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Where to Watch the Big Ten Tournament

Find your fellow fans at one of these school-affiliated Chicago sports bars.
Tuesday Mar 02, 2010.     By Centerstage Chicago Staff
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

Looking to cheer on your favorite Big Ten team during the upcoming conference tournament with fellow fans? Check out our guide to school affiliations for bars around town, and you'll finally find someone to high-five after the next big basket.

University of Illinois
Kendall's: Eight 10-foot screens and 15 HD plasma TVs will get you in a rooting mood real quick.

Joe's Bar: You can pretty much be a fan of anyone and watch your game on a big screen here, but special consideration is paid to Illini faithful.

Schoolyard Tavern: It's hard to find a bar the Schoolyard isn't affiliated with, but still a good option for Lakeview Illini.

More Illini bars: Kroll's South Loop, Mickey's

Indiana University
Kirkwood Bar & Grill: Hoosier fans can indulge a blast from the past and order The General, named after former coach/bully Bob Knight.

Finley Dunne's Tavern: We don't know of many Irish Hoosiers, but we try not to worry too much about these things.

More Hoosier bars: Joe's Bar, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sluggers

University of Iowa
Merkle's Bar and Grill: Some bars are affiliated in name only, but Merkle's sponsors many trips to see the Hawkeyes play and offers specials on game days.

More Hawkeye bars: Four Shadows, Gamekeepers, Gaslight Bar and Grille, Ravenswood Pub, Sedgwick's Bar & Grill, Witt's

University of Michigan
Duffy's Tavern: If you don't get chills when you hear a live version of The Victors during a Wolverines game here...then you're probably a State fan.

Mad River Bar & Grille: This Lakeview hot spot is also an unofficial Philadelphia Phillies bar. Go figure.

More Wolverine bars: Dark Horse Tap and Grille, Matilda

Michigan State University
Michigan State
Hi-Tops: The former Gin Mill was about as green-and-white as you can get, but its new inhabitants (transplanted from Wrigleyville) have embraced Sparty's ideals just fine.

Grand River Bar & Grill: State alums know Grand River as the main drag along campus. But it's also the name of this Lincoln Avenue bar (where Lennox Lounge used to reside) which smatters Spartan references throughout the menu, such as the bacon-laden Breslin Center burger.

More Spartan bars: Higgins' Tavern, O'Malley's West, Plan B Bar and Kitchen

University of Minnesota
Redmond's: The Minnesota alumni club must be quite powerful, as we've seen them refuse to turn on other games because they had to fulfill their quota of TV screens on the Gopher game in order to remain affiliated. While that's not cool, the multitude of screens, especially the big screens in the back, make this a comfortable viewing experience.

More Gopher bars: Red Ivy

Northwestern University
Tommy Nevin's Pub: It's the next best thing to being at the Wildcats game ... actually, probably better, since they serve booze here.

Lion Head Pub: Get $7 Miller Lite pitchers during all tournament games. And if you're a Northwestern fan, you're probably gonna need a lot of 'em.

Other Wildcat bars: Trinity Bar, Goose Island Brewery, Mullen's on Clark, Purple Haze

Ohio State University
Ohio State
Casey Moran's: As their fans would say, this is THE place to watch THE Ohio State University. And you wonder why nobody likes Buckeye fans.

Other Buckeye bars: Gaslight Bar and Grille, McGee's, Mickey's, Mystic Celt, Players Grill, Redmond's, Vaughan's Pub

Penn State University
Penn State
Flounder's: As if the 15 flat screens and $4 burger and fries deal (every day before 6 p.m.) aren't enough, the place also has free ping pong! Also, look for a few Nittany Lion-themed menu items, like the Happy Valley hummus.

More Nittany Lion bars: Dark Horse Tap and Grille, Gamekeepers

Purdue University
Smoke Daddy: Owner Josh Rutherford is a former Boilermaker mascot, so you know the place will be decked out in black-and-gold. Enjoy $4 Bud Light mugs and $7 imported mugs (22 ounces)during all tournament games, along with a Purdue-themed menu that includes Purdue Pete's Pulled Pork Sandwich.

More Boiler bars: Durkin's

University of Wisconsin
Will's Northwoods Inn: You'd be crazy if you thought this Badger State tribute bar would root for anybody else (except for Marquette, of course).

More Badger bars: Waterhouse, Redmond's

More: March Madness specials


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