See photos of NCAA March Madness games in Milwaukee

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March Madness left its mark on Milwaukee over the weekend. 

Fans traveled into town from across the country to cheer on the eight college basketball teams that faced off in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, held Friday and Sunday at Fiserv Forum.

Despite a strong showing by Wisconsin Badger fans, the team ultimately fell 54-49 to the Iowa State Cyclones in Sunday’s second-round match up. The Badgers beat the Colgate Raiders in the first round Friday night. 

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Iowa State will now advance to the Sweet Sixteen, along with the Purdue Boilermakers, who defeated the Texas Longhorns 81-71 also in Milwaukee Sunday. 

VISIT Milwaukee estimated the event would bring 18,000 visitors and $6.5 million in economic impact to the area. The Badgers took over Deer District with fan events throughout the weekend at Good City Brewing, the Mecca Sports Bar and Grill, and the newly reopened Punch Bowl Social. The team stayed at The Westin Milwaukee on North Van Buren Street.

Meanwhile, ISU’s alumni association held pre-game and watch parties at McGillycuddy’s on North Water Street, Mo’s Irish Pub on West Wisconsin Avenue, and SportClub on North Jefferson Street; the team stayed at The Hilton Milwaukee City Center.

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Purdue stayed at the Milwaukee Marriott Downtown on North Milwaukee Street, and the Texas Longhorns stayed at the Saint Kate Arts Hotel on East Kilbourn Avenue. 

March Madness is the latest high-profile sporting event to come to Milwaukee and the second time in five years that the city has hosted the tournament, most recently in 2017 at the Bradley Center. The next time Fiserv Forum will host the NCAA tournament is 2025.

This year’s March Madness games were co-hosted by Marquette University, whose Golden Eagles men’s basketball team lost 95-63 to the North Carolina Tar Heels Thursday in the first round of the tournament.

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