VPN. Using a reliable provider, you will be able to hide your IP address from any of those countries, and the VPN client will lend you one from the United States, so the streaming sites of CBC, TBS, TNT or TruTV will not find out you are not in the States because the IP that you will show them will be a temporary one from the US.
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How to watch the NCAA March Madness live online from outside the USA
There are dozens of VPN service providers making their way on the Internet, but not nearly half of them can be considered quality. Because of that, you will need to carefully assess what you want to accomplish with your VPN and, of course, your budget. To watch the NCAA March Madness live online from outside the USA, you need to:
- Register to one a VPN service provider like TorGuard, preferably avoiding the free options (they can keep logs of your traffic, and their encryption protocols are not robust enough.)
- Download the VPN app or client to your device, whether it is a personal computer or a mobile one like a laptop, smartphone or tablet.
- Open the VPN client.
- Sign in using the credentials and information you provided in the first step. You need to enter a username and a password.
- Connect to an American server.
- Open the TBS, CBS, TruTV or TNT online streaming service.
- Done! Now, you can watch the NCAA March Madness live online without actually being in the United States.
In conclusion, the NCAA Tournament, known as March Madness, is one of the most significant sporting events of the year in America. The country is crazy about basketball and college sports. However, the popularity of this championship isn’t limited to the USA. There are hundreds, even thousands of international fans eager to enjoy the experience, not to mention scouts from European, Asian and Latin American teams looking to get a hold of the level of talent of some players with the intention of feeding their player pool for future signings.
The only issue is that the championship is off-limits to people outside of the US area, except the dependencies, associated territories, and Bermuda. To alleviate this problem, fans all over the world can use VPNs, which are unblocking resources that will hide the user’s IP address and give them an American one to “trick” the system and enjoy the action.