NCAA Tournment Party Ideas

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Decorate the party with basketballs and images of basketballs.

A March Madness party lets you share the excitement of the NCAA men's basketball tournament with your friends, whether you throw it in the first round of the tournament or when the final teams are battling for the championship. A basketball-themed party leaves you room for creativity in the invitations, decorations and party fare. Integrate the tournament theme when possible to increase the excitement of the guests.

  1. Invitations

    • The NCAA tournament party invitations give you the first chance to integrate the basketball theme. For a basic invitation, cut circles from orange card stock to make a basketball cutout. Draw in the basketball lines on the ball and print the party details on them. Another invitation idea that is easy to send is a copy of that year's NCAA bracket. If you're throwing the party at the beginning of the tournament, leave the rest of the bracket empty so the guests can write in their picks. If the party is later in the tournament, fill in the winners of all of the games that have already occurred. For a three-dimensional invitation, write the party information on a small foam basketball for each guest.


    • Basketballs offer a simple decorative idea. Gather full-size basketballs, as well as smaller foam balls. For the walls, make a cutout of each team's logo that is involved in the tournament. If you're partying at the beginning of the tournament, choose a few of your favorite teams to represent on the walls. Draw a large version of the bracket on poster board to decorate the walls. Party stores often sell party decor with sports themes, so you'll have the option of buying basketball-themed decor for the party. Use generic orange for the color scheme to represent the basketball, or decorate in the uniform colors of your favorite teams.


    • Since most guests will spend the day in front of the TV, choose a variety of finger foods and other options that are easy to eat while sitting on the couch. Options include pizza, sandwiches, appetizers and dips. When possible, incorporate the basketball theme. For example, make a cheese ball and shape it like a basketball with black licorice as accents to create the basketball lines. Make homemade pizza and sprinkle a layer of cheddar cheese on top to make it look like a basketball. Use a line of black olives to make the lines of the basketball. Serve cookies or cakes decorated like basketballs for dessert.


    • The games themselves provide the majority of the entertainment for the party. Other activities or short games fill in any breaks in the game. Hang an over-the-door hoop to play simple basketball games like Horse or Around the World. Basketball trivia based on past NCAA tournaments is a way to pass the time. Another option is to use the basketball game as part of a challenge. For example, you might have everyone guess the number of 3-point shots in the game. The person with the closest guess wins a prize.

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