In the New York of yore, those afflicted with March Madness were quarantined well into April. These days, not only do virus carriers walk among us, but we celebrate the disease! Every year, for two short weeks, in the throes of the Madness, we all become experts on college basketball before resuming ignorance for the other 350 days of the year.
During the NCAA Tournament, we furiously fill out brackets, babble about seed upsets, and swaddle ourselves in soothing team apparel. We even feign an interest in Gonzaga, though never cross the line of no return -- learning whether it’s in Washington state or DC.
In the months between each annual Madness, we forget that there are people in New York who went to Gonzaga. And Villanova. And Xavier -- schools that most of us only engage with through the lens of sports. And most of these schools, however far-flung, have bars where their fans and alumni gather to cheer on their team.
Look, I went to Minnesota. Go Goph’s and everything, but rooting for a lower-tier Big Ten school is demoralizing. And plenty of people went to smaller schools, or no schools at all, who watch the NCAA Tournament every year without a dog in the fight.
So if you’re a fan of a major college basketball powerhouse, or if you’re looking to adopt a team to root for during the tournament, here are the best places to watch the top-tier teams among true fans in NYC.