This has been one SWEET tournament season for Iowa State basketball fans! The Cyclones have advanced to the Sweet 16 and will take on the Virginia Cavaliers on Friday, March 25th at 6:10 pm CST. The game will be aired on CBS. For those of you not making the trip to Chicago, why not celebrate with the fam with a party at home? You’ll make a slam dunk with these awesome Sweet Sixteen/March Madness basketball party ideas!
Once you’ve decided to host a Sweet Sixteen basketball party, you know it will be the hottest ticket in town! So, why not create one to invite your guests to the party. We’ve created a ticket invitation as part of our FREE Cyclone Sweet Sixteen Party Printables. Fill in the details, print and cut, quick easy and inexpensive. If that’s too much work for you a digital invitation or a quick email will also do the trick.
Decorating your home for the big game is a fun way to create a festive environment for the big game. For this party you will want to incorporate the Cyclone’s team colors of cardinal and gold into plates, napkins, food and desserts. You can also look to the basketball court for classic elements and shapes, like: basketballs; the court itself; basketball hoops; jerseys, etc. Lastly, you don’t want to forget to incorporate the number 16 into your décor.
Of course you’ll support the Cyclones by wearing cardinal and gold! You can also take your game day attire up a notch and have some fun accessories available for little fans. Provide some temporary tattoos or stickers for the kiddos to wear at the party. You could also have face paint available or even some colored hair spray to really fan up. There’s also tons of cute fingernail designs for basketball fans. Go all out and support your team!
Games & Activities
Even if all of the kids at the party are not interested in, or old enough, to watch basketball there are plenty of activities and crafts that will keep them occupied while the game is on. Here’s just a few ideas:
- Match the Mascot to the School – Print out the Sweet 16 schools and pictures of their mascots and see if the kiddos can match them up.
- Mascot Bracket – Print out this Mascot Bracket by the Pleasantest Thing and have the kids mark which teams that they think will win each of the Sweet 16 Basketball Tournament games.
- Mini Pools – Try a “mini pool” with just the teams you’ll be watching. As guests arrive have them write down what they think the score will be and who will be ahead at half-time. At half-time let each guest pick the winner and loser and what the final scores will be – whoever comes closest to the real results wins a prize!
- Make Pennants– Cut large sheets of paper into a triangle shape, lay out markers and let kids design their own pennants to root on their favorite team.
- Coloring Pages – Print out these Cyclone coloring pages from the Iowa State Daily’s website.
- Basketball Themed Movies – To keep the party going or to start early, consider putting on a basketball-themed movie. Some favorites are: Coach Carter, Finding Forrester, He Got Game, Basketball Diaries, Hoosiers, Air Bud, Space Jam, Hoop Dreams, and White Men Can’t Jump.
Food & Drink
What’s a March Madness party without some refreshments? And, since the game is on a Friday night, you’ll want to keep the cooking and prep to a minimum. Following are some food and drink ideas:
- Pizza Night – Make it or order it. If you make it yourself you can make it look like a basketball. Or go DIY and have guests make their own mini pizzas with assorted toppings and pre-made crusts.
- Dunk It – It’s a basketball party, right? Serve up chips and dip, veggies and dip, wings and dip… something that your guests can dunk.
- Cheese Balls – They look like mini basketballs and kids love them!
- Iced Sugar Cookies – Make or buy cookies in the shape of a basketball or jersey.
- Basketball Cake Balls – Make cake balls and then decorate them to look like a basketball.
- Bottled Water
- Adult Beverages
FREE Party Printables
What are your tips for hosting a kid friendly Sweet Sixteen/March Madness party?