The B-Side

The Madness has started 🏀

Plus: ❄️ Nor’easter updates

The B-Side
Welcome to The B-Side, the daily dose of news you actually want to hear. Katie Cole

It’s Tuesday, Boston.

🍕 It’s also Pi Day! You know, like the number. So if you’re looking to celebrate with a pizza pie, Boardwalk Pizza and Rina’s Pizzeria are offering $3.14 slices today. Not an ad, just want you to capitalize on holiday deals (no matter the legitimacy of the holiday). 

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Nor’easter updates 
  • Boston Artisan Market
  • City’s oldest Irish pub

Up first…


Let the Madness begin

Image: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The NCAA March Madness basketball tournament starts today. And even if you don’t know a thing about college basketball, you might still feel a moral obligation to create a bracket since it feels like everyone is doing it. Plus, former Gov. Charlie Baker is in charge of it all now that he’s NCAA President (another fun reason to follow along). 


So whether you’re a die-hard or bandwagon fan, here’s what you need to know:

❤️ The local favorites. a.k.a. The teams you should probably root for to start. The men’s and women’s teams from the University of Vermont and UConn both made the tournament, as did Providence College’s men’s squad and Holy Cross’ women’s squad (the only team repping Mass. in the tourney!). You can take a look at the men’s and women’s schedules to see when they play. 

🏆 The tournament favorites. On the men’s side, the University of Houston is currently favored to win it all, with Kansas (last year’s winner), Alabama, Purdue, and UCLA also with decent odds, according to BetMGM. On the women’s side, South Carolina (last year’s winner) is favored to take home the trophy again, but UConn, Stanford, and Iowa will be solid contenders, too. And if you love a Cinderella story, keep an eye out for these teams who may very well derail your bracket if you’re taking the safe route.  


📺 Where to watch. If you’re working downtown, High Street Place is a great lunch break spot with its 30-foot LED video wall playing multiple games at once. At Lily P’s Chicken & Oysters in Cambridge, you can also vote in their fried chicken March Madness bracket starting today for the chance to win a $50 gift certificate. But if you just want to watch the games at a bar without any fuss, you can never go wrong with this list of classic spots

🤑 Where to bet. Mobile sports betting launched last week in Mass., so you’ll have the option to throw down some money on your favorites from the comfort of your couch. You can use any of these six operators for mobile betting or head to any of the three Mass. casinos for in-person betting. May the odds be ever in your favor.


Quick & dirty headlines

Image: Erin Clark/Globe Staff

❄️ The latest nor’easter news. Those of us in the Boston area should start seeing some snowflakes this morning that will pick up throughout the afternoon. We’re now expecting 2 to 6 inches of heavy wet snow in the Boston area with potentially more north and west of the city. Plus, wind gusts of up to 55 mph could lead to downed trees and power lines, so make sure you’re stocked up on food and stay home if you can. Utility companies are bracing for power outages, so here are some reminders in case you’re in the dark. Keep up with the latest forecast on the National Weather Service’s Twitter


🐻 It’s hungry bear szn. March is typically when bears come out of hibernation, and Mass. officials are warning that they may be on the hungrier side given last fall’s short supply of acorns and other nuts. Translation: Take down your bird feeders, secure your trash, and feed your pets indoors. Even though Mass. is one of the most densely populated states in the country, black bear numbers have been increasing over the years. So if you live in Worcester County, northern Middlesex County, the Berkshires, and even some parts of eastern Mass. along 495, look alive!

🎨 A new market is coming to Boston. Mayor Wu announced the launch of the Boston Artisan Market (BAM) opening this Friday at City Hall Plaza. Through May 6, the market will feature Boston-based vendors and designers showcasing their clothing lines, skincare products, jewelry, and more. The market will kick off every weekend with a “Fashion Fridays” event highlighting local models, influencers, and DJs. Plus, the Ratata Chimi Food Truck will be on site serving authentic Dominican cuisine. You can see the full schedule here

🎶 Time to book your summer concert tickets. Drake is bringing his “It’s All a Blur” tour to TD Garden this summer on July 11 and 12, his first Boston appearance since 2018. Presale starts on March 15 and general sale begins on March 17. But if you’re more into the classics, the Boston Symphony Orchestra just announced its Tanglewood Summer Season, including its Popular Artist Series featuring performances from the NPR Show “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!,” Alison Krauss, Train, and more. You can buy your tickets here.


Boston’s oldest Irish pub

It’s St. Paddy’s Day week, so some folks want to know: What’s Boston’s oldest Irish pub?


We’ve got plenty of them, but only J.J. Foley’s Cafe can proudly call itself the oldest in the city. They opened in the South End in 1909 and sit in the original spot over 110 years later, according to’s Wickedpedia. J.J. Foley’s was opened by Irish immigrant Jeremiah Foley and remains in the family today.

As for why it’s called a cafe, current owner Jerry Foley doesn’t really know, but thinks it may have something to do with Prohibition.

☘️ Thanks for reading! Speaking of Irish pubs, we’re putting together a list of the best places to pregame before the parade in Southie this weekend and want to know your fav spots. Respond to this email with your picks!

💃 Keep up with us @BostonBSide on IGTikTok, and Twitter. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected]