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Basketball Bash Shoot and score with a March Madness party

People at March Madness Party

Basketball Bash Shoot and score with a March Madness party

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’Tis the season for basketball and brackets! March is almost here, and for college basketball fans, that only means one thing: March Madness. The craziness doesn’t officially start till March 11, otherwise known as “Selection Sunday,” when the NCAA picks its precious field of 68 teams. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning your March Madness parties now. And don’t limit yourself to hosting only one event. You can—and should—throw several get-togethers throughout the nearly month-long tournament, which ends on April 2.

Shoot for a date

If you’re really doing it up, you’ll need invitations. First, check out the NCAA tournament schedule to figure out which dates you want to throw a basketball bash on. Then go to PartyCity.com and purchase these Basketball Fan Invitations ($3.99 for eight). They feature a giant orange basketball in front of a green background announcing “It’s a party!”  (Get Party City coupons.)

Score decorations

You’ll definitely need some balloons and streamers to help transform your living room into a March Madness dream home. We’ll just take a guess and say orange will be your primary color. Check out PartyCheap.com for a 12-pack of balloons ($2.75) and roll of orange streamers ($1.36).

Basketball-themed fan kit

Once the tournament is going full-speed, you can get more specific with your decorations. Party America has accessories for every team. Whether you’re a fan of the Duke Blue Devils or the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, this store has enough swag to make your guests feel like they’re sitting courtside. Pick from the fan kit ($24.99), which comes with plates, cups, streamers and more emblazoned with your chosen team’s logo. Or simply order colored balloons ($2.99 for 15) or cups ($7.99 for 50), especially if you are inviting over fans of opposing teams and want to make everyone feel comfortable.

You can also take the easy route and order an entire basketball-themed party kit ($44.99). With enough festive accouterments for a group of 16, this set is decorated with orange basketballs, so it definitely won’t cause any rival fistfights. The kit comes with everything from plates and silverware to invitations and basketball centerpieces. (Get Party America coupons.)

Hoopla abound

bouncing basketballs party favors

Noisemakers and party favors are a must. We especially like these basketball mini whistles ($7.99 for 12), which are available at Party City and could either be really funny or give you a small headache—depending on how crazy or slam drunk your crowd gets. Send your guests home with a party favor to remember the good times they had at your event. This way, they’ll be itching for next year’s shindig. We like these tiny Party City bouncing basketballs ($5.99 for 12), which are cute enough to keep around. (Get Party City coupons.)

Basketball Fanci-Frames

And we’re not going to lie. We totally want these Basketball Fanci-Frames. ($4.79) from PartyCheap.com. (Get PartyCheap.com coupons.)

 

Heat up the competition

Make sure everyone jots down his or her bracket predictions. Don’t have a bracket form ready-made? Never fear, the Internet is here! Choose from these free templates from Microsoft, or check sports cable channel ESPN’s site for a more completed bracket (see last year’s for an example). Perhaps, you can even award a gift card or some other token of triumph to those with winning brackets.

Take the cake

Wilton sports ball cake pan

If you’re the crafty type (and we bet you are), grab this Wilton sports ball cake pan ($13.99) from ShopBakersNook.com. Use the aptly shaped pan to morph your cake into a sugary basketball and top it off with orange-tinted icing. By the way, you bake the confection in two separate pieces and then fuse the two halves together during the decorating process. To add to the pan’s utility, you can use it again during soccer or baseball season and just slather on a different color frosting. (Get ShopBakersNook.com coupons.)

For the kids who aren’t yet into sports, try these Monster High party ideas.

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