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Bar Madness Championship

And then there were two.... Adolf's Old First Ward Tavern (South Buffalo Division) v #2 Matinee (Downtown Buffalo Division)

It was a fierce matchup for the Final 4 teams. It's been a long road to get to this point and no one wants to say they didn't give it everything they had. As the old saying goes, "leave it all on the court". And leaving it all on the court is what the #13 seed and West Buffalo Division Champions, Casey's Black Rock, did. From the moment the ref tossed the ball into the air at tip off, Casey's Black Rock brought an intense offensive game to the court against the #2 seed and Downtown Buffalo Division Champions, Matinee. Both bars sent their fans into a frenzy as they dropped 3's from every angle. The point guards drove up the score quickly and showed no signs of slowing down. Head coaches could barely be heard over the roar of the crowd as the game grew more heated. With one minute left on the clock, the head coach for Casey's Black Rock was furious over the refs decision to blow the whistle on a charging call. Fans were on their feet booing as head coach Vincent stepped onto the court and got right into the refs face to protest the call. Whistles were blown and arms were waived. The broadcast was forced to take a TV timeout while refs worked to get the game back on track. With just under a minute left in game play, Matinee put the ball in play against Casey's full court press. Matinee moved the ball over the centerline as forwards switched sides under the net. The point guard faked right, faked the pass to the forward and sprung up for the 3...swoosh. Matinee goes up 5 points with seconds left on the clock. Casey's scrambled to get back down the court on offense but Matinee's defense came up big. As the final buzzer sounded, Matinee fans started to celebrate as they moved onto the final show. 

Matinee will go on to play the #1 seed and South Buffalo Division Champions, Adolf's Old First Ward Tavern. Adolf's comes into the final match-up after eliminating the #9 seed and North Buffalo Division Champions, Lloyd Taco Factory 813-151. With Cinco de Mayo fast approaching, Lloyd seemed to overlook their match up against the south Buffalo veteran bar. When the game's starting whistle blew, both teams showed a strong offensive and defensive strategy. "Lloyd with 2 points, Adolf's with 3 points, back to Lloyd with a 3". As the first half came to an end, it was obvious Lloyd Taco factory was looking fatigued. During the halftime interviews, Lloyd's captain on the court, and on the factory line, brought to light that their team was working double time, and they were exhausted from the 100 plus lunch orders placed at 12:01 the day before. Cameras got a sneak peak into the locker room for head Coach Yuri's team huddle. "Team, you know the level of play that I expect from every player, no matter who is in the game. This is a team effort. When we are not all on the same page, no one wins. We know our motto, to bring our best selves to the court everytime. If we stay consistent and play our game, we can win this thing. Team on 3, 1, 2, 3...TEAM!" The second half started with a quick surge of life from Lloyd, but they could not hold up against the powerhouse #1 seed. Adolf's offense moved the ball effortlessly around the court and stacked their lead. Lloyd fans cheered until the end and gave a well deserved standing ovation as the final whistle blew. 

Let's give a round of applause for both Casey's Black Rock and Lloyd Taco Factory, our West Buffalo and North Buffalo Division Champions. Both fought hard to make it this deep into the tournament. Casey's Black Rock had one of the strongest and most loyal fan bases in this tournament. Their passion is what fueled them to a final four appearance and being crowned champion of the West Buffalo Division. They represented the west region of the Queen City well and as a #13 seed were considered an underdog in this tournament. Their fans support is a testament to the heart and soul that has been poured into their establishment. Although the season may not have ended how many wanted, we hope the experience helped introduce their bar to a new audience. We know we will see them back here next year and expect to see that same chip on their shoulder! We look forward to enjoying a cold one soon, even if it requires spending some time in the penalty box upon our arrival. Lloyd Taco Factory has always represented Buffalo well on the national stage, and throughout this tournament they have done no different. When the Taco Factory opened in 2015 it turned what was only a name associated with food trucks and taco's to one that is now recognized amongst the best in the craft cocktail scene. The Factory has become an anchor along Hertel Avenue and helped spawn a wave of development along the strip. The level of hospitality that Lloyd brings sets the bar (pun intended) and is what makes each visit an enjoyable experience. We know this is not the last time we will see them make a deep run in the tournament, and with new facilities on the horizon, the sky's the limit.

We want to give a special thanks to the 64 bars that participated in our first ever Bar Madness. It's been a fun ride. You can check out more about them on our podcast On!core, Episodes 91 and 92. Get your vote in for the 2020 Bar Madness Champion on Facebook and Twitter and share away!



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