NCAA Watch Parties and Team Bars in Chicago
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The NCAA committee selects Division I men's teams in three phases to determine the 68 teams for the tournament each year. The tournament starts with the First Four, an opening round of games that was added in 2011 when the NCAA expanded the tournament to 68 teams.
March Madness in Chicago
The Michigan Wolverines have multiple ‘official bars’ in Chicago, but Diag Bar & Grill in Lake View is our pick. Also the name of a key location on the University of Michigan campus, the Diag is a spirited Wolverine hangout in Chicago. If our spring weather cooperates, fans can enjoy the Diag’s seasonal beer garden with outdoor TVs. According to legend, if a UM student steps on the brass “M” embedded at the center of The Diag the student will fail their first exam unless he or she reverses the curse by running nude from the campus belltower to the Natural Science Museum puma statues at midnight. As a result, Chicago's Diag bar is the most likely location to see Michigan fans going streaking after the game...WestEnd, Rockit Bar & Grill and Rockit Burger Bar and Whiskey Business in Wicker Park are also official Michigan bars.
Kansas fans can watch at Crossing, Kincade’s, Lottie’s, or Toons.
Miami Hurricanes fans should climb aboard Flagship.
Our pick to watch the Michigan State game is Wild Goose, because fans can fill up a growler at Half Acre next door after the game. Spartans fans have an array of viewing options, including Corcoran’s, Mad River Bar and Grille, Mystic Celt, Sedgwicks, Avenue Tavern, Hopsmith Tavern and Municipal.
Iowa State fans gather at Murphy's Bleachers.
Purdue Boilermakers should head to Fireplace Inn or Red Ivy.
Will's Northwoods Inn, is one of a handful of tried and true Wisconsin watering holes, as well as Lotties, Monty Gaels, and State. Villanova alums will meet and cheer on the Wildcats at Derby - see more on their Facebook page.
Northwestern University fans can cheer on their Wildcats at any Chicago or Evanston bar, but we’re partial to Timothy O’Toole’s in Streeterville. This year the official watch parties are at Kincade's and Connie's Pizza.
Fresh off the shenanigans of St. Patrick's day, Notre Dame Fighting Irish can continue the party at any Irish bar (Declan’s?)....or Commonwealth, Marshfield's, The Irish Oak, or High Noon Saloon or Racine Plumbing.
Xavier fans may be competing with Iowa fans for a seat at Merkle's.
Terrapins fans can bask in the joy of a year round beer garden at Dark Horse Tap & Grill, the official watch party for Maryland.
Gaslight is headquarters to the Chicago Butler Bulldogs.
UCLA fans can catch the action at Commonwealth, which is also a Marquette and Notre Dame bar.
Roll a game of skeeball, shoot some pool, and cheer on the Dayton Flyers at Glascott's Saloon.
Kentucky Wildcats fans - saddle up, and ride to The Pony.
NCAA Team Watch Parties and Bars in Chicago, by Conference
American Athletic Conference
Miami (FL), Hurricanes fans should climb aboard Flagship
Syracuse, Crossroads or Gamekeeper’s
North Carolina State
Purdue, Boilermakers should head to Fireplace Inn or Red Ivy
Maryland, Terrapins fans head to Dark Horse Tap & Grill
Northwestern, Timothy O’Toole’s, Streeterville
Michigan State, Chicago Spartans alumni site lists official Spartan bars like Wild Goose, Corcoran’s, Crossroads, El Hefe, The Hidden Shamrock, Mad River Bar and Grille, Mystic Celt, Tin Lizzie, The Stretch, Old Crow Sokehouse, Higgins Tavern, Lion Head Pub, Sedgwicks, Avenue Tavern, Hopsmith Tavern and Municipal are Spartans bars. Chicago Spartans Facebook group
Ohio State, Cheesie's Wicker Park
Indiana, Flagship, Sluggers, Prost! or Joe’s on Weed for Hoosiers fans
Nebraska, Rockwood Place
Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach State
Cal State Northridge
UC Santa Barbara
Metro Atlantic Athletic
North Carolina Central
South Carolina State
North Carolina A&T
Fresno State, Fresno State Bulldogs alumni page
San Diego State
San Jose State
Mount St. Mary's
St. Francis PA
Central Connecticut State
St. Francis BKN
Southeast Missouri State
Oregon, Homeslice home for the ducks
Colorado, Fireplace Inn
East Tennessee State
Stephen F. Austin, Hopsmith Tavern
Sam Houston State
North Dakota State
South Dakota State