NCAA Watch Parties and Team Bars in Chicago

Updated April 4, 2018

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Find your alma mater team bar in Chicago for March Madness and other NCAA sports.

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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.

The infamous Diag at the University of Michigan Campus, courtesy of  Campus Life

The infamous Diag at the University of Michigan Campus, courtesy of Campus Life

March Madness in Chicago

NCAA Midwest

Wild Goose is conveniently located next to Half Acre Beer Company

Wild Goose is conveniently located next to Half Acre Beer Company

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.

The Oregon Ducks crowd should waddle over to Homeslice and enjoy some pizza by the fire.Iowa fans should join one of two official meetups at Theory or Four Shadows.

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Will's Northwoods Innis 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.

USC Trojans should check Facebook or the alumni site.

Commonwealth is a Marquette bar (in addition to Notre Dame and UCLA).Check the Duke alumni page and Facebook group for Blue Devils watch locations in Chicago.


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.

Cheer on FGCU at Happy Camper, in Old Town. Get the full details here and join/follow the Chicago Chapter Alumni Facebook page.

Xavier fans may be competing with Iowa fans for a seat at Merkle's.

Arizona Wildcats will meet at Finley Dunn’s, check the Facebook page and alumni site.

VCU Facebook and alumni pages.

Terrapins fans can bask in the joy of a year round beer garden at Dark Horse Tap & Grill, the official watch party for Maryland.

NCAA South

North Carolina Tar Heels fans should head to Gamekeepers, and check the alumni watch group for additional events.

Gaslight is headquarters to the Chicago Butler Bulldogs.

Bearcats fans will gather at O'Leary's, in River North for the official Cincinnati game watch party. RSVP to the Facebook event here.

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

America East

  • Vermont

  • Stony Brook, Seawolves alumnae page or find a watch party

  • New Hampshire

  • Albany

  • UMBC

  • Massachusetts Lowell

  • Hartford

  • Binghampton

  • Maine

American Athletic Conference

Atlantic 10

  • Dayton, Flyers fans cheer at Glascott's Saloon.

  • Virginia Commonwealth, VCU Facebook and alumni pages

  • Rhode Island

  • Richmond

  • St. Bonaventure

  • George Washington

  • George Mason

  • La Salle

  • Davidson

  • Fordham

  • Saint Louis

  • Massachusetts

  • Saint Joseph's (PA)

  • Duquesne

Atlantic Coast

Atlantic Sun

Big 12

Big East

Big Sky

  • North Dakota

  • Eastern Washington

  • Weber State

  • Idaho

  • Montana

  • Montana State

  • Sacramento State

  • Portland State

  • Northern Colorado

  • Northern Arizona

  • Southern Utah

  • Idaho State

Big South

  • Winthrop

  • UNC Asheville

  • Liberty

  • Gardner-Webb

  • High Point

  • Radford

  • Campbell

  • Charleston Southern

  • Longwood

  • Presbyterian

Big Ten

Big West

  • UC Irvine

  • UC Davis

  • Cal State Fullerton

  • Long Beach State

  • Hawaii

  • Cal State Northridge

  • Cal Poly

  • UC Riverside

  • UC Santa Barbara

Colonial Athletic

  • North Carolina Wilmington, UNC Wilmington alumni and Facebook pages for Seahawks meetups

  • Charleston

  • Towson

  • Elon

  • William & Mary

  • Northeastern

  • Hofstra

  • James Madison

  • Delaware

  • Drexel

Conference USA

  • Middle TN

  • Louisiana Tech

  • Old Dominion

  • UTEP

  • Rice

  • Marshall

  • UAB

  • Western KY

  • UTSA

  • Charlotte

  • Florida Atlantic

  • Southern Miss

  • Florida International

  • North Texas


  • Oakland

  • Valparaiso

  • Northern KY

  • Green Bay

  • Wright State

  • Illinois-Chicago

  • Detroit

  • Youngstown State

  • Cleveland State

  • Milwaukee

Ivy League

  • Princeton

  • Harvard

  • Yale

  • Pennsylvania

  • Columbia

  • Brown

  • Cornell

  • Dartmouth

Metro Atlantic Athletic

  • Monmouth

  • St. Peter's

  • Iona

  • Siena

  • Fairfield

  • Rider

  • Canisius

  • Quinnipac

  • Niagara

  • Manhattan

  • Marist




  • Ball State

  • Western Michigan

  • Toledo

  • Eastern Michigan

  • Northern Illinois

  • Central Michigan


  • North Carolina Central

  • Norfolk State

  • Morgan State

  • Hampton

  • Savannah State

  • Maryland-Eastern Shore

  • South Carolina State

  • Delaware State

  • Coppin State

  • Bethune-Cookman

  • Howard

  • Florida A&M

  • North Carolina A&T

Missouri Valley

  • Wichita State

  • Illinois State

  • Southern Illinois

  • Northern iowa

  • Loyola

  • Missouri State

  • Bradley

  • Evansville

  • Indiana State

  • Drake

Mountain West

  • Nevada

  • Colorado State

  • Boise State

  • Fresno State, Fresno State Bulldogs alumni page

  • New Mexico

  • San Diego State

  • Wyoming

  • San Jose State

  • Utah State

  • Air Force

  • UNLV


  • Mount St. Mary's

  • LIU Brooklyn

  • Wagner

  • St. Francis PA

  • Robert Morris

  • Bryant University

  • Fairleigh Dickenson

  • Sacred Heart

  • Central Connecticut State

  • St. Francis BKN

Ohio Valley


  • Belmont

  • Morehead State

  • Jacksonville State

  • Tennessee State

  • Tennessee Tech

  • Eastern Kentucky


  • Tennessee-Martin

  • Southeast Missouri State

  • Murray State

  • Austin Peay

  • Eastern illinois

  • SIU-Edwardsville


Patriot League



  • East Tennessee State

  • UNC Greensboro

  • Furman

  • Chattanooga

  • Wofford

  • Mercer

  • Samford

  • Citadel

  • Western Carolina

  • Virginia Military


  • New Orleans

  • Texas A&M-CC

  • Houston Baptist

  • Stephen F. Austin, Hopsmith Tavern

  • Sam Houston State

  • Lamar

  • Southeastern Louisiana

  • Nichols State

  • Abilene Christian

  • Northwestern State

  • Incarnate Word

  • Central Arkansas

  • McNeese State

Southwestern Athletic

Summit League

  • South Dakota

  • North Dakota State

  • Nebraska-Omaha

  • IPFW

  • Denver

  • South Dakota State


  • Western Illinois

  • Oral Roberts

Sun Belt

  • Texas-Arlington

  • Georgia State

  • Arkansas State

  • Texas State

  • Georgia Southern

  • Louisiana Lafayette

  • Troy

  • Coastal Carolina

  • South Alabama

  • Arkansas-Little Rock

  • Appalachian State

  • Louisiana Monroe