College basketball’s championship tournaments return this year with full fan attendance that feels more in step with contests of years past. The women’s tournament starts March 18 with the Final Four taking place on March 25 and the final on March 27. The men’s tournament starts March 15 with the Final Four on April 2 with the championship on April 4.
Typically, these are some of the busiest weeks for Chicago’s bars. Part of that is March is typically when winter weather subsides (though a March snowstorm is never surprising). With Chicagoans eager to leave their homes, bars provide an escape. In 2022, there’s an even greater feeling of freedom as COVID restrictions, including mask wearing, have been lifted.
Locally, there are nine colleges from the Big Ten conference in the men’s tournament, including Illinois. They find themselves in the same bracket as perennial Cinderella story Loyola. There are six Big Ten teams on the women’s side. DePaul also made it in, part of the First Four.Read More