A Las Vegas Guide To March Madness

Wanna Go Mad This March? Do it in Vegas!

Are you crazy? You’re considering buying tickets, driving in snarled traffic, parking in Norway and landing beside a cheap drunk just to see a playoff game in person? Oh, and factor in beers, snacks—babysitter with state-of-the-art calculator—post-game brews and munchies? Hand over the plastic, Fool. You deserve more: Las Vegas is Mecca during the annual bacchanal of basketball worship dubbed March Madness. Nothing compares–especially if slots are already familiar with your fingerprints and you know pit bosses by name. Food? C’mon. The town’s a cruise ship run aground serving a perpetual buffet. ‘Nuff said? Start packing.

You Need a Playbook for March Madness in Vegas

Experience the ultimate in March Madness Las Vegas style by crafting a game plan early. Hotels, airlines, travel and tourist resources make no secret about their goal to lure you to town for the playoffs, so take advantage of their hard work by researching your options.

First, visit websites like Priceline, Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity or save time by heading straight to Kayak where the aforementioned websites are aggregated to save time, but you’ll still need strategies to secure Vegas flights on the cheap. How? Book early. Fall in love with red eye flights. Travel when nobody else wants to. Arrive a day early or leave a day late.

Do your homework and be rewarded by the basketball gods interested in proving that you can get a four day playoff fix for a bit more than what you might have spent back home. Road trip? Always a possibility if the drive won’t morph you into a crabby curmudgeon.

Dude, Get a Room

The folks helping you snag airline deals (above) can also get you a bed for four nights during March Madness—as if you’re going to hit the sheets. Alternately, bundle your transportation and hotel room to get the most bang for your book. Find deals by reading well-written travel articles like this one from Forbes, for ideas.

Alternately, put your travel agent cousin on speed dial if you work too many hours to do the legwork, but frankly, if your propensity for basketball gaming has been kicked into high gear, you might enjoy the booking game as much as you look forward to March Madness in Vegas.

Finally, you already know that the road to the playoffs in Vegas must first be paved with respectable amounts of groveling, creative excuses for your absence from work that management will buy and a cover story for friends you’d like to leave home, right?

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Party Like It’s 1965

Attend MGM Grand March Madness by being sly: Show up at betting windows on Wednesday–before the action begins on Thursday. Flush? Reserve a private sky box at the Grand’s Race & Sports Book and expect a great seat for every game on the league schedule via huge screens. Food and beverages? Bountiful. Call 1.800.776.7824 for more details.

If basketball playoffs in Vegas tops your bucket list, what are you waiting for? Carmine’s is the place to land for nonstop Italian food and beverages while you and your buds slouch, slump, snooze and snack in comfy recliners while playoff basketball dominates your senses. Sure it’s pricey. But what part of bucket list do you not understand? Get current details at 702.473.9700.

The Las Vegas Hotel (LVH) can make you feel like a high roller during March Madness. Show up at Hoops Central with 1,499 of your closest basketball fanatics and see how far a buck stretches. Cheap eats offer 24-hour sustenance–$2 dogs and $2 beers—and there’s no admission fee to get in! But come early. Doors open at 8 a.m. except on Sunday, when you’ll be in church anyway.

The ongoing playoff party at the Hard Rock Hotel comes with a flat fee at The Joint, an enclave for men who live and die by March Madness. A 3-day package includes four giant screens showing every playoff game, all the beer you can consume and still focus, giveaways and even Bud Light models. Book a suite or a room and expect VIP treatment. Get the skinny at 800.343.4346.

March Madness 101

Don’t be embarrassed to admit that your understanding of sports betting lingo matches your insights on how your teen thinks. Lots of newbies bone up on betting vocabulary before March Madness. Scour library or bookstore shelves for guides on sports betting or peruse sites like sportsgambling.com.

Of importance during March Madness: Learn the lingo so when someone starts talking point spread, laying points, betting totals (overs/unders), parlays, teasers, the language of odds and standard bookie’s fees, you don’t develop a deer in the headlights look.

That stated, your new, best Vegas friends will probably be happy to show off their expertise, so buy them beers while you grill them on terminology–and make sure you take their e-mail addresses so you can arrange a rendezvous with your new crew same time, next year.

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     License: Image author owned
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By Brett Dugan

Elizabeth Crane

Elizabeth Crane grew up not wearing a helmet, drinking from the hose and not wearing a seat belt. She managed to survive and now spends her time developing websites, drinking coffee, and eating chocolate.

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