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Who's predicted to win March Madness 2024? NCAA experts share their bracket favorites ahead of today's games

Quincy Olivari #8 of the Xavier Musketeers handles the ball against LJ Cryer #4 of the Houston Cougars at Cintas Center on December 01, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  G Fiume/Getty Images

It's beginning to look a lot like March Madness! Brackets are finally locked, and the first game of NCAA March Madness 2024 has tipped off.

What school has the best shot this year? To find out, we consulted the experts at SportsLine for their picks for which teams could win the Big Dance. Keep reading for our experts' top March Madness picks -- and for all the information you need to watch every March Madness game this year.

Note: CBS Essentials, CBS, Paramount+ and Sportsline are all subsidiaries of Paramount. CBS is one of the broadcast homes of the 2024 men's March Madness tournament.

Who will win March Madness 2024? Experts sound off

We asked the college basketball experts at SportsLine to share their top picks to win the 2024 NCAA men's tournament.

Bruce Marshall's pick to win: Tennessee

"The Vols have always bumped their heads into the ceiling at the Sweet 16 for Rick Barnes, and UT is still to reach a Final Four in its hoops history. So why can these Vols do what some of the past Knoxville contenders coached by Ray Mears, Don DeVoe, Bruce Pearl (and previous to this year, Barnes) couldn't?

"It's a unique personnel mix boosted by Northern Colorado transfer wing Dalton Knecht (21.1 ppg), who flourished when surrounded by better athletes than he was paired with in the Big Sky. Knecht's versatility added a very sharp edge to a lineup that is customarily rugged in the paint and also features a veteran PG in Zakai Zeigler. Finishing atop the regular-season table in the rugged SEC while beating every contender in the loop, with many of those wins on the road, further suggests the Vols are built for an extended run in March. The early exit at the tourney in Nashville might prove a blessing in disguise, as UT was spared extra wear and tear last weekend. 

"The Vols will never have a better chance than right now for their fans to sing Rocky Top at the Final Four and finally kick down that championship door." 

Eric Cohen's pick to win: UConn

"There has been no better team in college basketball this season than UConn, who at 31-3, looks well-positioned to repeat as National Champions for the first time since Florida in 2006-2007. The Huskies rank 15th nationally in points against (64.4) while averaging 81.5 on offense (22nd).

"Their draw is somewhat tricky with potential matchups against 2023 Final Four member Florida Atlantic in the second round, SEC Tournament Champion, Auburn in the Sweet 16, and Big 12 Tournament Champion Iowa State in the Elite Eight. But with strong guard play from Tristen Newton and Cam Spencer, it would be a minor surprise if they didn't advance to the Final Four and beyond in 2024."

Thomas Casale's pick to win: North Carolina  

"I have been a fan of this Carolina team all season. I think they are on a mission after laying an egg last year. The thing I like most about the Tar Heels is they can adapt and win games in multiple different ways. That's important in the tournament because when one thing doesn't work, teams need to be able to adapt.

"North Carolina's resurgence starts on the defensive end. Last season there were too many games where the Tar Heels played with little emotion on defense and it cost them. Hubert Davis fixed those issues in the offseason. UNC enters the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 6 in defensive efficiency on KenPom.

"I bet North Carolina a while back at +3000 but I still think they are worth a look at their current number. They would have to get by a potential matchup with UConn in the Final Four but if there is one team that can end the Huskies' run at a repeat, I believe it's UNC."

Bob Konarski's pick to win: Houston

"Looking at the regions, Houston may have one of the easiest paths to the Final Four out of the number one seeds. The East Region with Connecticut is stacked with conference winners, like Auburn, Iowa State, and Drake, that can give the Huskies a run for their money. Houston may not be tested until the Sweet 16 when they could have a matchup against the Duke Blue Devils, then a possible matchup with Marquette if Tyler Kolek returns healthy.

"Houston has the top-rated defense in the country and that is something you want to look for in a team when attempting to make a run in March. The Cougars win the defensive battle first then capitalize on offense. Jamal Shead is one of the best leading point guards in the country and paired with LJ Cryer, makes them a lethal backcourt. They have the discipline, physical players and a great coach to make a run in March." 

What's the best March Madness 2024 bracket?

So what's the optimal NCAA Tournament 2024 bracket? And which NCAA Tournament Cinderella teams will shock college basketball? Visit SportsLine to see which No. 12 seed reaches the Sweet 16, and which region features a No. 10 seed, No. 11 seed and No. 13 seed delivering first-round shockers and has a No. 9 seed in the Elite Eight, all from the model that has beaten 92% of bracket players three of the last five tournaments.

How do experts predict who will win March Madness?

The experts at SportsLine have years of experience evaluating lines, teams, coaching styles, offensive trends, defensive trends and opponent tendencies. They assess the strength of each team's regular season schedule, how each team fared during the season against common opponents and the team's tournament history, to bring you a full picture of each team's potential in this year's NCAA tournament.

What teams are in March Madness this year?

A total of 68 schools have punched a ticket to 2024 March Madness, including UConn, USC, Tennessee, Houston, Gonzaga and UNC. The pool will be whittled down to 64 teams after the First Four play-in round.

Who won March Madness 2023 last year?

The winner of the 2023 NCAA tournament was UConn, who beat San Diego State 76-59.

When is March Madness 2024?

  • The men's tournament will be played March 19, 2024 - April 8, 2024.
  • The women's tournament will be played March 20, 2024- April 7, 2024.

For all the key dates in the men's tournament, check out the full 2024 March Madness schedule.

