March Madness: A Family Affair

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: March Madness! The brackets have been revealed. The field of 68 teams have been set. Over the next few weeks, office productivity will decline, brackets will be busted, and at the end, only one school will see their team hoisting the National Championship trophy to the tune of “One Shining Moment.”

Millions of people join in on the fun by filling out brackets for their chance to win money and prizes. Some experts say that the odds of choosing a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 Quintilian. {Yikes! I’m pretty sure you have better odds at winning the lottery}. That’s OK…it’s all about the thrill of seeing your bracket succeed or get busted as each game is played.

My husband and I both graduated from Michigan State University {Go Green!}, so we have a long history of rooting for our team in the big dance. My love for March Madness goes back to April 3, 2000 when Michigan State defeated the University of Florida my freshman year of college. After watching Mateen Cleaves come back from a sprained ankle early in the second half to put the team ahead and win the game, I was hooked.

March Madness 2018

What is there not to love about rooting your team on in the tournament? It usually involves comfort food, adult beverages, nail-biting games, and good company. Luckily for my husband, I’m somewhat of a “guys girl” in the sense that I enjoy watching most sports and can stomach him watching ESPN 24/7. Once we had kids, we wanted to make sure that they were equally as excited for the March Madness tournament, so we came up with some traditions we do as a family to get them involved.   

Here are a few ways to get kids involved in March Madness:

Fill out brackets.

There are free printable brackets on virtually every sports site (ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo, etc.). Our favorite kid-friendly brackets are the mascot brackets. The kids love choosing the mascot they like best {of course we’ve already brainwashed them into being able to spot Sparty a mile away}. Another tactic that you can use is flip a coin, and if it’s heads, then the better seeded team moves on to the next round, and if it’s tails, then the lower seeded team moves on.  

Map out teams by state.

Turn the tournament into a fun math and geography activity for the kids by printing out a map of the country. Then write the number of teams from each state that earned their way into the tournament. Have them figure out which state has the most teams in the tournament.

Watch games with friends or neighbors.

Host a kid-friendly gathering to watch the game with friends. Setup basketball-themed games for the kids to play, so they can be entertained if they lose interest in watching the game.

Bake basketball-themed treats.

Check out Pinterest for the latest inspirations of basketball-themed goodies. I love these adorable cupcakes and these slam dunk cookies. 

Make a bet.

Of course I’m not encouraging gambling for little ones but rather just a fun little wager for the winner. We usually have the winner choose a special treat or activity that they get to do if they are the bracket winners. It helps keep everyone excited about the games even if you don’t know much about the teams playing.

Tournament of books.

If basketball isn’t your jam, gather a group of friends and create a bracket of your favorite books. Each person can nominate one book. Everyone has to read each of the books nominated and then take a vote to determine the winner of that round. The best book from each round moves on until the final two are chosen. Have a discussion or party with the group to determine the best book of the year and crown the winner.

Who else loves March Madness?
Which team are YOU rooting for to win the tournament?

Mr. March – Tom Izzo PC: Kristin Greenwald Photography

I’m sure you can guess who I’m rooting for…GO SPARTANS!


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