The Beer Dance: Our Craft Beer March Madness Bracket

NEW ORLEANS ( MainStreet) -- Oh, the sports world has March Madness all right, but you know what March Madness doesn't have? Beer. Not one drop.

No Anheuser-Busch InBev ( BUD) and Budweiser signs scattered throughout arenas. No MolsonCoors ( TAP) ads imploring fans to tap the Rockies. Nothing. What the big guys see as a loss, however, should be craft beer's shot at a Cinderella Story.

The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament is the biggest event in a college sport played by athletes predominantly below the legal drinking age. The NCAA bans alcohol sales during all its championships except football's postseason and bowls -- which it doesn't run -- and limits alcohol ads to malt beverages, beer and wine products with a sessionable 6% alcohol by volume or less. Even at that, beer ads made up less than 6% of all advertising during last year's Final Four.

That means AT&T ( T), Capital One ( COF) and Coca-Cola ( KO) can splash their names all over the Big Dance without a care in the world while Bud and Coors have to watch the action from the cheap seats. If Allstate ( ALL), Lowe's ( LOW), Unilever ( UN), GM ( GM), UPS ( UPS) or even Hershey's ( HSY) come sniffing around for seats as corporate sponsor, the NCAA's answer is "Who needs two?" If Diageo ( DEO) wants the tournament's help selling a bit more Guinness around St. Patrick's Day, it has to stand in the cancellation line with everyone else.

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