The month that college basketball fans feverishly await is here. The NCAA tournament finals will once again captivate the country. If your main goal is to catch all the college basketball action this playoff season, check out one of these five sports bars in the greater Sacramento area to catch the hoops.
Hours: Mon to Fri – 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sat to Sun – 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Part of the extremely popular Paragary’s Group, R15 Bar has become a beloved spot with Sacramento locals. With its creative Scrabble tile “R” logo, you might miss the fact that it is one of the best spots to catch televised sports in the city. With 14 different 42 inch TVs, R15 has got you covered for everything college basketball related.
If you are looking for a special spot for all your buddies to hang during the championship game, the SKYYBox is also available for private events and can be custom catered to seated events of 22 and cocktail parties of up to 50 fans. There is a private bar and wine list as well. Contact R15 for availability and rates on the SKYYBox.
Hours: Daily – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Players Sports Pub & Grill in Far Oaks is the go to place for serious sports watching. It features 36 HD TV’s, three big screens, and 11 satellites. Yes, 36 HD TV’s under one roof. If you need a break between games, they have Xbox and other video games, Foosball and dart boards. If you need to get some work done, free Wi-Fi is a nice perk.
There is a second location called, Players Pub, that has a sports bar type menu and features a big screen TV and 11 other TVs, 10 pool tables, shuffleboards, dart boards, and an air hockey table if you are looking for even more to do before or after the game(s).
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Hours: Mon – 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Tues – Wed – 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Thurs – 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Fri – 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sat – Sun – 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Clubhouse 56 is regarded by many in Sacramento as the best spot for watching sports. The selection of beers may not be as extensive as other bars, but with the size of their big screen TV’s most people hardly notice. With a giant projection screen TV that extends from floor to ceiling and other flat screen TV’s, Clubhouse 56 is able to keep patrons happy by keeping on multiple games and different types of sporting events.
Hours: Mon to Fri – 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sat – 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sun – 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Considered to be a neighborhood dive bar by most, Cheaters is the place to go for no frills and all game. It doesn’t have fancy decor or a menu, but what Cheaters does have is cheap drinks, draught beer and loads of sports on TV. It’s dark, somewhat “seedy” by some standards, making it a great place to watch a game and enjoy a beer. The regulars are friendly, the bartenders even friendlier, and the popcorn is often free.
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Hours: Daily – 9:30 a.m to 2 a.m.
Head out to Folsom for the FLB Sports Bar, which will be carrying all the college basketball action. The locals’ favorite has 36 TVs, including 22 flat screens and four 60″ plasma ones. With five different satellites, a 6000 watt Bose sound system, two bars, and 16 beers on tap.
Between games, relax on the outdoor heated patio, shoot a game of pool on one of three pool tables, or try your hand at darts. FLB has something the other bars mentioned here don’t — several casino games. Saddle up and try a round of Texas Hold’em or 21 “No Bust” Blackjack 24/7 after the game.
Erin De Santiago is a freelance travel and food/wine writer and photographer from Sacramento, California. She is a regional membership coordinator for the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) and writes for a number of publications in addition to publishing her own blogs. She has traveled to over 40 countries on five continents in search of the best food and wine around the globe. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.