March comes alive with wall-to-wall basketball

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Entertainment,Robert Fulton

With March Madness underway, D.C.-based alumni groups from participating schools will be gathering at local watering holes to watch the games. If you're looking for friendly faces, contact the local alumni group of your university to see what's going on. Following is info for a handful of area alumni groups. All information and quotes were emailed by an alumni representative.

» Gonzaga University (vs. Southern 4:10 p.m. Thursday; zagsonline.org): Gonzaga is no longer Cinderella, but a top contender. Alumni will gather 30 minutes prior to tip-off at Maddy's Taproom (maddystaproom.com), where fans can get a Bulldog Shot made of peppermint and blackberry schnapps and cranberry juice. "Though we are far away from GU Campus, we are with them in spirit and supporting them 110 percent. We are Zags for life." - Christelle Gorman, Washington, D.C. Gonzaga Alumni Chapter president

» Virginia Commonwealth University (vs. Akron 9:45 p.m. Thursday; vcualumni.org/connect/dcchapter.html): Fans of this recent upstart will meet at the Greene Turtle (thegreeneturtle.com) in Ballston at 9:15 p.m. Enjoy food and drink specials. "Unlike previous years, the team is expected to go far in the tournament. We have a lot of expectations for Coach Smart and this team." - Eliano Younes, class of '11

» Duke (vs. Albany 12:15 p.m. Friday; dukedc.com): The Blue Devils gather at the Laughing Man Tavern (laughingmantavern.com). Enjoy the bar's regular happy hour, including special selected drinks with proceeds benefiting the university's Partners-in-Education Program. "People are trying to count us out, but if we play Duke Basketball, we all know that we have a team that's capable of going all the way." - Donald Wine II, regional co-chairman, Duke DC

» Miami (vs. Pacific 2:10 p.m. Friday; dccanes.com): Fans of the U will be comfortable at the Penn Quarter Sports Tavern (dcsportstavern.com), where there will be plenty of food and drink specials. "There's definitely an air of excitement surrounding this team that has been making history all season long." - Donald Wine II, president, DC Canes

» University of North Carolina (vs. Villanova 7:20 p.m. Friday; alumni.unc.edu): Two bars play host to UNC, Buffalo Billiards (dc.buffalobilliards.com) and Union Jack's in Ballston (unionjacksballston.com). Each will have food and drink specials, including Carolina Club offers. "The DC area has an incredibly large UNC alumni population who are dedicated basketball fans. If you can't watch on Franklin street in Chapel Hill, being with your DC Carolina family is the next best thing." - Cori Ahrens, class of '99, DC Carolina Club president

» Florida (vs. Northwestern 7:27 p.m. Friday; dcgators.com): The DC Gator Club calls both the Pour House (pourhousedc.com) on Capitol Hill and World of Beer (wobusa.com) in Arlington home. "The Gator Nation couldn't be prouder and our D.C. area alumni base of nearly 10,000 strong can't wait to gather on Friday night to cheer our boys on to victory." - Sean Taylor, president, Washington DC Gator Club

» Kansas (vs. Western Kentucky 9:50 p.m. Friday; kualumni.net): Kansas grads will find plenty of friendly faces at the Bottom Line (thebottomlinedc.com), where they offer Kansas City-brewed Boulevard Wheat on tap. "With a ninth straight conference title under its belt, and winners of five national titles, University of Kansas alumni are looking forward to another run to the Final Four. Rock Chalk!" - Ryan Colaianni, University of Kansas Alumni Association, Washington, D.C., Chapter leader

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