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Have a Ball: Host a March Madness Party

Ready to make it a slam dunk? It's time to serve up some game day snacks, drinks, and party decorations for a basketball-themed bash!

March is here and that only means one thing... basketball! It's officially March Madness season and college basketball fans everywhere will be gathering together to root for their favorite teams and bet on who they think is going to win it all.


One thing that's going to make this year's March Madness gathering better than that rest...? A killer party! I’m sharing some easy DIY projects, free printables, and fun food ideas to get the fans in your life cheering for more.


Fill Out Your Bracket

You can't have a March Madness party without a bracket for your guests to fill out and heckle each other over! Download this one. It also sparks some healthy competition and maybe even a few bets here and there.

Root for the Team

This printable "MARCH MADNESS" banner is perfect to display on the front of your table, paired with festive bunting, which you can make or pick up at your local party store.

Get Game-Ready

To decorate for your get-together, stick with an easy color palette and simple items that pack a punch. (Most people will be centered around the television for most of your party anyway!) Black and white are classic colors that are easy to shop for and to decorate with, and adding in a bright pop of orange really makes a statement and adds a really fun element too. To cover the table, I used a DIY graphic print tablecloth that is a cinch to make and replicates that basketball shape without being overtly obvious. Use tall glass candy containers, filled with malt balls, as double duty decor for your food table. Not only are they great for decor, but you can snack on them too! Top them with kids toy basketballs as a fun touch. 


You can find foam fingers, whistles, pom poms, and megaphone props at your local party store. I paired them with black balloons and even found some basketball-themed balloons too.

Who's Team Are You On?

Printable jersey food labels add a fun element to the table and really tie in the March Madness theme! Also, don't be afraid to get creative with them. You can use them to label other items at your party, besides just the food, too.

Keep Score

For the food table, I created a really simple "scoreboard" using craft and printer paper, and letters and numbers printed on a computer. Print out the words and numbers you want to use and stick them onto a black craft paper background using tape or glue. Secure the finished "scoreboard" to the wall using tape or sticky putty.

Pass the Ball

Basketball coasters, that is! You can make an entire set for the party using little more than scrapbook paper, craft paint, and decoupage medium.

Make Your Selections

One of the things that sports fans love is food! Pick options that are easy to eat with one hand, so that guests can hold a drink (or a foam finger!) in the other. I also like to try to stick with the overall color scheme and party theme when making selections for my menu. Round options that resemble basketballs or snacks served in complementary containers to the overall style of your party, work well. I chose to serve orange cheese puffs, stacked oreos, popcorn, and basketball cupcakes.


Easy tip: You can add some contrast to an all orange container or jazz up a drink dispenser using ribbon! Wrap black and white striped ribbon, from your local craft store, around your containers and tape or glue on the back. It's such an easy way to add another pop of color.

Serving Up Sips

If your guests are of age, I love this recipe for Rum Punch with Melon Balls. The frozen cantaloupe replaces the ice needed in your glasses and fits perfectly with the March Madness theme too! Add some festive straws and serve them on this DIY basketball court serving tray and you'll be the perfect party host.

Game Faces

However you choose to celebrate March Madness, these easy ideas are a fun way to really get in the spirit and enjoy the game even more! You'll probably get asked to host another party again soon too!

  • march madness party guests posing
  • march madness party guests interacting
  • march madness party drinks
  • march madness party guest


Author: Ashley Lloyd of Let's Mingle | @letsmingleblog
Photography: Taylor Grayson Photo | @nottaylorgrayson