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March Madness in Vegas is amazing. It can also be pretty intimidating. There are so many choices when it comes to viewing the games. Which place is the best? What does the set-up look like? How early should you get there? What venue is a better kept secret? Still has seats? Is proving to be a disappoint?
If you have questions and need answers, the best place.. no... the only place you should head is to the appropriately named March Madness in Las Vegas Facebook group. Now more than 2,500 very enthusiastic members strong, the group is more than ready to do this thing and have already posted a slew of venue photos, wait times, line updates and more all while answering each others questions, too.
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It feels as if we’ve been talking about March Madness all year (because we have been), but it’s finally here. The NCAA college basketball tournament begins tomorrow night. (Although, March Madness in Vegas doesn’t begin until Thursday at 9 a.m.)
It’s almost game time, odds to win the college basketball championship have been adjusted and point spreads are available. Sportsbook operators and the committee that pick the teams may not agree on how teams were seeded, but that tension only helps make the tournament so much fun.
If you’re in Vegas before March Madness begins and are looking for a different way to get in on the action, you can play a couple contests that cover the entire NCAA tournament:
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If you have questions about specific parties taking place around town or want to chat with or meet up with other basketball fans during the tournaments, stay connected by joining the March Madness in Las Vegas Facebook group. And, in the event you can't afford the $50,000 viewing package at Carmine's, we've put together a list of all the other things happening around town. Be sure to check back as we will update our guide as more are announced.
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Before the field of 68 is revealed for March Madness, 32 teams will earn their conferences' automatic bids for the NCAA College Basketball Tournament. Four of those March Madness bids will be given out here.
Four conference tournaments will take place in Las Vegas and there will be dozens of live college basketball games over nine days. Unlike most college basketball tournaments, you can bet on the games you're watching. Since the majority of the games take place at The Orleans and MGM Grand you can even walk to the sportsbook from the arena in between games to make some bets.
*The West Coast Conference tournament will take place at The Orleans Arena March 6-11.
*The Pac 12 Conference tournament will take place at MGM Grand March 12-15.
*The Mountain West Conference tournament will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center March 12-15.
*The Western Athletic Conference tournament will take place at The Orleans Arena March 13-15.
The good news is that price covers you and 24 of your (paying) friends so $50k divided by 25.. carry the one... equals two grand each. See? Much more reasonable, yea?
The Big Game hasn't even been played yet, but we're already looking forward to the next big sports weekend. The first weekend of March Madness is March 20-23 and may surpass Super Bowl weekend as the craziest sports weekend of the year. This isn't anything new for most Vegas watchers. March Madness has been growing in popularity for the past few years since it lasts four days, falls during Spring Break and is around St. Patrick's Day. Sportsbooks are usually overflowing with people.
There is a buzz around the books that may become bigger than the Big Game this year so we decided to check hotel rates now to see if they reflect that. If demand is high, hotel rooms will cost more. But, even we were astonished by the rates we found almost two months ahead of the madness. This writer's discounted Total Rewards rates are off the charts.
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We've been preparing for this week since before the Super Bowl. Finally, the madness begins! The NCAA Basketball Tournament begins tomorrow, March 19 with a couple of play-in games, but March Madness begins Thursday around 9 a.m. These play-in games are still new to the NCAA Tournament and have yet to bring much madness to the event so the chaos still begins later in the week. The sportsbooks will be packed all weekend and there will be March Madness viewing parties anywhere you can squeeze a TV.
To understand how chaotic March Madness is in Las Vegas, just imagine the crowds for the Big Game spread over 12 hours a day for 4 consecutive days coinciding with the beginning of spring on Wednesday and the kick off of pool season. Here are a few links to get you ready for the action:
Sportsbooks / March Madness / Cantor Gaming / William Hill / Station Casinos / Sports Connection / Apps / → All Tags
Recently, we shared the Vegas observation that there are so many more wagering options at the sportsbook then ever before. Along with the wide variety of wagers available in just the past year has also come new ways to place those bets. As this writer commented, he hasn't placed a wager at a sportsbook in a while. That doesn't mean that we're not at the sportsbook less often, it just means that we get our bets down a different way.
In the past two years, Cantor Gaming, Station Casinos and William Hill all introduced sports betting apps. (Station Casinos' app is the only one that gives players club points.) While none are perfect, all have their good attributes and all will help you avoid annoyingly large lines at the sportsbooks during March Madness.
The first weekend of March Madness is only a couple weeks away and will sneak up on a lot of folks with it falling after St. Patrick's Day this year. Those that have their Irish party plans finalized are now turning their attention to basketball. Those that haven't can pause and check out that last link which still has St. Patrick events being added regularly.
Fremont Street is hoping Vegas will experience the madness downtown and has already kicked Downtown Hoopstown into high gear. College banners have been hung, the Downtown Hoopstown t-shirts unveiled, and an area setup with 20-, 25- and 30-foot high hoops that may require physical abilities at a buck a shot. Not sure if anything other than bragging rights is up for grabs, but we've wasted singles on worse.
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The first weekend of the NCAA Basketball Tournament a.k.a. March Madness is the second busiest weekend for sports in Vegas. You can watch the game at most sportsbooks for free, but there's no guarantee that you'll get a seat. Las Vegas is very accommodating to your needs and many hotels, bars and restaurants will have March Madness viewing parties. Below you'll find our ever-growing roundup. We'll add more parties as we find them so be sure to check this thread often as there will be updates.
Hoops On The Strip
♦Full Court Package: offers unlimited well liquor, house wine and table seating ($175/person)
♦Man Cave Package: Exclusive 'Living Room' viewing areas, buffets, premium beverages, and private TVs showing all four games at once. In addition to everything included in the Full Court Package, you also get personal cocktail service, video games and individual gift bags! (Group of 6: $1,999)
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The Super Bowl was the most wagered on sporting event of all time. As usual, the casinos made money which means that most people betting on the game lost. No big deal. We love football and are ready for the next season to begin so we can get back to it. But, that's it for right now. No more football for seven months. So, what now?
Football, pro and college, is the most popular sport to bet on, but that doesn't mean that there aren't other major sports events to bet on in the near future. There is a pretty fun variety of sports to keep us in the sportsbook. The biggest NASCAR race of the year, The Daytona 500, takes place February 24. That will be followed up with NASCAR Weekend which comes to Las Vegas just a few weeks later.
We were just minding our business this weekend when we were shocked and surprised by a tweet we saw from Planet Hollywood (@phvegas) already pimping March Madness packages. We're not even ready for the Super Bowl!
Watch college basketball with us from March 21-24 and enjoy premium seating with all-you-can-eat food and drink: het.bz/h9EMI— Planet Hollywood (@phvegas) January 26, 2013