Slam dunk: Your complete guide to March Mayhem in Vegas

Calling all college basketball fans: If you’re heading to Vegas for March Mayhem, we have just as much excitement as actual courtside seats. You’ll surely want to check out what’s going down on our end of the court.

According to the Las Vegas Visitors Authority, Las Vegas welcomed a record 42.3 million visitors in 2015. You can bet a lot of those were sports fans. These upcoming tournaments are expected to draw more than 21,000 tourists. The first weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament is one of the busiest weekends in Las Vegas. Plus, we’re the only place that hosts four NCAA basketball conference tournaments including the West Coast Conference (WCC), Western Athletic Conference (WAC), Mountain West Conference (MWC) and Pacific Athletic Conference (PAC 12).

Lace up your kicks and head over to Sin City. Here’s where to catch all the action in Vegas for the 2016 NCAA basketball tournament:

On the Strip

encore-players-club

Eat, watch and play in luxury. Photo courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas.

Encore Players Club, Wynn Las Vegas
When:
8 p.m. – 4 a.m. daily (with extended hours for college basketball games)
Catch the March Mayhem madness at Wynn Las Vegas’ new luxury gaming lounge, Encore Players Club. Located on the casino floor, you’ll find more than 20 65-inch HD TVs, as well as a nearby shuffleboard and pool table. Order food from Wazuzu offering sliders, chicken fingers and Asian cuisine. You can also beat the betting station lines and download the Wynn’s mobile app.

tacos-tequila

Not too shabby to watch the game, right? Photo courtesy of Tacos & Tequila.

Tacos and Tequila, Luxor
When:
Thursday, March 17 to Sunday, March 20
Ay, papi! At Tacos and Tequila, enjoy giveaways, food and even a special appearance by the ladies of “Fantasy” on Friday, March 18 at 8:30 p.m. Score with Basketball Nachos, made with tortilla chips and mini meatballs cooked in a guajillo ancho sauce topped with nacho cheese sauce, pico de gallo, pickled jalapeños, guacamole and crème fresco ($10). For $15, get your hands on T&T’s Basketball Nachos, a shot of Jose Cuervo and the choice of a Dos Equis or a Coors Light beer. The restaurant’s multiple flat-panel TVs make it easy for you to watch every point, pass and play.

beer-park

Hey you, far left — take a break from your selfie and pay attention to your awesome surroundings! Photo courtesy of Beer Park.

Beer Park, Paris Las Vegas
When:
Thursday, March 17 through Monday, April 4 (starting at 9 a.m.)
College basketball plus awesome views of the Strip? Count us in! Beer Park offers a ton of high-definition TVs, 100-plus beer selections and food that’ll go with those selections perfectly. Wear your loose fitting pants and indulge in items like Shock Top Bratwurst made with Shock Top caramelized onions, sauerkraut and spicy grain mustard; and a BBQ burger made with Goose Island candied bacon, cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce, onion rings and jalapeño slaw. Packages are $100 per person and include food and beverage minimums. Also, former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman will be joined by showgirls on Friday, March 18. He’ll pose in photos with fans and also conduct giveaways.

crush-vegas-seven

Looks like we have a crush on Crush. This restaurant is gorgeous. Photo courtesy of MGM Grand.

Crush, MGM
When: Now through April 4
At Crush, get your grub on with upscale bar food like short-rib sliders with butter pickles and Carolina slaw ( $16); sausage hoagies with sweet peppers and balsamic onions ($15); grilled chipotle BBQ chicken wings ($15); Nueske’s bacon calzone with fresh ricotta cheese ($14). Wash down your food with a wide array of domestic and craft beer selections. This includes Dog Fish Head 90 Minute, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA and Kronenbourg Blanc, among others. Domestic pitchers are available for $19.99. Munch and drink while watching from Crush’s high definition TVs throughout the bar and lounge area. But college basketball season or not, you should still check this spot out. It’s beautiful.

lv-rj

Bruno Mars will NOT be performing (sorry, guys!), but this will give you an idea of The Chelsea’s massive theater size. Photo courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Hoops and Hops, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
When: Thursday, March 17 – Saturday, March 19
True college basketball fans should definitely go to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ annual Hoops and Hops event. Located inside The Chelsea, the concert venue transforms into a gigantic sports lounge. You’ll choose from three different packages (listed below). In addition to these packages, you’ll have access to a basketball court, billiards, shuffleboard, blackjack, onsite sports book and more.

