Nothing but Net — 5 Tips for Throwing Your Best March Madness Party

March is upon us once again, and you know what that means. The time of year we’ve been anxiously waiting for all fall is finally here — March Madness. As brackets are being made, bets are being placed and the Final Four are being predicted, the beginning of March Madness is the perfect time to celebrate your favorite college basketball teams. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just there for the fun, these five tips will help you throw a party that’s worth a National Championship ring.

1. The invites

What is more March Madness appropriate than bracket-themed invitations? Send out your invites, brackets included, and have guests RSVP by filling in their favorite teams before they arrive at the party. Whether they’re basing their choices on stats, team colors or mascots (go Northeastern Huskies!), this will guarantee some competitive fun that will keep your guests entertained throughout the games. Custom make your own invitations at an online printing site to include as many, or little, bracket seats as you want. Later in the tournament you can compare where your guests’ brackets stand.

2. Party-proof your home

The games are guaranteed to last a couple of hours, not to mention your pre-game party, so make sure you have enough space and seats for everyone. There’s nothing more irritating to guests than when they can’t see the game or don’t have a place to sit. Whether it’s a couch, cushion, beanbag or dining room chairs — you should be sure to have a spot for everyone in attendance. Also make sure that every seat has a decent view of the game. It’s better to over-prepare than to have people leave early because they’re tired of standing around or missing the game.

3. The grub

A March Madness party is not complete without tailgate food! The trick is to serve food that can be devoured with one hand, not necessarily requiring a fork and knife. This way your guests can quickly munch down on some snacks while still cheering on their team — foam fingers included. Easy food like tacos, wings, dip and pizza are always a good go-to. Try making easy calzone pinwheels or spicy nacho bake that are sure to win over any picky eater. Having a larger party? Consider asking your guests to bring their favorite dishes! You can even have a little bracket competition — pair off two dishes at a time and see which one is the crowd favorite.

4. Decorations

Decorations are essential for a party’s success. Orange and black are the typical basketball colors to use when decorating your home for March Madness, but if you or any of your guests will be cheering for a particular team, spice it up a bit! Showcase your favorite team’s colors, mascot or pennants like this one from Fanatics.com to show your support. However, try not to go overboard on the decorations — you don’t want them to distract your guests from the big game. Decorations can be fun, but make sure it’s a tasteful amount.

5. Dress to impress

March Madness always requires some good trash-talking between rivals and friends. Even if you don’t know anything about college basketball, it’s still fun to throw on a jersey and partake in some friendly banter. Ask your guests to come dressed in their favorite team jersey to join in on the fun. Don’t own a jersey? You can find a great selection on FansEdge.com. Since you’re in charge of the party, you can make it every more fun by throwing on a referee’s jersey and carrying a whistle to grab your guests’ attention and call out any ‘party fouls’ such as a spilled drink or double dipping.

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While March Madness might be all about basketball, it’s the perfect time to bring friends and family together. By following these five tips, you’ll leave your guests thinking nothing but net. From decorations to food, you can relax knowing you’ll throw a ballin’ March Madness party.

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