For the first time ever, all 67 games in this year’s NCAA basketball tourney will be televised nationally. Great news if your living room contains a quartet of high-def Samsungs. But if it doesn’t, and you’re someone who badly wants not to miss the next Valparaiso–over–Ole Miss buzzer beater, you should opt for a sports bar. We sent out four ESPN obsessives to test 32 local watering holes, about half of which weren’t around for last year’s tournament. They ate copiously, drank prodigiously, and kept (somewhat) meticulous scorecards, awarding points for beer selection, food quality, TV density, peak-time crowdedness and ambience, and “intangibles”—anything from an impressive memorabilia collection to a generous Sunday-afternoon Coors deal. Here, how the nacho chips fell.
Reported by Eric Benson, Joe DeLessio, Michael Kruse, and Ben Mathis-Lilley