  • Three-day passes: Premium seating, select open bar, interactive games and food and beverage offerings ($375 per person).
  • Open bar single-day passes: Premium seating and select open bar and interactive games ($200 per person on Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18 or $175 per person on Saturday, March 19).
  • General admission single-day passes: General admission seating and two drink coupons ($65 per person on Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18 or $45 per person on Saturday, March 19).

Planning on clubbin’ later that night? Show your Hoops and Hops ticket and get free admission at Marquee Nightclub. Performances include Dash Berlin on Friday, March 18 or Porter Robinson on Saturday, March 20. During the day, Marquee Dayclub will also host viewing parties from Thursday, March 17 – Saturday, March 19. Doors open at 8:45 a.m.

You can also check out the new sports book, which features state-of-the-art video walls, dozens of high definition TVs, lounge style seating and VIP areas, each with its own 90-inch high definition TV. The 24-hour sports book also has shuffleboard, foosball, billiards, as well as a food and drink menu.

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PBR Rock Bar, Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood
When:
Thursday, March 17 – Sunday, March 20
Get a guaranteed seat with food and beverage minimum (either $125 for a half day, or $200 for a full day) at PBR Rock Bar. Full-day tickets run from 8 a.m. to end of the last game, while half-day tickets run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or 4 p.m. to end of the last game. Signature game-day ready fare includes fried pickles, PBR Nachos and the restaurant’s signature wings. With PBR Rock Bar’s 120 HDTVs, you’ll never miss a second of the March Mayhem action.

rockhouse

Rockhouse, Grand Canal Shops at Venetian
When: Thursday, March 17 – Sunday, March 20
For $125 for a half day ($200 for a full day) at Rockhouse, watch the game from 80 HDTVs and enjoy the restaurant’s craft beer selection, as well as jalapeño poppers, Buffalo chicken sliders and carne asada tacos. Half-day tickets run from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. or 4 p.m. to end of last game; full day, 8 a.m. to end of last game.

burger-beer

Get your beer and burger on. Photo courtesy of Vegas.com.

B&B Burger & Beer, Venetian
When: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m., daily
Conveniently located next to the hotel’s race and sports book, take your buddies and order a bucket of five beers for $28 at B&B Burger & Beer. Bottled beers include Budweiser, Miller Light, Coors Light, Michelob Ultra, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Dos Equis Amber and Blue Moon. There are seven LED TVs across the bar, with nine more throughout the restaurant. If you sit at Burger & Beer’s indoor patio, it faces the race and sports book. Powered by CG Technology, the sports book features an impressive 10-by-100 foot screen with the ability to show 42 different events simultaneously. Hungry? Try the lamb burger, this month’s special. Served on a potato bun, it includes spicy goat cheese, apricot mustard jam and grilled frisée ($17).

While you’re in the area, Tao Beach will hots a viewing party from Thursday, March 17 – Saturday, March 19. Doors open at 8:45 a.m. Next door at Palazzo, Lavo Casino Club will also have viewing parties (same days and time).

hard-rock-cafe

Hard Rock Café
When:
Thursday, March 17 – Saturday, March 19
Head to the Hard Rock Café on the Strip and enjoy three days of viewing parties. Cheer for your favorite team while taking advantage of open bar and all-you-can-eat buffet. Admission includes food and drink ($150 for one day or $350 for all three days).

superbook-westgate

Their team must have scored. Hang out here all day and root for your team. Photo courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas.

