March is here, and that means plenty of amazing collegiate basketball action as schools battle it out across the country on the way to the 2018 championship game. We’ve put together ideas for each tournament destination to enjoy if you’re traveling to cheer on your favorite team in person.
Omaha, Nebraska - Midwest Regionals
March 23 & 25 CenturyLink Center
Omaha is a bustling Midwestern city filled with the spirit of adventure, which is fitting as it was a stopping place in the 1804 Lewis & Clark Expedition that charted America’s westward growth. The Corp of Discovery’s visit is commemorated at the Lewis & Clark Landing on the banks of the mighty Missouri River. At the Joslyn Art Museum, peruse breathtaking 19th century paintings depicting the Great Outdoors, and experience authentic train cars at the Durham Museum in the gorgeously refurbished Union Station.
Omaha is squarely in cattle country, and it’s definitely a city that enjoys fine cuts of beef, like at the popular Spencer's For Steak And Chops. For casual eats in a sports-centric scene, head to the Old Mattress Factory, a fun spot located in a vintage brick building dating from 1883.
Los Angeles, California - West Regionals
March 22 & 24 STAPLES Center
There’s no denying the glamor of gorgeous Los Angeles … and its star power. If you’re headed to games at the incredible STAPLES Center, be sure and wander about energetic L.A. LIVE. It’s a huge entertainment complex filled with musical venues, restaurants, movie theaters, hotels, a museum and even a deluxe bowling alley, Lucky Strike. For a glimpse into pre-historic Southern California before all the Hollywood glitterati arrived, La Brea Tar Pits & Museum features bubbling natural pools of asphalt and the fossils of extinct megafauna like sabretooth cats and mammoths that met their end in the sticky goop.
Getting hungry? Wander about Historic Downtown’s Grand Central Market, where vendors serve food and drink from exotic produce and fresh-baked bread to hamburgers and ramen bowls. And for a delicious slice of Los Angeles culinary history, try a French dip at friendly Philippe The Original, one of the originators of the iconic soaked sandwich.
Atlanta, Georgia - March 22 & 24
South Regionals Philips Arena
Atlanta has long been known as a sports city, and this is especially true at the Centennial Olympic Park, which is located across the street from the Philips Arena. Nearby are thrilling attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, which makes for colorful pre-game strolling amid giant tanks teeming with aquatic life. For a rotating view of Atlanta’s impressive skyline, take a ride on Skyview Atlanta, a 20-story Ferris wheel with climate-controlled gondolas.
Continue the rotating, sky-high theme over lunch, snacks, or dinner at the Sun Dial Restaurant with its 360-degree panoramic view from 723 feet in the air. And Atlanta is a hotspot for delicious barbecue, like the tasty vittles served at Twin Smokers BBQ and Smoke Ring.
Boston, Massachusetts - East Regionals
March 23 & 25 TD Garden
It doesn’t get much more historic than Boston, one of the cradles of American independence. A classic activity for “Beantown” visitors is to follow the Freedom Trail, which crosses the picturesque Charlestown Bridge a block from the TD Garden. Unforgettable highlights on the route include Old North Church, the Paul Revere House, Bunker Hill Museum, the USS Constitution, and Boston Common.
Faneuil Hall is also located along the Freedom Trail, and it is an astounding place to sample New England’s finest foods from lobster rolls and crab cakes to broiled scrod and Boston cream pie. At Union Oyster House, the oldest restaurant in America, be sure to try the Boston baked beans and the clam chowder.
As side note, the game of basketball itself was invented some 90 miles down the road from Boston in the city of Springfield, where its traditions and living legacy are honored at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
San Antonio, Texas - Finals
March 31 & April 2 Alamodome
Talk about a fantastic time to crown 2018’s college basketball champs in San Antonio — it’s the 300th anniversary of the beautiful city’s founding! Visiting the Alamo is a must. The former Spanish mission was the 1836 scene of one of America’s most famous battles. Next, meander along the gorgeous River Walk. A bit to the west, walk through vibrant Market Square, a three-block outdoor Mexican market. To take San Antonio from above, take a ride up the 750-foot-tall Tower of the Americas.
The food in San Antonio is excellent. It’s the home of Tex-Mex cuisine including scrumptious tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas served along the River Walk at Casa Rio. This part of Texas was also settled by Germans, so savor European dishes like bratwurst and Wienerschnitzel at homey spots like Schilo’s, the oldest restaurant in these parts.
Bonus Destination: Las Vegas, Nevada
Viva Las Vegas! For many, there’s no substitute for watching the collegiate basketball on the famous Strip. Some of the best places to catch full-court presses include The Park, Vegas’ premiere outdoor space lined with numerous restaurants like Beerhaus. At MGM Grand, watch free throws in LEVEL UP, a cool interactive gaming stadium (you’ll see our Black Clover shop nearby). And at the astounding TopGolf next door, watch the games on more than 300 HD screens while teeing off from three levels of climate-controlled hitting bays.
No matter where you watch all the basketball action this month — including your hometown — it’s the perfect time to show school spirit with the Black Clover Collegiate Collection. It features premium fitted, jersey, and mesh caps that make it easy cheer layups and three-pointers with style (and a little luck).