March Madness has arrived and with it, the filling out of office brackets and the reduction of work productivity. You may be wondering how to watch the Bay Area’s three major men’s teams as they get set for postseason play.
As it turns out, both 12-seeded Cal and #11 St. Mary’s are in the big dance and have opening games on the same network: truTV. We’ve discussed this here before. truTV used to be Court TV until its corporate owner, Time Warner, and TW’s sports division, Turner Sports, realized that, without OJ Simpson involved, no one wants to watch trials anymore.
So they did what every other channel does when its original format isn’t working, they switched it to Reality TV.
If you have cable or satellite, you almost certainly have TBS and TNT. They’re two of the most popular networks available and almost everyone has heard of them. And you probably know their channel positions on your system by heart.
But truTV? Do you even know if you have it? Well, if you have Comcast, the Bay Area’s leading cable provider, you may not. In early 2012, Comcast quietly moved truTV out of its expanded basic lineup and into a more expensive tier. Try channel 65. If nothing’s there, you don’t have it.
Those of you with other systems, DirecTV, Dish, Uverse, Astound, you may have better luck.
If you don’t have truTV but do have TBS and TNT, you’re going to want to activate your March Madness Live account online. This will give you access to all 67 tournament contests including those on truTV.
In past years, if you didn’t have cable or satellite, you could still join in online for about $4. This year, that’s gone. Only games on CBS are available without a subscription. You’ll be allowed to watch the other networks without one for a 4-hour trial. After that, the paywall will go up, so plan your four hours well.
Now that that’s clear, #11 St. Mary’s faces #6 Memphis in Detroit on Thursday at about 11:45 a.m. That matchup is on channel 5.
Meanwhile #12 Cal got lucky and only has to travel an hour south to HP Pavilion to take on #5 UNLV, Thursday at 4:27 p.m. It’s a rematch from December that saw the Bears lose by a point, and it’s on truTV.
Other contests from HP on Thursday include #13 New Mexico St. vs. #4 Saint Louis, and #12 Oregon vs. #5 Oklahoma St., starting at 11:10 am on TNT. Following Cal-UNLV, it’s #13 Montana vs. #4 Syracuse, again on truTV.
And finally, in the other tournament, the NIT, defending champion #5 Stanford hosts #4 Stephen F. Austin Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 and online at ESPN3. It figures that the incredibly less-popular NIT would be much easier to navigate than the major tourney.
So best of luck finding truTV, and stay tuned for women’s tourney info. Nationally-ranked Stanford and Cal will both be dancing, and are the Bay Area’s best hopes for a title.