The fiercest, most exhilarating playoff format in U.S. competitive sports is once again upon us! March Madness brings 68 teams from around the country together to compete in an all-out sprint for the title of the year’s best collegiate basketball team–and this year’s tournament is full of Alabama universities. Birmingham’s basketball heroes at UAB won the Conference USA tournament to earn a #12 seed and a game against Houston on March 18th. They’ll be joined in the 2022 bracket by Alabama (#6 seed), Auburn (#2), and Jacksonville State (#15). Every Alabama-based team is playing their first game in the tournament on Friday, with JSU and Auburn even playing against each other! That game is at 11:40am, with Alabama playing Notre Dame at 3:15 followed by UAB at 8:20pm. Fortunately for interested Birminghamians, there’s a plethora of ideal locations in the city to take in this annual greatness that turns aspiring collegiate athletes into household names who have their names written into the lores of legends. Here are a few of our favorites.

Iron City

Iron City has continued to impress as UAB’s official watch party host, and Friday should be no exception. Image from UAB Athletics

Where else is appropriate to watch the Blazers take on the Cougars besides the official watching party host for UAB basketball? With a gloriously gigantic television screen, world-famous air conditioning, and a seriously impressive food and beverage menu featuring all the favorite locals brews, this music venue is a great candidate as your host to root, root, root for the home team. Their two-level seating arrangement makes for plenty of space for all who choose to join Iron City for the Friday games.

Otey’s Tavern

It’s easy to see that Otey’s takes their sports-watching seriously–and we’re all the better for it. Image from Otey’s

This famed Mountain Brook establishment is known for bringing great times to the city through every possible method. Everything from their music festivals to trivia and holiday celebrations are centered around good times and great service, and March Madness is no exception to the fun. They will be showing games the whole tournament with their impressive screen selection, and have a quite tasty food and beverage selection. We’d make sure to stop by the tavern for at least one day of basketball heaven. 

Avondale Brewing Company 

We could write a thousand words about why Avondale is the perfect March Madness watching destination, but nothing will be more convincing than this picture. Image from Avondale

There isn’t a better screen to watch basketballs in Birmingham on than the massive beauty found at Avondale Brewing. The 41st Street fixture will be playing the games on Friday, and just about every March Madness duel that’s not playing on the same night as a concert in the impressive backyard venue (only March 19, 23, and 26 are currently booked). Their wonderful selection of beers pairs nicely with the brewery’s primary food truck (Avondale Burger Co.), and meals brought from surrounding Avondale restaurants like Luna, Post Office Pies, the Travis food truck often found outside of Saturn, Becky’s Deli, Saw’s, and Taco Morro Loco can be brought inside. 


There are only so many bars in Birmingham that let you pretend to be on your favorite team while you watch them in the tournament at the same time. Image from Unsplash

Paramount is not only the ideal bar for refreshing drinks and delicious burgers, chicken, dogs, and more that go with watching a basketball game–but they may be the only establishment in Birmingham where customers can play the super fun arcade basketball game in between watching March Madness games. Pinball, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games, and racing adventures all provide the perfect entertainment for those who may have come to support their loved one’s teams, but need a little extra excitement during game #4 of the day.

Munchies on 5th

Munchies on 5th is ready to provide Birminghamians the game day experience they deserve. Image from Munchies.


One of the Magic City’s newest establishments is also one of the best options to take in this month’s basketball games. Munchies on 5th recently opened right down the road from Avondale Brewery in the old gas station space next to Taco Morro Loco. Ice cold drinks and great food are offered alongside screens to watch the match-ups, and rumor has it a mechanical bull is outside the business on occasions!

These are only a few of the many great Magic City locations to cheer on the Blazers, the Crimson Tide, the Tigers, the Gamecocks, root for lots of upsets, or pray for the team you believe will win the entire thing and take you to a bracket victory. We hope you have a good time watching, and let’s go UAB! 

Cover image from Pixabay