Westgate Las Vegas
When:
Thursday, March 17 – Sunday, March 20 (starting at 8 a.m., 8:30 on Sunday)
We’re all about free viewing parties, and Westgate knows what’s up. Hit up the Westgate Las Vegas’ 1,500-seat International Theater and watch all the games on giant HD screens in a smoke-free (yay!) environment. The event will also have satellite betting stations, appearances from the world-famous Bud Light Girls and daily giveaways. Of course you have to eat and drink too: Enjoy buckets of beer for $25, as well as $6 breakfast specials, $7 lunch specials and $3 for hot dogs or soft pretzels.

While you’re here, you can also watch the entirety of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament on the 4,488-square-foot HD video screens inside the newly-renovated, 25,000 square foot Superbook. Guests must be 21 years or older.

A high-energy, all-American roadhouse that’s distinct from any other dining and entertainment experience on the Las Vegas Strip.

We could get used to this place for sure, and take a stroll outside at Monte Carlo’s plaza too. Photo courtesy of Monte Carlo.

Double Barrel Roadhouse, Monte Carlo
When: Now through Sunday, March 20 (starting at 9 a.m.)
At Double Barrel Roadhouse, nosh on delicious food and enjoy great party packages where you won’t miss a minute of the mayhem. Bar stool packages start at $75 per person. Table packages, which include guaranteed seating and food and beverage credit, start at $200 per person.  Located at the Monte Carlo plaza, Double Barrel is open to the public and offers its regular menu in addition to the basketball specials.

William Hill Sports Book at SLS Las Vegas

Yo, this booth is calling your name. Photo courtesy of SLS Las Vegas.

Umami Burger Beer Garden, SLS
When: Thursday, March 17 – Sunday, March 20 (starting at 9 a.m.)
At Umami Burger Beer Garden, watch your game on any of the 50-plus TVs or giant video wall. You can even enjoy fresh air on the patio. Open bar tickets start at $125 a person. If you want to splurge, $650 takes care of four people and includes a table, $5 bet person, open bar and food credit. There will also be giveaways, and that’s always a slam dunk.

slice-of-vegas

We get excited every time we walk up to this fun little entrance. Courtesy photo.

Slice of Vegas at Mandalay Place, Mandalay Bay
When: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., daily (open until midnight on Friday and Saturday)
Seriously – who’s going to turn down pizza? Not us! Slice of Vegas will offer all your favorite pizza pies as well as drink specials. This includes $20 buckets of Corona, Corona Light and Modelo Especial (five per bucket); $5 pints of Firestone 805; $5 pints of New Belgium Citradelic; and $5 Jameson shots.

caesars-exterior

Brag to your friends back home you’re watching the game inside Caesars Palace. Photo courtesy of Vegas.com.

Select Caesars Entertainment hotels
When: Thursday, March 17 – Saturday March 19 (starting at 8 a.m.)
Enjoy the game with open beer bar, an all-you-can-eat buffet, prizes and live betting stations and table games. This event is available at Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Flamingo and Harrah’s. Admission is $149 per person ($199 at Caesars Palace).

linq-cet

The LINQ Promenade

If you haven’t hit up this outdoor restaurant, bar, shopping and entertainment complex yet, now’s  your chance. Get your drink on, root for your team and most importantly, enjoy this good ol’ weather we got going on right now. Here’s the rundown at The LINQ Promenade:

Hoops On The Strip at The LINQ
When:
Thursday, March 17 – Sunday, March 20
Watch your game on jumbo screens on the fountain stage (right by Brooklyn Bowl). Stick around for drink specials, games and prizes – oh, and guaranteed awesome weather. Score!

AmeriCAN
When:
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. daily
Pick your seat – inside the bar or outside on AmeriCAN’s patio and for $50 ($75 all day), enjoy cocktails and (whoa!) a beer menu of nearly 70 canned beers representative of each of the 50 states.

Flour & Barley
When: Thursday, March 17 – Monday, April 4
Located directly across from AmeriCAN (next to Brooklyn Bowl and fountain stage), enjoy Flour & Barley’s Bracket Pizza: Buffalo roasted cauliflower, cheddar cheese, garlic chicken, roasted onions and topped with a zesty cream sauce. It’s yours for $17.50 a pie. That’s amore!

