In 2009, March Madness returned to Portland for the first time in more than 25 years. Tickets to the match-ups at the Rose Garden – home of the Trailblazers – sold out, thanks to some almost-local teams like Washington hitting the court.
Fast forward three years and the Rose City is once again hosting early rounds of the 68 team tournament. Tickets are still available for the series, with the first tip-off between Louisville and Davidson on Thursday at 10:40 a.m. Don’t want to shell out the $81 per session? Try catching the action at one of these local watering holes:
Spirit of 77: Near the Oregon Convention Center and a block away from the Rose Garden, this trendy, laid-back sports bar is opening early so fans can catch the morning games on the big screen.
On Deck: This Pearl District bar is also cracking open the doors at an early hour, featuring drink deals for every match-up.
Cheerful Tortoise: Don’t let the bare-bones website mislead you — this classic Portland sports bar on Portland State University’s campus has more than 40 TVs, plus plenty of food and drink specials during the wee hours.