Sweet Sixteen Roulette

No bracket required

Now that the Festival crowds have receded back to L.A. and Brooklyn, it's time to think about that harbinger of spring, March Madness. Your favorite NCAA team deserves a dedicated fan, one ready for those storybook moments. So join your b-ball brethren at one of the many places in town that offers screens, drinks, and good groceries.

Estimated meal cost per person

$ = less than $10
$$ = $10-25
$$$ = $25-40
$$$$ = $40 and more

219 West This attractive, comfortable place has exceptional small-dish food, great drinks, and a stunning wine list. There's also a 16-foot hi-def TV and lots of beer specials. 219 W. Fourth, 474-2194. www.219west.com. $$$

Angel's Icehouse Check out one of the 55-inch hi-def TVs, and wash down an excellent chicken-fried chicken with the coldest beer around. 21815 Hwy. 71 W., 264-3777. www.angelsicehouse.com. $

Aussie's Grill & Beachbar In addition to great appetizers and pub fare, Aussie's offers big-screen TVs and beach volleyball courts out back. 306 Barton Springs Rd., 480-0952. www.aussiesbar.com. $

B.D. Riley's Irish Pub Irish music, excellent pub grub, and Guinness and Smithwick's Ale by the 20-ounce imperial pint make this a great place to watch sports. Check out six 42-inch hi-def plasma TVs and the 65-inch "ScreenZilla" Mitsubishi in back. 204 E. Sixth, 494-1335. www.bdrileys.com. $

Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill Some say the sliders here are the best in town. Happy hour draws a crowd, and so do the 31 TVs for the sports set. 214 E. Sixth, 469-0001; 6901 N. I-35, 454-2247. www.bikinissportsbarandgrill.com. $$

Black Sheep Lodge has everything from sliders to carnitas, and TVs abound. So do the beer choices, with 20 on tap and more than 50 by the bottle. Try the portobello cheesesteak if you have room after the cheese curds and fried pickles. 2108 S. Lamar, 707-2744. www.blacksheeplodge.com. $$

Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery Start with shrimp 'n' grits, tofu popcorn, or a choose-your-own tasting plate, and try the sandwiches or dinner entrées as you work through the local brews. 7020 Easy Wind #100, 452-BEER. www.blackstar.coop. $$

Champions Sports Bar and Restaurant Twenty-five beers on tap, 24 plasma TVs, NBA League Pass, ESPN GameDay, and a late-night menu make this a favorite place for getting your cheer on. 300 E. Fourth, 473-0450. www.championsaustin.com. $$

Cover 3 takes the sports bar menu to a new level with offerings such as green-chile-and-beef nachos, jumbo North American scallops, and chicken-fried beef tips. The beer selection is terrific. 2700 W. Anderson #202, 374-1121. www.cover-3.com. $$

Cuatros The menu here is too nice for you, sports fan! So is the killer patio and full bar, but chances are you'll be too engrossed in the game – or the 24 beers on tap – to care. 1004 W. 24th, 243-6361. www.cuatrosaustin.com. $$

Dave and Buster's Order a Player's Platter and check out a game on one of more than 30 hi-def TVs. The midway keeps the kids entertained while you cheer your team on. 9333 Research, 346-8015. www.daveandbusters.com. $$

Doc's Backyard is ready to host the big game with 12 hi-def TVs and cheap specials from the generous menu to soak up all that alcohol. 5207 Brodie #100, 892-5200. www.eatdrinkdocs.com. $$

Doc's Bar & Grill Thirty-one beers on tap may remind us of a certain drinking game, but don't get distracted from exploring the eclectic, affordable menu. Several flat-screens add to the jovial patio feel. 1123 S. Congress, 448-9181. www.docsaustin.com. $$

The Dog & Duck Pub Nom your way through fish and chips, or maybe even a Scotch egg or two, but save room for the 42 varieties of draft beer. 406 W. 17th, 479-0598. www.dogandduckpub.com. $

El Arroyo The extensive menu at this longtime Austin favorite offers everything from breakfast tacos to late-night entrées. Don't miss the rollicking happy hour or the big TVs on the deck. 1624 W. Fifth, 474-1222. www.elarroyo.com. $$

El Arroyo Far West has the same great menu as its sister location and several large-screen TVs for your viewing pleasure. 7032 Wood Hollow, 345-8226. www.elarroyo.com. $$

El Mercado Dinner at this location of the popular Tex-Mex happy-hour haven doesn't disappoint, especially after a few of the reliable Mexican martinis. 7414 Burnet Rd., 454-2500. www.elmercadorestaurant.com. $$

