Ah,. Most casual fans and office bracket participants know it as the 68-team free-for-all of the main NCAA tournament, which tips off March 19. But minor madness starts earlier in March with six conference championships.
One of the biggest, the Southeastern Conference, is home to perennial NCAA contenders like Kentucky, Louisiana State, Auburn, Tennessee and South Carolina. LSU nabbed the conference championship and the tournament’s number one seed by handling Vanderbilt last Saturday. Meanwhile Kentucky, arguably the greatest men’s college basketball program ever, sits at number two.
The top four seeded teams will play in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 15. Before that happens the lower-ranked teams — seeds 5-14 — will play starting Wednesday, March 13. The SEC tournament wraps up Sunday, March 17, leading up to March Madness Selection.
So how can you watch all that SEC action this year? It’s all on SEC Network (naturally) and ESPN, and thanks to, you can watch even if don’t have a cable subscription. Here’s how.
When are the SEC tournament games on?
With 14 teams invited to battle it out in the SEC, the NCAA holds four rounds leading up to the championship.
March 13: First Round
Game 1: No. 12 Missouri vs. No. 13 Georgia at 7 p.m. on SEC Network
Game 2: No. 11 Texas A&M vs. No. 14 Vanderbilt at 9:30 p.m. on SEC Network
March 14: Second Round
Game 3: No. 8 Florida vs. No. 9 Arkansas at 1 p.m. on SEC Network
Game 4: No. 5 Auburn vs. Game 1 winner at 3:30 p.m. on SEC Network
Game 5: No. 7 Ole Miss vs. No. 10 Alabama at 7 p.m. on SEC Network
Game 6: No. 6 Mississippi State vs. Game 2 winner at 9:30 p.m. on SEC Network
March 15: Quarterfinals
Game 7: No. 1 LSU vs. Game 3 winner at 1 p.m. on ESPN
Game 8: No. 4 South Carolina vs. Game 4 winner at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN
Game 9: No. 2 Kentucky vs. Game 5 winner at 7 p.m. on SEC Network
Game 10: No. 3 Tennessee vs. Game 6 winner at 9:30 p.m. on SEC Network
March 16: Semifinals
Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner at 1 p.m. on ESPN
Game 12: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN
March 17: Championship
Game 13 at 1 p.m. on ESPN
How can I watch the games live?
Many cable and satellite services have the SEC Network and ESPN, but if you don’t have cable, you can use a TV streaming service to watch live.
First, some notes on live TV streaming services:
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Sling TV Orange ($30)
Sling TV costs $25 a month and includes ESPN. It’s running a special right now that gives gives you the first three months for $15 each. To get the SEC Network you’ll need the Sports Extra package, which adds another $5 per month.
YouTube TV ($40)
YouTube TV costs $40 a month and includes SEC Network and ESPN.
DirectTV Now ($55)
DirecTV Now’s Just Right package is $55-a-month and includes SEC Network and ESPN.