By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Mar 19, 2023 at 10:01 AM Photography: Marquette Men's Basketball Facebook

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Cue that beloved theme music, Jim Nantz talking about sports in wistful tones, and so, so, so many advertisements for AT&T and "Impractical Jokers." That's right: It's March Madness season, and our city's got some serious skin in this year's tournament with the Marquette men's Golden Eagles squad scoring a 2-seed, chosen by many to be a potential championship threat in the bracket. 

Obviously, with that and with it simply being the wildest sporting month on the calendar, you're going to want to watch. Just about anywhere with at least a TV screen or two, cold beverages, a bar and a stool is a perfectly fine setting to watch all the buzzer beaters and remarkable games starring teams you didn't even know existed two days ago. (Let's go *checks notes* Kennesaw State?) But the following places are going particularly mad for this year's March Madness. 

So, before the Friday games officially tip-off, here are eleven spots that you'll be happy to spend your NCAA tournament – even if your bracket gets wholly busted by the end.

4th Base
5117 W. National Ave., (414) 647-8509
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It may be named after a different game, but 4th Base will be all about the basketball these next several weeks cheering on Marquette and the big dance. And the Golden Eagles hopefully won't be the only winner, as in addition to showing all the games on its copious screens, the iconic bar will also host a bracket challenge with a $5 buy-in. The best bracket scores not only the pot but also a $50 gift card to the Brew City staple – a nice bonus chunk of change just in time for the start of the Brewers season just five minutes down the road. 

The Brick
6343 N. Green Bay Ave., (414) 797-0710
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Normally bricks during the NCAA tournament are a bad thing – but not The Brick! In case its cozy confines – complete with good food, drink and plenty of screens – weren't enough of a draw, the local hangout has a special during March Madness tied with the local teams. The further Marquette gets, the more you'll save – if Marquette makes it to the next round, wear your MU gear and you'll save 10 percent during that game. To the Sweet 16? Fifteen percent off during the game! And the savings continue from there – as long as the Golden Eagles continue too. Click here for more details – and check here out for more March Madness fun!

Company Brewing
735 E. Center St., (414) 930-0909
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If you're a Marquette fan looking for a place to cheer on the Golden Eagles on Friday, you'll be in good company at Company Brewing which is hosting a watch party for the local school's first-round bout against the 15-seeded Vermont Catamounts. And sure, Vermont's team colors may be green – but considering it's also St. Patrick's Day, feel free to wear green without worry. Just don't expect green beer; their craft brews are too good for that dyed nonsense. 

Jack's American Pub
1323 E. Brady St., (414) 763-2830
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It's shots on shots on shots at this Brady Street favorite. Order $6 shots of Don Julio (or $5 Truly blackberry lemon vodka seltzers or $8 double mixers) while watching basketball shots during March Madness and you'll earn raffle tickets toward a shot at the big prize: a tailgate set and Don Julio tequila. Even if you don't win, though, you'll have chosen a winning spot to watch the tourney thanks to its beamingly bright jumbo screen and plentiful other TVs showing the closest upsets and buzzer beaters. 

Lucky's Ice House
4238 W. Orchard St., (414) 249-3751
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If you're looking to harness some luck for your bracket, why not go to a place with "lucky" right there in the name? This newly renovated and reopened hidden gem is mostly known for its proximity to American Family Field, but it's also a place to wing over to for basketball during March Madness – quite literally, because the wings will be less than a dollar each during all NCAA tournament games. And if you know their fish fry, you know anything coming out of their newly revamped kitchen is worth your while. 

The MECCA Sports Bar & Grill
1134 Vel R. Phillips Ave., (414) 908-0401
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If you're cheering on Marquette, you might as well watch their tourney journey from the bar standing in the shadows of their home court, the bar where the Golden Eagles themselves celebrated their high-seeding on Selection Sunday. Not persuaded yet? In addition to watching the games on a ton of TV screens – with one of the biggest in the area, at 42 feet wide, at its center – The MECCA will serve up several drink specials including $40 Michelob Ultra or Bud Light beer towers, five for $25 mix-and-match buckets (for Bud Light, Busch Light and Michelob Ultra) and cans of the special edition Marquette '77 Golden Ale. So you can drink in the Golden Eagles' success – literally!

Milwaukee Brat House
1013 N. Doctor M.L.K. Jr Dr., (414) 273-8709
4022 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 539-5826
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No matter which Milwaukee Brat House locale you pick, your March Madness selection committee will have done right. Yes, the bars will have all the games blasting on its screens – but they will also host a pair of sweet raffles, with fans earning tickets during NCAA tourney games by purchasing drink specials   like Smirnoff bombs, White Claw vodka sodas and more. (Click here for Downtown or Shorewood's specific specials.) Then, on championship night, the bars will pick some lucky winners, scoring either a PS5 at the Downtown bar or 500 pull-tabs and White Claw gear at Shorewood. Everyone's a winner! (Well, not Vermont. They're going to lose.)

Sahale Ale Works
1505 Wisconsin Ave. #170
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This Grafton hidden gem of a craft brewery is brewing up some fun for March Madness with a bracket competition. Just for entering the contest, you can score $1 off full pours during the games – and as the tournament goes along, the prizes get even better. And if you're not a betting person because you keep picking 16-seeds to win in your bracket, Sahale (rhymes with koala) is still a great place to take in the tourney, complete with a cozy dog-friendly atmosphere, tasty crafty brews and – of course – a big projector screen to watch the big upsets and buzzer beaters. 

800 S. 2nd St., (414) 672-7139
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Steny's is a Brew City sports bar staple – so yeah, of course they've got some specials set for the big dance. Stop by Steny's throughout the NCAA tournament and find $10 Bud Light pitchers, six for $30 NUTRL buckets, six for $20 Bud product buckets, $5 Youngblood Parking Lot Bier and $5 Steny bombs. Oh, and obviously all the games on all of the Walker's Point pub's many, many TV screens. 

1239 E. Brady St., (414) 763-2180
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This Brady Street spot may be called WurstBar, but it's one of the best places to get your March Madness on this year. In addition to showing the games, the German-themed bar has a competition of its own that should leave no one upset. During any game during the NCAA tournament, every drink special purchased – $5 Truly seltzers, $7 Captain Morgan mixed drinks, Smirnoff bombs and mixers, and Crown mixers and shots – earns you a raffle ticket. The winner will then be picked during the championship game, with the victorious ticket earning an ultimate tailgate set. With winning on and off the court, WurstBar is a slam dunk option this March.

The Yard at Bayshore
5800 N. Bayshore Dr., (414) 963-8780
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Go yard for this year's March Madness (mixing my sports metaphors!) with the help of Bayshore and its spring spat of Game Days in The Yard. Found in the community center's centralized open-air green space, The Yard's Game Days will feature the NCAA tournament games on its giant big screen overlooking the area. Bring a folding chair, grab some food from one of Bayshore's vendors and cheer on your favorite universities and upsets throughout the big dance while also getting some fresh air!

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.