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Embrace The Madness: How To Celebrate The NCAA Tournaments

Jacob Rice

March is here. That can only mean one thing: March Madness is coming. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball championship tournaments take place in the latter half of the month. It’s a time of wonderful chaos. Sixty-eight men’s and 68 women’s teams enter the fray, but only two will be crowned national champions. Here are some neat ways to celebrate the competitions. 

Why are the tournaments called “March Madness?” Well, it’s much easier to say than “national college basketball championship tournament.” In all seriousness, legendary sports broadcaster Brent Musburger first used the term in reference to the games in 1982. The same year, the women’s matchups were established. Now, March Madness is a household name, and it’s rare to see anyone not watching, even if someone isn’t a huge basketball fan. 

Photo Courtesy Adam Bouse

Predictions Are Half The Fun

A popular way to celebrate the championships is to make a bracket. You can set one up online or print a paper copy and fill it in. They can be done solo, but it’s a fun activity to do in groups. Put a prize in a pool on the line to spice things up. The person with the most correct guesses wins. 

Bracket-making has become so popular that analytics are designed to predict the best and worst possible outcomes. It’s called “Bracketology,” and many major sports media outlets cover it, which can help with your selection process. 

Party, Anyone?

College basketball is an amazing spectator sport. It’s like watching the next generation of NBA and WNBA superstars. Why wouldn’t you want to get the gang together for a viewing party? So many games are going on during the competitions, so pick a weekend to invite your pals over. Watch some hoops, drink some beers, and eat some good food. 

Between halves, step outside for a bit. Have a free throw contest if you have a hoop in your driveway or a park nearby. Basketball trivia is another great way to engage with friends and get everyone in the spirit of the game.  

Not every game will be a top-tier matchup, so watch the games that are bigger in stature and parity. If you’re rooting for a team, check social media for any watch parties at bars or restaurants nearby. 

If you throw a viewing party, you’ll want to stay true to the theme. Themed decorations are always a good move. Getting the color of the college you’re rooting for is recommended. You can get custom prints online.  

Underdog Stories

Rooting for the underdog is a time-honored tradition during March Madness. You’ve got powerhouses like Kentucky, Duke, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — all are elite basketball programs. However, they don’t always win the biggest prize; upsets add to the intensity of the tournament. 

Looking back through the college basketball history books, you’ll find hundreds of examples: Loyola Chicago making the Final Four (semifinals), Villanova beating UNC at the buzzer for the title, and the 1983 Survive and Advance NC State team. These outcomes can certainly hurt your bracket picks, but that adds to the intrigue — it’s unpredictable.

Photo Courtesy Ben Hershey

Workplace Fun

Bring the Madness to work. It can significantly boost employee morale, offering employees a release from everyday tasks and building relationships between coworkers. Start a company bracket pool with prizes like gift cards or a bottle of wine. When the workday ends, head to happy hour with the office, and catch a game in progress or watch highlights.

The NCCA championships officially begin on March 14. Get your picks in before the tournaments get underway!