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5 Best Sports Bars to Watch the NCAA Tournament

04/03/2015 04:24 pm ET | Updated Jun 03, 2015

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With the Division I Championship right around the corner, things are heating up fast in men's college basketball. Of course, a pitcher of beer and a basket of wings can only add to the excitement, which is why we've compiled this list of the best sports bars across the country. From classic neighborhood joints to sleek gastropubs, our favorites all share a few common features -- great food, big TVs (the more the better) and a lively atmosphere that draws you into the action.

The 40/40 Club

New York City, NY

This sleek New York lounge from hip hop artist-entrepreneur Jay-Z features memorabilia-lined walls and state-of-the-art LED TV displays that bring the game to your barstool. Hungry sports fans can choose from a menu of upscale pub fare, including pizza, chicken empanadas and catfish fingers served with Cajun rémoulade.

Bobby Valentine's Sports Gallery Cafe

Stamford, CT

Bobby Valentine's Sports Gallery Cafe is no ordinary bar -- it's a shrine to one of the city's favorite sons, former baseball player and Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. When a good game is on, sports fans flock to this Stamford institution for wings, Italian meatballs and lively pub action.

Ricky's Sports Theatre & Grill

San Leandro, CA

Located just down the bay from Oakland, this renowned sports bar may be famous for its diehard Raiders fans, but you can be sure to catch every minute of the NCAA Tournament on its 100-plus television screens. No matter which team you root for, everyone can agree on Ricky's famous Game Day Burgers and stuffed potato skins.

Sluggers World Class Sports Bar & Grill

Chicago, IL

Located on Chicago's North Side, adjacent to Wrigley Field, this neighborhood hang is a favorite with locals thanks to its indoor batting cages, extensive game room and many pool tables. Stick around after the game for deep-dish pizza and, on Friday and Saturday nights, dueling pianos.

STATS

Atlanta, GA

If you've ever missed a big play while trying to order a drink, STATS feels your pain -- which is why the forward-thinking gastropub lets guests pour their own beer at built-in table taps. Add Asian-inspired ribs and taquería-style tacos, and it's easy to see why Atlanta's sports radio station, 680 The Fan, occasionally broadcasts live from the bar.

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