Near the Strip

south-point

Haven’t been? It’s pretty cool, and only 10 minutes away from the Strip. It’s also a popular place to watch and host sports events. Photo courtesy of Vegas.com.

South Point
When: Thursday, March 17 – Saturday, March 19
Head a few miles south of the Strip and hit up South Point. You and thousands of others can enjoy watching college basketball inside the resort’s Grand Ballroom. The perk? Besides on-site wagering stations, you’ll get free chair massages (yes, you heard that right) — all while viewing every game simultaneously.

You can also place bets via South Point’s mobile app, which offers guests the ability to deposit money or collect winnings from the hotel. This event also includes drink specials like $3 Bud, Bud Light or Bud Light Lime 12-ounce bottles, $16 buckets of six Budweiser beers; and $25 pitchers of Bloody Marys and margaritas. Food specials include $1.50 assorted doughnuts, $2 sausage and gravy biscuits and $4 breakfast burritos, served 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., enjoy $1 food specials like popcorn, or hot dogs, $3 cheese and pepperoni pizza, $4 pulled pork nachos, $5 chicken fingers or Italian cold cut sub sandwiches. All viewing parties are free and open to the public for guests 21 or older.

digthis

Speaking from personal experience, this is the one ride (job?) we’ll always remember. We can dig it. Photo courtesy of Vegas.com.

Dig This
When: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., daily
Can y’all dig it? (We can dig it!) For that true, only-in-Vegas experience, celebrate March basketball with a game of excavator bucket basketball at Dig This. Take it to the rim (in this case, a 2000-pound tire) while operating a 20-ton excavator or a new mini excavator. We bet your friends back home won’t be shooting hoops this way. Plus, it’s a nice break from watching all the games. Ya dig?

Downtown

The Hardwood Hotties spice up Downtown Hoopstown at the Fremont Street Experience three times nightly (7 to 10 p.m.) on the 3rd Street stage through April 4, 2016.

Fremont Street Experience
When: Now through Monday, April 4
You’re just in time to celebrate the 7th Annual Downtown Hoopstown under Fremont Street Experience’s Viva Vision canopy. Enjoy nightly entertainment from the outdoor stages, shoot some hoops and enjoy a helluva basketball-themed light show from the 1,500-foot-long Viva Vision screen. Check it out:

Hardwood Hotties: If you’re a diehard “American Idol” fan, then we’re sure you’re familiar with Season 6 finalist Haley Scarnato. Check her out in this year’s Hardwood Hotties series on the 3rd Street stage from 7 – 10 p.m., now through April 4. St. Paddy’s Day weekend will have special times: March 17 from 5-8 p.m., March 18 from 8-11 p.m. and March 19 from 5-8 p.m. The show will be dark March 24 and 31.

High Hoops Zone: It’s time to show Shaq who’s boss (well… that’s a bit of a stretch). Test your skills and play with your buds for these crazy basketball shot-outs featuring basketball hoops that are 20, 25 or 30 feet tall. It’s only $1 a shot, so you don’t have that much to lose.

World’s Largest NCAA Bracket: Check out the world’s largest NCAA bracket on the Viva Vision canopy now through the NCAA championship game on April 4.

Viva Vision Show: When the sun sets, you’re in for a treat. Catch a special basketball-themed Viva Vision show displaying bouncing basketballs, slam dunks and more cool, fun surprises.

Make the most of your March Mayhem in Vegas with our guide page.

Comments

Most folks take their Vegas jackpot winnings back home, but my dad decided to stay here instead. That’s how I left Seattle almost 20 years ago. I moved from greenery and rainy days to hot summers, palm trees and desert. As much as I love my hometown, I decided to stick around Vegas. This city just has so much to offer. You don’t even have to be a gambler, bar hopper or an all-night partier. I love Vegas for its awesome vegan-friendly spots, concerts, swanky hotel suites and spas so big, they’re like castles. The pool scene is not too shabby either, which is why I love taking stay-cations. Besides living it up -- Vegas style -- I’m hanging out with my handsome hubby, adorable baby girl, two cats and super-fluffy Shih-Tzu. I’m also a huge fan of '90s music, shows and movies. You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.