March Madness, Family-Style

As March approaches, college basketball fever heats up across the nation. The top 68 men’s college basketball teams compete in the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship and the top 64 women’s teams will take part in the NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship. It’s the perfect time to cheer on your alma mater, root for Cinderella to win it all or simply watch all of the drama unfold as the top college basketball players compete in the most exciting tournament of the year!

march madness as a familyWhether you are a seasoned March Madness pro, or simply interested in learning more, here are some ideas to get you and your family excited about the most popular sporting event in March.

March Madness as a Family

March Madness, Family-Style
© J. Vincent | Little Lake | 2016

When to Watch

  • March 15-16 First Four – Two lowest seeded teams play in the first round
  • March 17, 18, 19, 20 First Round – Top 64 teams pare down to Sweet 16 teams
  • March 24, 25, 26, 27 – Sweet 16 teams pare down to Final 4 teams
  • April 2 – Final 4 teams pare down to two National Championship game teams
  • April 4 – National Championship – Top two teams play for the Championship

Where to Watch

  • All games are broadcast on TBS, CBS, TNT or TruTV
  • Watch games streamed LIVE at CBS Sports
  • Download CBS Sports or NCAA March Madness Live from the App Store in March
  • The National Championship will be broadcast live on CBS

How to Participate in the Fun

Create your own family NCAA bracket challenge
Visit CBS Sports, ESPN or Yahoo Sports and print out brackets for each of your family members to fill out. You can also create an online group at these sites where participants can login and pick their teams with ease. It’s now time to do your research on the top teams in the country, or simply choose your favorite mascot, as you decide which teams move on throughout each round. Which member in your family will have the bragging rights in 2016 as they try to become the king of hoops in your house? 

March Madness, Family-Style
Image Source CBS Sports website

Host a Party
Invite your neighbors and friends over for an early morning party with an 11:00 a.m. tip-off on the weekend, or get the party started for a late night buzzer beater. Be sure to visit your local party store for basketball-themed decorations and supplies. Keep things orange themed as you turn one of your favorite healthy snacks into a bowl full of mini basketballs. Visit your local grocery store for a bag of Cuties and take a marker to the peel of the orange for a fun healthy treat. Find sherbet at your local store in your favorite team’s color and add a little ginger ale for a can’t miss orange punch. If you stick with the orange theme, great snacks for your party include cheese balls, Cheez-Its, Doritos and Goldfish crackers.

March Madness, Family-Style
© C. Vincent | Little Lake | 2016

For those who love healthy snacks, below you’ll find a list of current Chicago Bulls players my family has met along with their college team and their personal favorite healthy food. Root for these teams if you don’t have a favorite, or add these healthy options to your party menu!

  • Joakim Noah, Florida Gators (2 time NCAA National Champion): Spinach
  • Doug McDermott, Creighton Bluejays: Strawberries and Oranges
  • Jimmy Butler, Marquette Golden Eagles: Strawberries and Broccoli
  • Aaron Brooks, Oregon Ducks: Watermelon

Get in on the Action
Whether you have an inside or outside hoop, here are some of my favorite games to get the family on the move during the tournament. Start up a game of HORSE, learn how to play POISON or even lower those rims for a family dunk contest. Visit Games-for-all-reasons to learn the rules and you’ll have your family up and running in no time.

During the games, here are some ways you and your kids can stay active too! Any time your favorite player makes a lay-up, do ten jumping jacks. When your team makes a three-pointer, do three push-ups. If your team gets a steal, do ten sit-ups . And when your team makes a free throw, do fifteen arm circles. Or have fun making up your own play-along games, too!

No matter how you join in on the fun, there’s plenty of madness to go around in March!

Does your family participate in March Madness activities? Let us know what you do in the comments section below.

About Chad Vincent 25 Articles
Chad is a Mundelein dad who loves to stay active and on the move with his two super-hero sons, Jordan and Danny, and his energetic wife, Jen. He’s a K-8 physical education teacher at Bannockburn School by day and a crazed fan of the NIU Huskies, Chicago Bears and Chicago Bulls by night. He also keeps busy by discovering new parks with his family, teeing it up at local golf courses and making frequent visits to Chipotle. You can follow Chad on Twitter at @c23v and @bulldogsmove

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