Sunday, March 16, 2014 | 2 a.m.
The two most popular questions in Las Vegas before the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament revolve around where to watch and where to bet.
The easy answer: everywhere. Especially for recreational gamblers, every sports book will suffice with similar betting options. But for the sake of suggestion, we’ve picked three of our favorite viewing spots from years of taking in the madness and two unique betting contests that put a spin on traditional methods.
The Superbook hosts “Hoops Central” the first weekend of the tournament. The 1,500-capacity showroom airs the first four days of the tourney on theater-sized screens, with food and beverage specials, giveaways and satellite betting windows.
We go from “Hoops Central” to “Hoops Heaven,” which is an apt name for the party at the South Point. The property fills its Grand Ballroom with big screens, tables and even baskets for free-throw shooting contests. Cheap food and drinks are also available. (Full disclosure: Greenspun Media Group, which publishes The Sunday, is a sponsor of “Hoops Heaven.”)
Another can’t-miss viewing party, a Stratosphere ballroom is set up with walls of giant screens as well as betting stations, blackjack tables and free Wi-Fi.
Pick a winner against the spread every day of the tournament until no one else in the contest remains. Sound easy enough? Station Casinos’ Last Man Standing contest will pay a minimum of $50,000 for pulling off the feat. The payout will likely end up bigger depending on number of participants. Entries are $25 with a free one coming with the purchase of four.
William Hill sports books
William Hill’s Three-n-Out contest works the same way as “Last Man Standing” except anyone who makes it through all 12 days of the tournament without three losses wins a piece of the $25,000 guaranteed prize pool. Entries are $25 with a maximum of 10 per person.