We made it folks. OK, we didn't do anything. The seventy-two teams in the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament did all the work. They made it from the play-in games to the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 and the Final Four. And tonight, unbeaten Gonzaga faces off against 27-2 Baylor in the finale of a March Madness unlike any other.
But maybe we are all in this together. None of it was guaranteed, of course. That starts and ends with the global pandemic that canceled the tournament in 2020 and effectively took a few teams out of contention for the Big Dance in 2021.
Gonzaga, by its own right, needed overtime against UCLA on Saturday — and then a last-second 3-pointer by Jalen Suggs for the Zags to advance over the Bruins, 93-90. (Baylor had an easier semifinal, handily beating No. 2 Houston 78-59.)
Only two questions remain: Who's going to win, and how can you watch the game?
How to watch Gonzaga vs. Baylor men's basketball in the U.S.
The final game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is scheduled for 9:20 p.m. Eastern — that's 6:20 p.m. on the West Coast, from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The game will be televised live on CBS — and that opens up all sorts options to watch.
If you've already got a cable or satellite subscription, you're good to go. Enjoy the game.
If you already have a streaming service in the U.S., things get a little more complicated — because CBS isn't available on every service. Sling TV, for example, doesn't carry CBS, and that knocks out one of the least expensive options quicker than you can say "Michigan Wolverines."
So what's next? for our money, FuboTV is one of the best options for live sports. It carries CBS affiliates, so you should be good to go. Plus it has ESPN and Fox Sports and all the other secondary sports channels you expect. And FuboTV has the best roster of premium add-ons, so you can gain access to sports that you simply can't watch on the other services in the U.S. All that, plus the FuboTV free trial makes this a very attractive options.
Another couple options involve the streaming services most directly associated with CBS itself.
First, there's Paramount Plus. It's the rebranded and expanded CBS All Access. And if you have a subscription, you also have a conduit to a live stream of your local CBS affiliate. The Paramount Plus price starts a $5.99 a month, but you'll want to be sure to take advantage of that Paramount Plus free trial.
If you don't have a Paramount+ subscription but do have some other subscription burning a hole in your pocket — be it to another streaming service, or even to a cable or satellite provider — you've got another option. It used to be that you could use those to log in to what now is Paramount+ and watch things that way. But that's changed just a tad. Instead of using a cable subscription to log in to Paramount+, you'll do so through CBS.com — and that'll get you the same thing. Very cool.
How to watch March Madness outside the United States
If you've somehow found yourself outside of the U.S. for tonights game but still watch to watch, you've got options. Our friends in the UK, for example, can use ESPN Player to watch tonight's finale. (Make some coffee, though it's going to be 2 a.m. there.)
Another method might be to just use a basic VPN to get back in to however you'd normally watch. That is, if you'd typically use a streaming service in the United States, you can use your VPN to make it as if your computer was back at home in the United States, and that significantly increases your options for watching Gonzaga vs. Baylor.
The one thing to remember here is that all of your network traffic — encrypted and unencrypted — will be going through that VPN. So you need to be sure. you have one you can trust.
ExpressVPN is one of the easiest and affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. Plus it'll help keep your network traffic away from any prying eyes on public networks.
It's also a great way to make sure that you can watch tonight's Gonzaga vs. Baylor game from just about anywhere in the world. Swoosh.
Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.
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