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Is Your Alma Mater in the Sweet 16? Here's Where to Watch The Games

By  David Matthews and Tanveer Ali | March 25, 2015 5:48pm 

 A typical gameday at Will's Northwoods Inn in Lakeview.
A typical gameday at Will's Northwoods Inn in Lakeview.
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LINCOLN PARK — It's still March Madness for the bars supporting the teams still hooping in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

DNAinfo has compiled its own bracket of bars tied to the universities playing in this week's Sweet 16 games (see below).

With the final rounds of the tournament quickly approaching, DNAinfo decided to examine how a bar in Roscoe Village can get affiliated with, say, UCLA

Some, like Wichita State hangout Crew Bar+Grill in Uptown, are owned by proud alumni. Others simply cater to their crowd, or the crowd comes to them.

Sedgwick's, 1935 N. Sedgwick St., used to host watch parties for the Duke Blue Devils but now supports the Michigan State Spartans, said general manager and MSU alum Mario Davila. The process to become a recognized alumni hangout is not too complicated, he said.

"You're contacted by the alumni association," he said.

The Lincoln Park haunt will serve $6 Irish Car Bombs and $5 green stadium cups during Sparty's game Friday night against Oklahoma. Davila joked when asked about a hypothetical Duke/MSU Final Four matchup at the bar.

"There [will be] a big fight," he quipped.

Nearly 4,000 Duke alumni call Chicago home, and the Blue Devils' official watch parties are now at LP Stadium, 2423 N. Clark St.

Dave Schmidt, a former Chicagoan and assistant director for regional engagement for the Durham, N.C.-based Duke Alumni Association, said their process is also simple. The main factors for choosing a bar, he said, are access to public transportation and whether the bar will play games with sound.

"It's like 'check these five bars and see if any of them are willing to do it,' " Schmidt said. "It's hard to find one that doesn't already have Michigan State allegiance. [Seemingly] everyone in Chicago is from Michigan or Wisconsin."

Side Street Saloon, 1456 W. George St., has many Michiganders on staff and once catered to a big Spartan crowd, said co-owner Joanne Grubich. She recalled playing many Auburn games for fans recently and oftentimes, like many bars, Side Street's viewing options are dictated by its crowd.

"We turn on whatever games people want," she said.

Check out our bracket of Sweet 16 college bars below:

(DNAinfo/Tanveer Ali)

This story has been corrected to reflect that UCLA's watch party will be held at Commonwealth, 2000 W. Roscoe St. 

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