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How to watch today's Wagner vs. Howard NCAA First Four men's college basketball game: Livestream options, more

Marcus Dockery #0 of the Howard Bison celebrates scoring a three-point basket against Kansas Jayhawks during the first half in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena on March 16, 2023 in Des Moines, Iowa.  Michael Reaves/Getty Images

March Madness begins today with the first of four play-in games that will send four teams to the NCAA men's tournament and four teams home for the season. The games begin with today's Wagner vs. Howard game, live from UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. 

If your channel guide is playing coy on how to watch the 2024 men's First Four, scroll no longer. There's only one way to watch the men's First Four through a cable subscription and two ways to stream all the action. Keep reading for all the details on both, plus game times and everything you need to know to watch the 2024 men's NCAA tournament.

CBS Essentials and CBS are both subsidiaries of Paramount. CBS is one of the broadcast homes of the 2024 men's March Madness tournament.

How and when to watch the Wagner vs. Howard game with cable

The Wagner vs. Howard game will be played Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at 6:40 p.m. ET (3:40 p.m. PT). The game will be broadcast live on TruTV and stream on Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV.

How to stream the Wagner vs. Howard game without cable

If you've given up your cable subscription, or your cable provider doesn't include TruTV, you can subscribe to one of the streaming or live TV platforms featured below.

Sling TV: The most cost-effective way to stream the Wagner vs. Howard game

Howard Bison forward Steve Settle (2) and Kansas Jayhawks guard Gradey Dick (4) go after a loose ball during the first round of the NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Championship West Regional. Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Image

If you don't have cable TV that includes TruTV, one of the most cost-effective ways to stream March Madness this year is through a subscription to Sling TV's Blue tier. The streamer offers access to your local network affiliate's live feed (excluding CBS) and also includes the NFL Network and March Madness games on ESPN with its Orange tier plan.

Right now, SlingTV is offering your first month of service on the Orange, Blue and Orange + Blue tiers for half price. The Sling TV Blue tier normally costs $40 per month, but you can start watching March Madness for just $20. The Sling Orange + Blue tier is regularly $45, but it's discounted to $22.50 for the first month.

Note: Because some men's March Madness 2024 games will broadcast on CBS, you won't be able to watch all men's March Madness 2024 games with a just Sling TV subscription. If you're looking to stream the entire men's tournament on one platform, we suggest a subscription to Hulu + Live TV.

Top features of Sling TV Blue tier:

  • There are 42 channels to watch in total, including local ABC, Fox, NBC affiliates (where available).
  • You get access to most local NFL games and nationally broadcast games next season at the lowest price.
  • All subscription tiers include 50 hours of cloud-based DVR storage.

Hulu + Live TV/ESPN+ bundle: The one way to stream every March Madness game

You can watch March Madness 2024, including both the men's and women's tournaments, with the Hulu + Live TV/ESPN+ bundle. The bundle features 95 channels, including TruTV, ESPN, ABC and CBS, and includes ESPN+, so you'll be able to watch every game of both tournaments. The women's Final Four will be broadcast live on ESPN+.

Unlike other live TV streaming platforms like Fubo (which doesn't carry TruTV so you won't be able to watch the First Four), or SlingTV (which doesn't carry CBS so you won't be able to watch many men's March Madness games), Hulu + Live TV is the only live TV streaming platform that allows you to catch every men's and women's March Madness 2024 game. If you're looking to stream just today's First Four game, SlingTV is a more cost-effective option and you can cancel anytime. If you're in for today's game plus more NCAA tournament games over the next few weeks, Hulu + Live TV carries every channel you'll need to access to watch the entire tournament, including the champion game. Unlimited DVR storage is also included. 

Watch every March Madness game on every network this season with Hulu + Live TV/ESPN+ bundle. Hulu + Live TV comes bundled with ESPN+ and Disney+. It's priced at $77.

What is the full schedule for the First Four games?

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Below, are the dates and times for the First Four games of the 2024 NCAA men's tournament, held in Dayton, OH. All time Eastern.

Tuesday, March 19 (First Four)

Wednesday, March 20 (First Four)

What time do the First Four games start?

The first games on both March 19 and March 20, 2024 are scheduled to begin at 6:40 p.m. ET (3:40 p.m. PT).  The second game of each night is scheduled to be played at 9:10 p.m. ET (6:10 p.m. PT). 

Key dates for the 2024 NCAA men's college tournament

Below are key dates for March Madness 2024.

  • First Four: Tuesday, March 19 and Wednesday, March 20, 2024
  • First round: Thursday, March 21 and Friday, March 22
  • Second round: Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24
  • Sweet 16: Wednesday, March 28 and Thursday, March 29
  • Elite Eight: Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31
  • Final Four: Saturday, April 6 (TBS)
  • National championship: Monday, April 8 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (TBS)

Key dates for the 2024 NCAA women's college basketball tournament

  • First Four: Wednesday, March 20 and Thursday, March 21, 2024
  • First round: Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23
  • Second round: Sunday, March 24 and Monday, March 25
  • Sweet 16: Thursday, March 29 and Friday, March 30
  • Elite Eight: Sunday, March 31 and Monday, April 1
  • Final Four: Friday, April 5 (ESPN+)
  • National championship: Sunday, April 7 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio (ABC)

What is the First Four in March Madness?

The First Four is a play-in round of March Madness for both the men's and women's NCAA tournaments. The First Four consists of two games between the four lowest-ranked teams, usually comprised of the four lowest-ranked conference champions. It also consists of two games between the four lowest-seeded teams who have earned at-large bids to the tournament.  The winners of the First Four determine the last four teams to qualify for the 64-team bracket that goes on to the first round of the tournament.

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