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Here’s what you need to know about this year’s March Madness with dates, locations and schedules.
Round Site Date(s)
First Four Dayton, OH March 14 to 15
First/Second Buffalo, NY March 16 & 18
First/Second Milwaukee, WI March 16 & 18
First/Second Orlando, FL March 16 & 18
First/Second Salt Lake City, UT March 16 & 18
First/Second Greenville, SC March 17 & 19
First/Second Indianapolis, IN March 17 & 19
First/Second Tulsa, OK March 17 & 19
First/Second Sacramento, CA March 17 & 19
Midwest Regional Kansas City, KS March 23 & 25
West Regional San Jose, CA March 23 & 25
South Regional Memphis, TN March 24 & 26
East Regional New York, NY March 24 & 26
Final Four Phoenix, AZ April 1 & 3
History: March Madness was first created in 1939, after the University of Oregon defeated Ohio State University 46-33, winning the first-ever NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Since 1939, the tournament has grown exponentially in size and popularity, now becoming the second most popular sporting event.
This year’s March Madness basketball tournament will involve 68 teams playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of the men’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
Pro-Tip: The first week of tournament play is the best week to host a party. All of the teams selected will have had their chance at proving their worth, so your guests will have plenty to talk about.
Here are some more tips to help you plan your party:
Send out game brackets as your party invitations. Have guests fill out the brackets before they arrive at the party. This gives opportunity to talk about whether their team won or lost. Friendly competition always makes for an exciting party.
Feeding a party can be like feeding a basketball team. Make dishes that are easy to prep, can be done ahead-of-time and will feed a crowd. Party dips are always a fan favorite; try recipes like a loaded baked potato dip or this taco casserole (titled for the Super Bowl, but honestly should be eaten during every sporting event). Keep up the basketball theme with ball or circle-shaped dishes like bacon-wrapped potato bites, pull-apart cheese bread, churro balls with a warm chocolate dipping sauce and these cute basketball cake pops.
Make sure you have a comfortable viewing area. What’s the point in having a March Madness party if you can’t see the game?
Create a basketball trivia game. Test out everyone’s knowledge of college basketball in-between games.
Have your own game. If you’re not into trivia and you own a basketball hoop (or can make-shift one), set up your own tournament!
Decorations are key. Even if you don’t love decorating, March Madness makes it simple with only 3 colors: orange, white and black. Throw in a few basketball colored napkins, a table cloth, some cut-outs and you’re done!
Photo courtesy of thefeministwire.com