Looking to erase the memories of last year’s Round of 32 upset loss, No. 1 seed Villanova takes on No. 9 Alabama at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday afternoon. While the Wildcats can return to the Sweet 16 for the second time in three years, a win for the Crimson Tide would get them to the tournament’s second week for the first time since 2004.
The game is scheduled to start at 12:10 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on CBS. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Amazon Prime: If you have Amazon Prime or want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch a live stream of your local CBS channel via the CBS All-Access Amazon Channel, which comes with a 7-day free trial. Once you’re signed up for both Amazon Prime and the CBS channel, you can watch CBS live on your computer via the Amazon website, or on your phone, tablet or other streaming device via the the Amazon Video app.
Hulu With Live TV: If you want an extensive Netflix-like on-demand streaming library in addition to live TV, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live channels, including CBS (live in select markets). You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of CBS on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
FuboTV: CBS (live in select markets) is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
Note: You can also watch any tournament game on your computer via the March Madness Live website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the March Madness Live app. To watch these streams, you’ll have a free preview before needing to sign in to a TV provider to keep watching, but if you don’t have cable, you can do this by logging in with your Hulu credentials.
All eyes will be on the point guard matchup in this one. Villanova has the potential National Player of the Year in junior Jalen Brunson, who averages a ruthlessly efficient 19.3 points and 4.7 assists per game, while the Tide counter with Collin Sexton, who is one of the country’s best–and most entertaining–freshman and a potential lottery pick next June.
“Honestly, I feel like it’s going to be a good game for us,” Sexton said. “We’re just going to see where we place and go out and play hard the whole game. … We’re going to approach this the same way. We’re going to try to do what we do best, and that’s play defense. I feel like we’re one of the really good defensive teams in the country.”
Sexton isn’t wrong. The Tide rank 18th in the nation in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted efficiency defensive rankings, and in big wins this season, it has often been the defense that has shined–50 points allowed in a win against Florida, 50 points allowed in a win against Tennessee and 63 points allowed in a win against Auburn.
That said, ‘Bama was burned for 83 points and 1.20 points per possession in a narrow first-round win against Virginia Tech on Thursday, and things are only about to get more difficult when they take on Villanova. The Wildcats are first in the country in Pomeroy’s efficiency rankings, first in effective field-goal percentage, second in two-point percentage, 11th in three-point percentage and 12th in turnover percentage. When they’re on, they can’t be stopped.
If Alabama–who are 11-point underdogs–are going to keep this thing close, they’ll probably have to go blow-for-blow and turn it into a shootout. Of course, with Sexton averaging 26.0 points on 53.3 percent shooting and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc in four postseason games, that’s certainly a legitimate possibility, and if it does happen, this could be one of the best games of the tournament.