Here is a little piece I wrote for Travelvegas.com about the upcoming Pac 12 tournament in Las Vegas this week. I have a lot of readers that attended Pac 12 schools, are fellow Arizona Wildcats fans, or just love to eat, drink, party and be entertained in Las Vegas (shocker). Anyone going? I would be there but I am still trying to put my brain back in my head from my trip to Austin, Texas for the SXSW conference (yeah, not sure why they call it a conference because the only work I got done was trying to see how many vodka sodas I could drink with still being able to find my way back to my hotel without falling down on the side of the road). Good conference! Blog post to follow (once I can remember what happened).
While I am trying to access the part of my brain that holds valuable information (from when I am intoxicated) I feel that I would be doing my avid sports enthusiast self a disadvantage if I did not address college basketball. I can feel it is March because I have that college basketball itch! My beloved University of Arizona Wildcats is in the Pac 12 and the tournament is moving from the Los Angeles, Staples Center and relocating to the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The viewership of the tournament had declined in the last couple of years (which is obviously the reason I was able to get a seat in the front row at Staples last year) and the forces that be, believe moving the Pac 12 tournament to Las Vegas will attract more attention. I think they are right! This is yet another good reason to visit Las Vegas in March (as if you needed another reason). What better appetizer for College Basketball March madness than with PAC 12 tournament basketball.
The idea of moving the tournament is brilliant because now you can visit Las Vegas, watch a little college basketball, bet on the teams in person and collect your winnings all in the same trip. I have mentioned before that the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino is my favorite place to gamble in Las Vegas. If you are nice, maybe I will tell you the method to my madness at the slot machines (that is for another blog post). The MGM is home to so many fantastic sporting events including UFC fights and these people have hosting a large sporting event down to a science. They know how to get you in and get you out with ease and that is a blessing when you are amongst a large crowd of college basketball supporters in Las Vegas.
In the past, I have made fun of food bloggers because I don’t care what they are eating or even understand why people feel the urge to take pictures of their food. It is like saying – look I am a starving cow and these are how many calories I consume daily. I don’t want to know or really care. But, I do possess several talents and walking, eating, partying in Las Vegas are some of them. Why keep my secrets to myself? I am a giving person.
Obviously, if people are traveling to Las Vegas to watch their teams from outside of the city (UNLV is not in the Pac 12) then you should definitely take advantage and make a vacation out of the trip. Go get a massage in between games. The MGM spa is good and they have a great nut mixture in the waiting room. They do!
After you pick up your tickets at the box office, which is located outside the arena you will be in the heart of restaurant row. There are so many amazing restaurants in the MGM Grand that you will have to decide according to what type of food you feel like at that hour (then get a snack after the tournament somewhere else or the spa waiting room depending how much money you have left).
Diego Mexican cuisine is the fist restaurant you see and my parent’s favorite place for Margaritas! They are fantastic and can get you a little “happy” if you don’t watch how many of them you consume. Across from Diego’s is the Blizz frozen yogurt and crepes (you can’t go wrong here). The last time I went to Las Vegas I went to Tom Colicchio’s Crafsteak (his name was not on the restaurants signage until after Top Chef became a hit by the way). I was so impressed with my Caesars salad that I could actually almost say it was my favorite ever! I had the scallops and they were out of this world. The filet is a no-brainer here. Wolfgang Puck’s Bar and Grill is fantastic and if you are lucky enough to get the barley soup of the day you will know immediately what I am talking about. Pair that with the pizza and you are set. Shibuya is overrated and way too expensive (sorry L).
So, now you are fed, watered and entertained. How about a little gambling and a big Bear Down for the U of A Wildcats in the Pac 12 tournament? (There are two other basketball tournaments in town if you have any time left over).
Melany’s Guydline # 38 – When traveling to Las Vegas, don’t forget the nut mixture in the waiting room of the MGM spa. It comes in handy when you are hung-over, lose all your money and it can provide essential protein and vitamins to keep you moving without a traditional meal for at least 3 days (I know).
**Stay snarky my friends!**