Wagner vs Howard live stream: Watch the First Four for free

The 2024 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament officially gets underway in Dayton today, as Wagner and Howard battle it out for a chance to take on No. 1 seed North Carolina in Thursday’s Round of 64.

This one is starting very soon, at 6:40 p.m. ET, and–like all of the other First Four games–it will be televised on truTV. That means it’s time to once again find wherever truTV is located on your channel guide, or to learn how to watch a live stream of the game. Here’s what you need to know to watch March Madness online tonight.

Is There a Free Wagner vs Howard Live Stream?

YouTube TV on Roku.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

There are four OTT live-TV streaming services that offer truTV in their channel packages: YouTube TV (“Base Plan”), DirecTV Stream (“Entertainment” package or above), Hulu + Live TV (main channel package) and Sling (“Sling Orange” plus “Entertainment Extra”).

Of those four options, however, only YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream come with a free trial (both are five days long), giving you what you need to watch Wagner vs Howard without paying anything. They both also include CBS (live in most markets), TBS and TNT, which is all the channels you’ll need to watch every tournament game.

Your third and final completely-free option is the NCAA’s official March Madness Live app or website, which is home to every single game of the tournament. You’ll need to log-in to a participating TV provider to watch games this way, but before doing that you’ll get a three-hour free preview where you can watch unrestricted. Barring an unforeseen amount of overtimes, that should be plenty of time to at least watch this game for free.

Buy at YouTube TV Buy at DirectV

Other Ways to Watch the Wagner vs Howard Live Stream

Max logo
Max / Max

Every NCAA tournament game on truTV, TBS and TNT will be available on the Max (formerly HBO Max) app or website. You’ll need a Max subscription, which doesn’t come with a free trial, but it’s just $10 per month, making this the cheapest long-term option for watching any of the games of these channels. That will also include the Final Four and national championship, which are all on TBS.

If you want another non-free but cheap long-term option, Sling‘s  “Sling Orange” channel package plus the “Entertainment Extra” add-on will get you truTV, TNT and TBS. That normally costs $46 per month, but it’s currently on sale for just $21 for your first month, which will cover the entirety of the tournament.

Buy at MAX Buy at SLING TV

How to Watch the Wagner vs Howard Live Stream from Abroad

NordVPN app listing on Apple TV.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

If you want to watch any of those streaming services from somewhere that’s not in the United States, you’ll need the help of a virtual private network (VPN). There are certain location-restrictions for any of these streaming services, but VPN’s hide your IP address/location and connect you to a digital server in another country (in this case, the US) to bypass these geo-blocks.

NordVPN is exactly what you need, offering the ideal combination of security, speed and amount of available servers to make it the perfect VPN for streaming sports on any streaming service. You can also peruse our lists of the best VPN services or the best VPN deals for some other options.

Buy at NordVPN