Sick days, half days: Roanoke basketball fans do whatever it takes to watch the game

Fans packed into a Roanoke sports bar to watch March Madness tournament

By Lindsey Kennett - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - Basketball fans are doing whatever it takes to catch their favorite games, even calling out from work.

Fans started filing into AllSports Cafe in Roanoke at lunchtime.

Alan Varney says all he needs is beer, a barstool and a basketball game -- or two or three -- to enjoy the tournament.

"There's not much better than to take half a day off on a Friday and be able to watch the ball games. It doesn't get a whole lot better than that," Varney said.

Bartender Kaitlyn Piscioneri says they're stocking up on food, beer and tuning almost all the TVs into the tournament.

"We're definitely going to be busy with the Virginia game, the Duke game, I think Tech plays. It's in the name: March Madness," said Piscioneri.

Varney is rooting for University of North Carolina, but he tries to catch all the games.

"College basketball: pretty much of a diehard fan. If there's a game on and I have time, I'll watch it," Varney said.

Even though Varney is a Tar Heels fan, he didn't pick his team to win it all.

"Oh, unfortunately, I picked Duke," Varney said. "As a Carolina fan that hurts to say that, but yeah I had to."

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