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March Madness: 1st weekend compared to 2nd

Discussion in 'The Sports Book' started by scott8175, Feb 13, 2013.

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  1. scott8175

    scott8175 Low-Roller

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    Was thinking about a march madness trip for next year (never been there for it)....I know the 1st weekend is supposed to be crazy busy, but how does the 2nd weekend compare? Is it still just as busy, or would it be a nice alternative for some smaller crowds/lower prices? Thanks.
     
  2. Iu25

    Iu25 High-Roller

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    I would think it would be about half as packed as the first weekend. I know I was there for the final four and natl championship in 2010 and it was busy, but nothing out of the ordinary. It was also the same week as the broadcaster convention and the country music awards at MGM. I really expected it to be crazy on Sunday night with the awards, but I was in Aria later in the evening and it was basically dead. Cocktail waitress just kept coming around and bringing me drinks whether i needed them or not. I will be out for the Elite Eight this year, which is also Easter, so I am expecting a slower than usual trip. Which is perfectly fine with me!
     
  3. Flopitbaby

    Flopitbaby Low-Roller

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    I have been going with buddies for 28 years to March Maddness. For the first 25 years we would go on the first weekend which is very busy and alot of fun. We decided to change to the second weekend 3 years ago and have no intention of going back to the first. Below are the pluses of both in my opinion however with you being a Bear fan you more than likely will not listen to a Packer fans advice.

    1st week: Tons of non stop action games Thurs - Sunday, Larger crowds.

    2nd week: Rooms cheaper, smaller crowds, easier to find good viewing areas for games but a lot less games to watch. We have found that only having games for a portion of each day lets us enjoy Vegas ! Hope this helps but you will have a blast no matter which one you pick.
     
  4. scott8175

    scott8175 Low-Roller

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    Packer fan huh? I'll let it slide just this once....thanks for the advice
     
  5. golfguy

    golfguy Tourist

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    I have been to the 2nd weekend for the last 9 years, but I haven't been to the first weekend. So I can't compare... BUT: The second weekend is great. Like the previous guy mentioned, it splits up your day so that you have basketball for about 5-6 hours, and whatever-you-want for the rest. Personally, I don't like the idea of getting up at 7-8am to stake out a place to watch the games during the first week.

    There aren't huge viewing parties during the 2nd weekend, but if you're into prop bets, you'll see alot of those especially during the Elite 8.

    Also, I'm a Vikings fan, so looks like you have to rely on some enemies for advice. :evillaugh
     
  6. scott8175

    scott8175 Low-Roller

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    any Lions fans want to chime in...lol
    Thanks for the help though
     
  7. tmaas21

    tmaas21 Low-Roller

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    Here's another idea --- one that we stumbled onto about 7 years ago.

    Instead of going on Opening Weekend of March Madness, consider the weekend before. Great games in the Major Conference Tourneys. The actual basketball played is most often of a higher quality than what you'll get in a 1-16 matchup on opening weekend.

    It's not for everyone...but it works for us.

    This year, because of the school calendar, we are forced to go a week earlier --- putting us there the weekend of the small conference tourneys and the last regular season games of the major conferences. We will see how that goes.
     
  8. Bossplayer21

    Bossplayer21 Low-Roller

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    Lion fan here...

    I've been the opening weekend twice now and I must say I am a little sick of it. I can't find a place to sit that doesn't already have a reserved sign on it, nor do I like having to get up at 6am to get a spot (talked to some of those that have seats) If you have never experienced it before, I would start with the opening weekend but you might find it is much to crazy to relax and watch basketball.
     
  9. h_upmann

    h_upmann Low-Roller

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    For a Vegas trip, I prefer the 2nd weekend (Sweet Sixteen).
    8 games over 4 days is perfect for me.
    Also fewer yahoos in town.
     
  10. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Sooooo true..... The first weekend is packs of guys who are alums of Cornell or some team that's gonna make a first round exit. They know they're not going far and they show-up just to get drunk and act like idiots. OK... isn't that the point of Vegas? Yeah, but they take amateur hour to a new level...

    Second week is a lot more fun!

    PS... and before someone says it, I know Cornell made it to the 2nd round a couple years ago.
     
  11. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Second weekend of MM is busy, but not as busy as the first (nor is it half as busy, either). The books are still packed, but there are fewer games. The first weekend, people start showing up at the books by 7am. Second weekend, it doesn;t get going until the afternoon
     
  12. Flopitbaby

    Flopitbaby Low-Roller

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    12 games over 4 days. 4 Thursday, 4 Friday, 2 Saturday and 2 Sunday. FYI
     
  13. h_upmann

    h_upmann Low-Roller

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    Doh! Right you are. Also sixteen minus four;-)
     
  14. Grasp

    Grasp Low-Roller

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    IMO first weekend is way better, hands down. It's non-stop action and the town is electric like no other time. Second weekend is fun as well, but more comparable to a normal weekend during college / NFL football season. If you're looking for an "experience" then it's MM first weekend. If you want a bunch of college BBall in less crazy atmosphere, then second weekend or the weekend before would be your best options.
     
