There is only one meaningful football game left to be played this season, and the Super Bowl is going to come and go faster than we know it. But that doesn't mean sports fans have to hibernate for winter only to emerge from our holes just in time for March Madness. The college basketball season is in full swing, and Myrtle Beach has a proud hoops history and great sports bars to match.
Home of the Beach Ball Classic, a nationwide high school hoops tournament that has featured some of the top future NBA and college stars in basketball history (do the names Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace and Vince Carter ring a bell?), Myrtle Beach is hopping with hoops fans. And because so many Grand Strand visitors and transplants hail from all over the country, there is a broad fan base that creates a fun and festive environment for college basketball games.
With the heart of ACC country just over the Carolina border and in the Upper State with Clemson, and with SEC fan followings for South Carolina, Kentucky and other schools from the Deep South, there's a bit of a built in rivalry. But throw in some Big Ten, Big East and other conferences and you've got a great hoops background. And don't forget local school Coastal Carolina, which has reached the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons and won a first-round game in 2015.
The result is a number of great sports bars where you can soak up all the high-flying action and the hoops environment. Although there's a good chance you can find your home team's game on the TV cable lineup in your room at Compass Cove, or at any small bar and restaurant that has a couple of screens, there are a few places around town that are absolute slam dunks when it comes to catching college basketball games. Here are our top five local sports bars for a helping of hoopla:
- Broadway Louie's: Broadway at the Beach's Celebrity Square is best known for its dance clubs and the party scene, but it is also home to one of the best sports bars on the strand. This spacious, two-story facility is divided between an arcade that has lots of video and table games and a sports bar with dozens of big screen TVs tuned to different games. Fans of all types sport their school colors and enjoy food and drink specials during tournament time and special big-game nights.
- Bumstead's Pub: Head downtown to this English pub if you are having a hard time finding your team on TV. Bumstead's carries them all, and the private booths feature their own built-in televisions that allow you and your party to control the volume and change the channel to the game of your choice. The adjoining Dagwood's Deli serves the fattest sandwiches on the Strand and Bumstead's has an extensive selection of food and imported beers to help wet your whistle.
- Handley's Pub: Located in Carolina Forest near the Coastal Carolina University campus, this English-style pub becomes an American hoops hotbed when the hometown Chanticleers play. Offering indoor and outdoor seating, Handley's turns off the soccer and turns on the other kind of roundball on big game nights, especially when the chants are in action. Handley's also has billiards, darts and other fun activities such as trivia nights to keep you busy before and after your game.
- King Street Grill: Located a short distance away at Market Common, this regional chain out of Charleston, SC, offers excellent food and a festive atmosphere. The friendly staff wears their favorite team's uniforms and crowds gather around the big screens in the bar area to root for their side. Patrons can also see the games while enjoying dinner in a quieter setting. King Street has a large patio deck outside that is open when weather permits, but space heaters and outdoor TVs make this the best spot for viewing.
- Overtime Sports Cafe: This two-story sports bar is designed to look like an arena, and it really does feel like stepping into all the action. A wall of TVs is located near the bar and virtually every inch of space is occupied by TVs or sports gear. In fact, Overtime offers a small sports museum filled with memorabilia, as well as an arcade where you can get competitive with friends and family. The food menu is impressive, ranging from the usual sports bar fare of wings and nachos to an authentic surf and turf feast.
Whether your team wins or loses, you are sure to finish the day happy by staying and playing at Compass Cove. With clean and comfortable accommodations, a long list of luxurious amenities and a wonderful location on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront, everyone is a winner at Compass Cove Resort.