If you’re one of the millions of Americans who tune in each year to watch 68 college teams battle it out as part of March Madness, you know that the drama is incredible. If you’re hosting a party for college or neighborhood friends, the stakes are high. Make sure your March Madness party is talked about for years to come by following these six essential steps to an epic party.
1. Spread the Word
As Wayne Gretzky observed, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. That advice from a hockey great is good for anyone — including the host of a basketball-themed party. You can’t be the life and soul of a party that no one knows about. Get the word out early to lock the squad into yours before anyone else gets the chance to draft your talent. Seal the deal by sending out March Madness-themed invitations incorporating game brackets or a nod to your shared college team if you’re getting the alumni back together.
2. Rotate Your Bench (and Couch)
Make sure you’ve got plenty of seating for guests. You don’t want to discover just before the opening jump ball to find that you’ve come up short. There’s no need to splash out on chairs that will only go into storage afterwards. Aim instead for bean bags or an inflatable couch or two to keep things casual. The same goes for a buffet table for snacks. Get something lightweight and foldable, so you can put it away in time for a sensational return in barbecue season.
3. Decorations to Set the Spirit
Just as the players leave nothing behind on the court, go all out when it comes to decorating your living room. Deck out the TV area with pennants and memorabilia in college colors. Turn your buffet table into a court with a printed tablecloth fit for a legendary buffet.
4. Game Day Snacks and Food Prep
They might forget the score, but they’ll never forget your buffet. Stimulate appetites with themed napkins, plates, cups and other disposables, with a few coolers to hold the beers and sodas. Ideally, you want to be able to enjoy the action once the game has started, so aim for foods that can be prepared in advance and last long enough on a food warmer or hot plate. Sliders, wings, and pizza are all quick and easy to serve, while a slow-cooked chili or dips are self-service friendly. Once the game is underway, keep the popcorn coming to ease the tension.
5. Pre-game Entertainment
Revive those college days with some indoor games to set a competitive mood. Some hoops can calm the nerves, while a mini beer pong tournament allows the party to produce its own hero. Keep plenty of mini basketballs at hand to work out frustration as the seconds tick away.
6. Post-game Finale
Do any of the magic March Madness moments really happen until you’ve recreated them in your yard? Weather permitting, set up a hoop for a pickup basketball game to burn off a few calories. Otherwise, return to the buffet table, grab some more snacks and retire to the living room for the post-game analysis.
Many of us spend all year looking forward to March Madness. That’s a recipe for an anti-climax if there’s no party plan in place. Put yours firmly in the epic category by following this simple strategy.
Host the greatest March Madness party with these items:
- March Madness-themed invitations
- Bean bags
- Inflatable couch
- Buffet table
- Themed napkins, plates, cups
- Food warmer
- Hot plate
- Beer pong
- Mini basketballs
- Basketball game
Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.