It’s difficult for college b-ball fans to concentrate on work during the first days of the NCAA tournament. So why try? Take a day off and cheer on your team at these NYC watering holes, where you’ll make up for reduced professional productivity by stimulating the economy’s vital beer-and-hot-wings sector.
In the East Village, Standings gets into the collegiate spirit with self-proclaimed "March Madness Pizza Gorging Parties," where you can stuff your face with free slices—and hope, for the sake of your bracket, that one of the underdogs knocks off North Carolina. Or, if you sympathize with Goliath, join the throng of vociferous Tar Heels supporters at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ in Midtown. Fans of fellow big dogs Duke and Kansas will feel welcome at the Village Pourhouse, which offers home turf for both schools.
But who can choose just one matchup? Sixty-four teams, after all, means 32 first-round games. If you want to see them all, head for the Upper East Side to Ship of Fools and its 42 TVs. With plenty of screens to spare, you can even keep an eye on the World Baseball Classic.
As you survey your picks and contemplate your plans for March 19 and 20, just be sure to call your chosen venue for details—some bars are not usually open during tournament hours. And remember that "basketball fever" is not an acceptable reason for medical leave.