The Big Dance kicks off Thursday, March 16 and one of the most intriguing matchups of the first round pits No. 8 Iowa against No. 9 Auburn in the Midwest Region.
The game (6:50 p.m. ET start time) will be televised on TNT, but if you don’t have cable, you can watch a live stream on DirecTV Stream, which includes TNT and comes with a free trial.
That’s the best live stream option if you’re cutting cable and want to watch all the tournament games, but there are also some other alternatives, so here’s a full guide on the different ways you can watch a live stream of Auburn vs Iowa online:
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DirecTV Stream has four different channel packages: “Entertainment,” “Choice,” “Ultimate” and “Premier.” TNT is included in every one, and you can pick any package and any add-on you want with your free five-day trial:
Once signed up for DirecTV Stream, you can watch Auburn vs Iowa live on the DirecTV Stream app or DirecTV Stream website.
Compatible devices for the DirecTV Stream app include Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Samsung TV, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can watch a live stream of TNT and 40-plus other live TV channels via Sling TV’s “Sling Orange” or “Sling Blue” bundle. This option doesn’t include a free trial, but it’s the cheapest long-term streaming service with TNT, and you can get your first month for half off:
Once signed up for Sling TV, you can watch Auburn vs Iowa live on the Sling TV app or Sling TV website.
Compatible devices for the Sling TV app include Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One or Series X/S, Samsung TV, LG TV, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), airTV Mini, Oculus, Portal, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
Hulu With Live TV
You can watch a live stream of TNT and 65+ other TV channels via Hulu With Live TV, which now also includes access to both ESPN+ and Disney+ at no added cost:
Once signed up for Hulu With Live TV, you can watch Auburn vs Iowa live on the Hulu app or Hulu website.
Compatible devices for the Hulu app include Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One or Series X/S, PlayStation 4 or 5, Nintendo Switch, Samsung TV, LG TV, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
Auburn vs Iowa Preview
Not only are 8-9 match-ups usually hotly contested due to the teams being seeded so close together, but the University of Iowa’s high-flying offense and paltry defense versus Auburn University’s inconsistent offense and staunch defense.
If the Iowa team shows up that beat Northwestern by 16 points, had a historic comeback against Michigan State, or beat Indiana twice (once by 22 points), then Auburn is going to have their hands full. But if the Iowa team shows up that lost out on a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament by losing their last regular season game to Nebraska, then it is going to be ugly for the Hawkeyes.
Both teams kind of limped into the NCAA tournament. They were having pretty good seasons until February and then Auburn went just 3-7 over their final 10 games and Iowa went 5-5; they also both went one-and-done in their conference tourneys.
But CBS sports writer David Cobb ranked every first-round game in the tournament and the Iowa-Auburn game came in at No. 3, due in large part because of their hot-headed coaches. Iowa’s Fran McCaffery and Auburn’s Bruce Pearl are both known for their sideline antics and Cobb sets the over/under for coach technicals at “a cautious 1.5.”
In fact, McCaffery had social media all riled up after the Michigan State game on February 25 when, after already receiving one technical foul, he had a lengthy staredown with a referee. After the game, when the press asked him about the staredown, he cheekily replied, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Furthermore, older basketball fans will remember that Bruce Pearl was actually an assistant coach at Iowa under Dr. Tom Davis from 1986 to 1992, after having been Davis’ student-manager at Boston College from 1977 to 1982. Pearl was embroiled in a recruiting kerfuffle with Illinois during his time at Iowa when Iowa lost star Chicago high school player Deon Thomas to Illinois. Pearl then recorded a phone conversation where Thomas implied he had gotten a car and cash from Illinois and Pearl turned the recording over to the NCAA. The subsequent investigation earned Illinois recruiting restrictions and a one-year postseason ban.
So, between the coaches and the potential for a high-scoring game, the Iowa-Auburn match-up should prove highly entertaining. Auburn is slightly favored by 1.5 points and the over/under is set at 151.5. The winner will go on to face the winner of the No. 1 seed Houston Cougars vs No. 16 seed Northern Kentucky Norse.