How to watch March Madness 2024 

Connecticut v Villanova
Cam Spencer #12 of the Connecticut Huskies reacts during the first half against the Villanova Wildcats at the Wells Fargo Center on January 20, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Getty Images

Men's March Madness 2024, including the Final Four, will air on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. 

Women's March Madness 2024, including the Final Four, will air on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and stream on ESPN+.

How to watch March Madness 2024 without cable

Want to watch March Madness in 2024? We've got you. If you've given up your cable subscription, or your cable provider doesn't include the channels carrying March Madness this year, you can subscribe to one of the streaming or live TV platforms featured below.

How to watch March Madness 2024: Paramount+ with Showtime

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CBS will play host to some of this year's men's March Madness games, which means Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers can stream CBS-aired men's March Madness games live.

The streamer offers access to all college basketball games locally and nationally televised on CBS on all its subscription tiers. In addition, you can watch top-tier soccer like the Champions League live and SEC college football games, plus popular shows such as "Survivor" and "NCIS." 

A subscription to Paramount+ with Showtime is $11.99 per month. The streamer offers a seven-day free trial. (You won't be able to stream men's March Madness live with a Paramount+ Essential subscription.)

Stream March Madness: Paramount + with Showtime free on Amazon Prime Video

Paramount+ content, including men's March Madness 2024, is available to stream on Amazon Prime via a Paramount+ on Prime Video add-on subscription. Prime Video also carries some of the best sports documentaries, including "Kelce," which chronicles former Philadelphia Eagles star Jason Kelce's last season in the league.

Amazon is offering a seven-day free trial of Paramount+ with Showtime. Tap the button below to start your trial and start streaming now for free. After the free trial period ends, a subscription to the Paramount+ with Showtime tier is $11.99 per month.

Watch March Madness free with Fubo

If you're new to streaming sports, you should know about Fubo. Fubo is a sports-centric streaming service that offers access to every March Madness game airing on network and cable TV, plus your local TV affiliates, hundreds of cable TV channels and 1,000 hours of cloud DVR storage. Another great reason to love Fubo is its lookback feature, which lets you watch sporting events up to 72 hours after they air live. 

Start watching NCAA men's college basketball on Fubo and also get access to network-aired NFL, NBA and MLB games by starting a seven-day free trial of Fubo. You can begin watching immediately on your TV, phone, tablet or computer. Fubo starts at $80/month for the Pro tier, which includes over 184 channels, but the streamer is currently offering the first month for $60.

What you'll get with Fubo Pro Tier:

  • There are no contracts with Fubo -- you can cancel at any time.
  • The Pro tier includes over 184 channels, including NFL Network. 
  • Fubo includes all the channels you'll need to watch college and pro football, including CBS.
  • In addition to NFL football, Fubo offers MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS and international soccer games. 
  • All Fubo tiers come with 1,000 hours of cloud-based DVR recording.
  • Stream on your TV, phone and mobile devices.

Save $40 on Sling TV: The most cost-effective way to stream March Madness 2024

If you have don't have cable TV that includes TNT, TBS and ESPN, one of the most cost-effective ways to stream March Madness games this year is through a subscription to Sling TV. The streamer offers access to your local network affiliate's live feed (excluding CBS) and also includes the NFL Network and ESPN with its Orange tier plan. Also worth noting: Sling TV comes with 50 hours of cloud-based DVR recording space included, perfect for recording all the season's top NFL matchups.

That plan normally costs $40 per month, but the streamer is currently offering Sling Orange for $120 for four months when you prepay. That's $30 per month, a saving of $40. 

Note: Because men's March Madness 2024 will broadcast on CBS, you won't be able to watch all men's March Madness 2024 with a Sling TV subscription. If you're looking to stream the men's tournament, we suggest a subscription to one of the other platforms featured here.

Top features of Sling TV Orange tier:

  • There are 32 channels to watch in total, including ESPN, TNT and TBS. (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.

ESPN+: How to watch the women's Final Four

ESPN+ is ESPN's subscription streaming platform. It offers exclusive live events, original studio shows and top-tier series that aren't accessible on the ESPN networks. To watch the women's Final Four, simply sign into the ESPN app. You'll watch college basketball at no extra charge. You can stream ESPN+ through the ESPN app on your favorite mobile device and It's also available as an app through major smart TV streaming platforms and  gaming consoles such as the PS5.

Keep in mind there are some blackouts prohibiting you from watching certain in-market games with ESPN+, even if they're nationally televised. If you're looking to avoid those blackouts, we suggest subscribing to the Hulu + Live TV/ESPN+ bundle featured above.

It is important to note that ESPN+ does not include access to the ESPN network. It is a separate sports-centric service, with separate sports programming.

An ESPN+ subscription costs $10.99 per month, or save 15% when you pay annually ($110).  ESPN+ is also currently offering a cost-saving bundle. Get ESPN+ (with ads), Disney+ (with ads) and Hulu (with ads) for $14.99 per month.

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 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+. 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.

Watch March Madness live with a digital HDTV antenna


You can also watch March Madness on TV with an affordable indoor antenna, which pulls in local over-the-air HDTV channels such as CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, PBS, Univision and more. Here's the kicker: There's no monthly charge.

For anyone living in a partially blocked-off area (those near mountains or first-floor apartments), a digital TV antenna may not pick up a good signal -- or any signal at all. But for many homes, a digital TV antenna provides a seriously inexpensive way to watch March Madness without paying a cable company. Indoor TV antennas can also provide some much-needed TV backup if a storm knocks out your cable.

This amplified digital antenna with a 250-mile range can receive hundreds of HDTV channels, including ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Fox and Univision and can filter out cellular and FM signals. It delivers a high-quality picture in 1080p HDTV and top-tier sound. It comes with an 18-foot digital coax cable.

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)

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