  15. wisconsin terp

    wisconsin terp Tourist

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    I have been to all 3 of the weekends mentioned. I think it really depends on how much basketball you really want to see. If your idea of perfection is spending 12 hours watching college basketball than both conference and 1st round weekends are great. If you only want 4 hours without the pizzaz then the sweet sixteen round is fine but really like any other weekend out in Vegas. As for me I always take at least a whole week off and come for conference tourney weekend and stay for the first round. I LOVE college bball and this year I am excited to be able to go to some live bball as well as I strecthed my trip to 11 days. Without a doubt there is nothing as exciting and fun as the thursday and friday of the first round of the NCAA tourney. There is electricity, festive parties, large groups of fans. I'm not really a "people person" but I still love theses two days. I would never pass up these days to do the sweet sixteen round. In fact I would always chose conference tourney weekend before sweet sixteen weekend, bit neither hold a candle to opening weekend.
     
  16. numeno

    numeno VIP Whale

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    100% agree.


    I started off going the 2nd weekend. I enjoyed it and did that for 2-3 years. Then one year some family weren't going. They were the main push for the 2nd weekend since they did a MM party at home the first weekend. The rest of us switched that year to the first weekend and have had no reason to switch back.

    The number of games, and just in general the excitement was noticeable. It is great having 4 games going on at all times on Thurs/Fri. This isn't for everyone though. It is clearly more difficult getting seats and near impossible if you are a larger group. This is a big problem for many. But you do have the option of watching basketball from 10am all the way to 10pm.

    While the same is true the next weekend, on Thurs/Fri you may end up with a few 2 hour blocks with a game that just isn't interesting to watch. 4 games vs 16 games is just so big of a difference. This can happen the first weekend, it is just rarer. Sat/Sun was the bigger issues for me at least. It is the Elite 8 and only 2 games going on each day.



    A few have mentioned it above and I'll repeat it. You still have a lot of the excitement just because these games tend to matter a little more. It isn't bad, it just depends on what you are looking for. I doubt I will ever go for the 2nd weekend after seeing the 1st.

    You still get some nice games without it taking over every book/sports bar. So if you are there for more than just basketball, there is more time and it is much easier to do those things. It is still a nice weekend to go. I would compare it to an average NFL weekend at the sports books. 1st weekend I imagine is closer to the Super Bowl(never been to Vegas then though).



    I understand pricing can be a problem for many. I am able to fly on odd days(Mon/Tues) so flights are ok for me. Hotels have been booked for 9+ months through CET website. It helps this year that many spring breaks are actually the week before march madness.
     
  17. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    We stumbled upon the conference tourneys last year and had a much better experience than envisioned. We had done the first weekend of MM and enjoyed it, but it is way, way too crowded.
    The conference championships had plenty of excitement for us and will continue to be the route we follow.

    We also do the college football conference championships the first weekend in December. Works perfect with the pro games the next day.
     
  18. Shot Clock

    Shot Clock Tourist

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    I've done the first weekend and F4 weekend before. Never again for the 1st weekend. Just way too many people and a total sausage fest - I think every dude from west coast colleges have their spring break then and flood LV.

    I love the first weekend of MM, but would much rather watch it from home.

    F4 weekend was nice. Pretty relaxed. No need to get up early for the games.

    I'd like to try the S16/E8 weekend once. Should be less crazy/packed than the first weekend. Still a good number of games to watch and bet on. Plus the games don't start really early (late afternoon for the S16, early-mid afternoon for the E8).
     
  19. OhioStateAlum

    OhioStateAlum Low-Roller

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    I really liked the second weekend last year; had a blast. I haven't been for the first weekend to compare though. The second weekend is always going to have some big time programs going at it, which is great for a basketball fan. I love the excitement of the opening weekend, but when it comes time for the Sweet 16 and (especially) Elite 8, I want to see two great teams line up against one another. Last year we got to see Kansas vs North Carolina, Kentucky vs Indiana, Ohio State vs Syracuse, etc while we were out there. Overall, I'd imagine that the first weekend is better in terms of quantity, and the second better in terms of quality, while still having a decent quantity.
     
  20. Bookem Dano

    Bookem Dano Tourist

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    I've done all three weekends. The first two are both great in their own ways. I agree with being able to do some other things during sweet 16 weekend like golf or gambling without feeling like you're missing any great games. I've always loved the crowds and chaos of the first weekend but with the increase in fees for that weekend at all the major casinos it may be time to go back to sweet 16 week. I can never go back for final four after being out there for the half court shot by Duhon against UConn. And being on the wrong end of that one. Worst beat I ever had.
     
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