Fadó Hearty Irish-inspired food and friendly service make this spot a favorite. Hi-def TVs abound, so belly up to a great beer selection and enjoy the game. 214 W. Fourth, 457-0172. www.fadoirishpub.com. $

1st Down and Stassney Sports Bar & Grill You can be assured this spot's got the game on and serves a huge menu. Try a Training Camp salad. 730 W. Stassney #120, 215-0600. www.1stdownandstassneysportsbar.com. $$

Flying Saucer Big TVs hover over the bar, the dining room, and the biergarten. Saucer burgers, build-your-own appetizer plates, and 220 beer varieties round out the night. 815 W. 47th, 454-8200. www.beerknurd.com. $$

Hooters is known to bill itself as a family restaurant, but Mom never served us platters of fried food while dressed like this. With more than 20 hi-def TVs, you won't notice the support hosiery. 425 W. Riverside, 478-WING. www.hooterstexas.com. $$

Legends Sports Bar & Grill Located in the Holiday Inn Northwest, this place is the real thing. The menu runs from burgers to steaks, and it has more than 30 flat-screens on hand. 8901 Business Park Dr., 343-0888. www.hotelaustin.com. $$

Logan's on Sixth Here you'll find pub grub and 10 big-screen TVs. The beers are huge. Trust us. 200 E. Sixth, 236-0300. $$

Maggie Mae's There's always a friendly crowd at this Sixth Street stalwart. The grub is pub, and the TVs are hi-def. 323 E. Sixth, 478-8541. www.maggiemaesaustin.com. $

Nomad Everyone's favorite neighborhood spot has $1 Tecates on Mondays, or you can rock the sake kamikazes here while digging into a big bowl of popcorn. 1213 Corona, 628-4288. www.nomadbar.com. $$

Players These fry boys will hook you up with the tastiest grub on the go. Burgers do go with that shake. 300 W. MLK, 478-9299. www.austinplayers.com. $$

Opal Divine's Freehouse With more than 65 varieties of single malt scotch, 40 kinds of tequila, and 25 beers on tap, it's the perfect spot for checking your e-mail while having a decent sandwich made with locally sourced ingredients. 700 W. Sixth, 477-3308. www.opaldivines.com. $$

Pluckers Wing Bar When you're craving good wings in the middle of the game, stop by for plenty of TVs and great queso, too. 2222 Rio Grande, 469-WING. www.pluckers.com. $

Posse East Bar & Grill provides beer and burgers for the pre-, post-, and during-the-game crowds, with an in-house ATM for those who fit into all three categories. Try the Sheriff's Sandwich while you check out six flat-screens. 2900 Duval St., 477-2111. www.posse-east.com. $

Pour House Pub A family-friendly pub with an affordable, broad selection of draft pints caters to parents with reliable burger standards and to kids with sliders – but, unfortunately, no slides. 6701 Burnet Rd., 454-POUR. www.pourhousepubaustin.com. $$

Sherlock's Baker St. Pub & Grill ESPN GamePlan is available Saturdays as you work through an enormous list of imported beers and enjoy generous meal portions. Check out the 11-foot screen or the other flat-screens for both satellite and cable coverage. 9012 Research Ste. C-1, 380-9443. www.sherlockspub.com. $$

Shoal Creek Saloon This Cajun oasis on Shoal Creek serves great South Louisiana chow and ice-cold beer, along with a warm and fuzzy ambience. On Fridays, try the grilled salmon with chipotle-cream sauce. 909 N. Lamar, 474-0805. www.shoalcreeksaloon.com. $$

The Tavern has been Austin's most tradition-packed venue for sports viewing and a popular watering hole and eatery for many decades. Not only is it open 'til 2am, it's also air-conditioned. 922 W. 12th, 320-8377. www.austintavern.com. $$

Third Base You'll be greeted by hi-def TV screens and free wi-fi. Try the Philly cheesesteak rolls or the Quarter Pounder Dog – yikes. 1717 W. Sixth, 476-BASE; 3107 S. I-35, 388-BASE; 9600 S. I-35 Ste. B-500, 381-BASE. www.thirdbaseaustin.com. $$

Trifecta on 3rd Your "premiere bourbon and martini sports lounge" boasts 104 bourbons, as well as an inviting bar menu and a comfortable patio. 360 Nueces #30, 320-9909. www.trifectaaustin.com. $$

Weirdos Wall-to-wall TVs plus a great menu will keep you fueled for overtime. "Keeping it weird" well north of the river, we see. 12408 MoPac N., 291-6703. www.weirdosaustin.com. $$

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