The top-seed Illinois Fighting Illini (22-6) tip-off their 2021 NCAA Tournament run against the 16th-seeded Drexel Dragons (12-7) in a Midwest First Round matchup in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday.
The game starts at 1:15 p.m. Eastern time and will be televised nationally on TBS. But if you don’t have cable, here are some different ways you can watch a live stream of Illinois vs. Drexel online:
(Note that with all of the following options, you’ll also be able to watch other NCAA tournament games, which are on TBS, TNT, TruTV or CBS.)
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AT&T TV has four different channel packages: “Entertainment”, “Choice”, “Ultimate” and “Premier.” TBS, TNT, TruTV and CBS are all included in every package, but it’s worth noting for basketball fans that NBA League Pass is currently being offered at no extra cost in the “Choice” and above bundles, and you can pick any package and any add-on you want with your free 14-day trial.
Note that the free trial isn’t advertised as such, but your “due today” amount will be $0 when signing up. If you watch on your computer, phone or tablet, you won’t be charged for 14 days. If you watch on a streaming device on your TV (Roku, Firestick, Apple TV, etc.), you will be charged for the first month, but you can get still get a full refund if you cancel before 14 days:
Once signed up for AT&T TV, you can watch Illinois vs Drexel live on the AT&T TV app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the AT&T TV website.
You can also watch the game via NCAA.com or the March Madness Live app. You’ll need to sign in to a cable provider to watch this way, but you can use your AT&T TV credentials to do that.
If you can’t watch live, AT&T TV also comes with 20 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours).
You can watch a live stream of TBS, TNT and TruTV (CBS not included on Sling) and 45-plus other TV channels via Sling TV’s “Sling Blue” bundle. This option doesn’t include a free trial, but it’s the cheapest streaming service with these channels, plus you can get $10 off your first month, and get Showtime, Starz, and Epix included for free:
Once signed up for Sling TV, you can watch Illinois vs Drexel live on the Sling TV app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, Android TV, airTV Mini, Oculus, Portal, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the Sling TV website.
You can also watch the game via NCAA.com or the March Madness Live app. You’ll need to sign in to a cable provider to watch this way, but you can use your Sling credentials to do that.
If you can’t watch live, Sling TV comes included with 50 hours of cloud DVR.
You can watch a live stream of TBS, TNT, TruTV, CBS and 65+ other TV channels via Hulu With Live TV, which you can try out for free with a seven-day trial:
Once signed up for Hulu With Live TV, you can watch Illinois vs Drexel live on the Hulu app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, Android TV, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the Hulu website.
You can also watch the game via NCAA.com or the March Madness Live app. You’ll need to sign in to a cable provider to watch this way, but you can use your Hulu credentials to do that.
If you can’t watch live, Hulu with Live TV also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
Illinois vs. Drexel Preview
The top-seeded Illinois Fighting Illini begin their quest for their first-ever men’s basketball national championship on Friday when they play the 16th-seeded Drexel Dragons in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum.
Fresh off their Big Ten Tournament title, Illinois is among the betting favorites to cut down the nets in Indianapolis this year. The Fighting Illini outlasted Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament final on Sunday, beating the Buckeyes 91-88 in overtime. The game was played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis – the same site where the Fighting Illini hope to finish their season in triumph at this year’s Final Four.
Illinois is one of the hottest teams in the country heading into the tournament, having won seven straight and 14 of its last 15 games.
The Fighting Illini are led by star junior guard Ayo Dosunmu, who is averaging 20.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. The All-Big Ten first-teamer is shooting 38.4% from three-point range.
Illinois is led in the paint by 7-foot, 285-pound sophomore Kofi Cockburn, who averages 17.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.
The Fighting Illini are one of only three teams in the country in the top 10 in KenPom’s offensive (7th) and defensive (5th) efficiency rankings.
Illinois will be able to stand up to any team on the March Madness stage, as they are one of the nation’s most battle-tested squads. The Fighting Illini have won six straight games against top ten teams and were 7-3 against top 25 teams this season.
The CAA Conference Tournament champion Drexel Dragons will attempt to pull off the monumental upset of the top-seeded Illini.
It was a stop-and-start season for Drexel, who had to overcome three pauses due to COVID-19 protocols. The Dragons won three games as the sixth seed in the CAA Tournament, culminating with them punching their first ticket to the men’s NCAA Tournament in 25 years.
Drexel is led by All-CAA players Camren Wynter and James Butler. The junior Wynter is averaging 16.8 points, 5.3 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game. Butler, a 6-8 senior, provides an inside presence, averaging 12.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
The Dragons pack an efficient offense, ranking in the top 50 in the nation in effective field-goal percentage, three-point percentage and free-throw percentage. Their weakness is on the defensive side of the ball, ranking 246th in KenPom’s defensive efficiency.
Just a reminder for those looking for a major bracket buster – only one 16 seed has ever beaten a one seed out of 140 attempts (UMBC over Virginia in 2018). But hey, it’s March – anything is possible!
|81.1||Points Per Game||71.5|
|68.6||Points Allowed Per Game||66.8|
|7-3||Record vs. Top 25||—|
|Key Wins: Michigan, Iowa (twice), Ohio State (twice), Wisconsin (twice), Purdue, Rutgers||Notable Games||Loss at Pittsburgh by 9|