March Madness: College hoops fans ditch work to watch NCAA tournament

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – March Madness is here and chances are you know somebody who is playing hooky from work to take in the college hoops action.

Tess Rafols met several such people at the new Marjerele’s Sports Grill in Scottsdale. Some of them, including one man who said he’s been lying to wife for a decade, hid once the camera was rolling.

He said he purposely takes off Thursdays and Fridays, but he dresses for work and pretends that is where he’s going when he really goes to a sports bar to watches the games.

The Scottsdale Marjerle’s, one of many bars and restaurant showing the games, has about three dozen televisions with plans for six more in the works. The goal is to eventually have between 40 and 50 TVs.

The restaurant opened Thursday and was packed with people cheering for their favorite schools.

“There was about a seven- or eight-hour stretch when you couldn’t even move,” said A.J. Sulka, Marjerle’s president and managing partner (and our Yetta Gibson’s husband). “It’s cool to sit and enjoy watching everybody getting into it. ... Yesterday, there were three or four buzzer-beaters, and everybody loved it."

The second round of the NCAA tournament continues Friday with 16 games, including match-ups featuring the last three top seeds.

The newest Marjerle's restaurant is located at 4425 N. Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale.