Marching through the Madness
Where to watch March Madness: Breaking down local sports bars by schools and specials
It's the most wonderful time of the year for college basketball fans. March is that festive time when you spend your days filling out brackets, checking it twice, decking the halls in your favorite school colors and caroling to your favorite fight songs. If you're a UT fan, you can go pretty much anywhere in Austin and find fellow fans to cheer along with, but what if you weren't lucky enough to call yourself a Longhorn?
That's where we come in. We've tracked down the official — and unofficial — bars of some of the biggest basketball schools in the NCAA. For those of you who aren't so much into basketball as the fun that comes with it (namely the beer and the bar food), we've handpicked a few things at each bar that will help you march through the madness, too.
Duke University: Brick House Tavern & Tap, 11680 A Research Blvd.
This chain is the official place to watch the Blue Devils, according to the Duke Alumni Association. Expect things like fried zucchini curls, chicken fried steak and ridiculously large beers.
Michigan: Pluckers Wing Bar, 3909 B South Lamar Blvd.
Another chain, look for delicious wings, (obviously) brews and a sea of blue and gold.
Syracuse: The Tavern, 922 W 12th St.
Expect to root for Orange at this classic tavern on 12th and Lamar. In addition to the infamous sign advertising air conditioning, this nearly 100-year-old joint boasts a full menu of burgers, wings, nachos and the kind of salads that technically have lettuce, but are topped with fried chicken, cheese and bacon.
Iowa State: Big Daddy's Burgers and Bar, 9070 Research Blvd. #101
With specials every day of the week, this North Austin joint has a hearty list of Texas beers on draft. If beer isn't your thing, "adult milkshakes" should tide you over while you watch Iowa take on Notre Dame in round one of the big dance.
Kansas: Black Sheep Lodge, 2108 South Lamar Blvd.
Jayhawk fans should consider themselves pretty lucky to have Black Sheep as the official KU alumni meeting spot in Austin. Great patio, great beer selection and great burgers abound.
Indiana: Trifecta on 3rd, 360 Nueces #30
Though the Indiana University alums tend to hop around, they've been watching the Hoosiers rise to the No. 1 seed from this downtown bar for the last few weeks. Trifecta specializes in martinis, bourbon and pizza, which is basically a trifecta (get it?) of all things good in this world.
Ohio State: Bikinis Bar and Grill, 6901 I-35 N
Ohio State has a pretty large group of fans in Austin, so it's no surprise they also have one of the most active alumni associations we've found. From football games to March Madness, the Buckeyes call the Bikini's in North Austin home for all their events. Expect traditional bar food at this breastaurant, which celebrates all things cleavage.
Gonzaga: The Tavern, 922 W 12th St.
The Zag doesn't have an officially designated bar in town, but, pending seed one Gonzaga's win over seed 16 Southern University, alums will be gathering at this Austin staple on March 23.
Oklahoma State:Big Daddy's Burgers and Bar, 9070 Research Blvd. #101
Since Iowa State and OSU both host their watch parties here, we can only imagine the West Side Story-esque rumblings that will occur if these two face off in the Final Four.
Wisconsin: Lavaca Street Bar, 405 Lavaca St.
Badgers unite at this sports haven which adds brats, cheese curds, Leinies beers and Fishbowls to the menu for Wisconsin fans during football season. For March Madness, the bar keeps standard daily happy hour specials from 3-7 pm including $2.50 domestics, $3 Tito's Vodka and $4 Grey Goose and Segrams VO.