How to watch NCAA college basketball live and free in Australia
The NCAA college basketball season is underway amid ongoing COVID-19 issues in the United States. Here's how to watch in Australia.
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The 2019/20 NCAA basketball season was cancelled in March last year due to the pandemic. It was the first cancellation in the tournament's storied history and the NCAA did not name a national champion. That left Virginia as the defending champions.
As per usual, keen NBA fans will keep one eye on the college pipeline of talent. There is enormous interest in presumptive 2021 number one draft pick Cade Cunningham. The Oklahoma State freshman guard is 2.02m tall and boasts a rare mix of size, vision and flat-out scoring ability.
How to watch NCAA college basketball in Australia
ESPN is the home of college hoops in Australia. That means Foxtel iQ, Kayo Sports, Foxtel Now and Fetch TV are all viewing options. There is also limited free-to-air coverage of college basketball. All the details are below.
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Watch NCAA basketball on free-to-air TV
In March 2019, Channel 7 picked up the rights to American college sports channel Pac-12. It shows a range of collegiate sports, including some basketball, on 7plus. The Pac-12 is home to programs such as UCLA, Arizona and Washington.
If you are keen for this niche selection of NCAA basketball, among other sports, you can access it for free on 7plus. The network also states it will have some postseason play.
Stream NCAA basketball on Kayo Sports
Subscriptions for Kayo Sports are $25 a month for the Basic option, where you can watch games on 2 screens or devices. The Premium option is $10 more each month and gives you an extra screen.
Kayo also has a number of special features, such as Kayo Minis, a condensed version of matches. Other features include SplitView, where you can watch four sports at once, plus Interactive Stats and a Key Moments Timeline.
The platform is compatible with Android, iOS, Apple TV, Telstra TV, Android TV and Samsung TV (2017 or later), Sony Bravia TVs, Mac and PC as well as Chromecast or AirPlay.
When is NCAA college basketball?
The season has already tipped off, albeit a little later than intended. The season was slated to start on 10 November but was postponed due to the pandemic. It eventually got underway on 25 November. The plan is for the season to end on 14 March, local time.
Watch NCAA basketball on Foxtel iQ and Foxtel Now
If you are keen to access some college hoops through Foxtel iQ, you need both the Sports HD pack for $25/month and the Foxtel Plus package ($49/month). That makes your total monthly bill $74.
Foxtel is the only broadcaster in Australia that currently offers users access to 4K sports content which is a bonus and Foxtel iQ deals are regularly available.
Foxtel Now is the pay TV giant's digital streaming service. You have to subscribe to the Essentials pack in addition to the Sport pack, which costs $54 a month.
Stream college basketball on Fetch TV
Subscription television service Fetch TV also has access to ESPN and therefore college basketball. You can access it via their Vibe channel pack for $6/month. The total cost of your subscription will depend on whether you bought your Fetch box outright or secured it through a broadband provider.
Who will win NCAA college basketball?
The favourite is Gonzaga, who have made a terrific start to the season. They have outstanding guard prospect Jalen Suggs and a famous admirer in LeBron James.
"Love the way they play. Amazing pace on makes or misses, ball movement, some dogs and guys that just know how to play the game! And of course they beyond well coached!" James Tweeted recently.
We'll trust "King James" and tip the Bulldogs, but expect them to face stiff competition from Baylor, Villanova and Iowa.
How is COVID-19 impacting the college basketball season?
As per above, the season has already been pushed back but that might not be the end of it. College basketball's showpiece is the sudden-death, high-drama March Madness tournament. But legendary college coach Rick Pitino has suggested May Madness instead, to allow more time for COVID-19 vaccines to become available.
Image source: Kayo Sports website
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