Big College Basketball Tournament Watch Party
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Are you like me? Any excuse to host a party is a good one? It should not be any secret that I love a good family friendly party. College basketball is in full swing, and with 4 boys, and one just a few years away from college, you can pretty much guarantee there is a college sports game of some sort on at least one of my TV’s at all times. It only seemed natural to host a Big College Basketball Tournament Watch Party. We invited several friends and their families over for a day of basketball fun!
The first thing to consider when hosting a large party is the menu. My go-to for party food shopping is Sam’s Club, my first choice for beverages are always Coca Cola, Sprite, and Coke Zero, so obviously they were on my shopping list. Coca Cola 35 count cases, Sprite 4 pack 2 liter bottles, and 24 count Sprite 16.9 oz bottle cases were in the cart and ready to party with in a minute of walking into the store! Drinks were done, now I needed to decide on food. While I was at Sam’s I checked out the easy to make foods, AKA the frozen food aisle. I found some pre-made wings and onion rings, and a pork butt and tiny rolls for pulled pork sliders. I knew I would make cupcakes and coleslaw…but I wanted to try something different. Inspiration struck when the hubs was making bacon for breakfast, and I made Coca Cola Candied Bacon, goodness, it was so good! Printable recipe cards for the Coleslaw, BBQ sauce, and Coca Cola Candied Bacon are the end of the post. Our menu was simple and delicious! Pulled Pork Slider Bites, Boneless Chicken Wings, Onion Rings, Coleslaw, Coca Cola Candied Bacon, Cupcakes, Coca Cola, and Sprite. If it wasn’t pre-made and frozen, it was easy to make a day ahead of the party.
Next, I needed to think about decor, and party favors for the kiddos. I am a budget party girl, I need to spend as little as possible to make a fabulous party. I am also a DIY party girl, so I knew I would be making a lot of the decor! The party backdrop was a brick wall, with mini paper pennants I made with my Cricut, and an oversized blank family bracket. I designed it as a 2’x3’ printable that can be printed at a copy and print store for less than $10. (Look for the link below) We had smaller versions printed up for our guests to fill out if they chose to as well. The table top needed to be awesome, so, I painted a small basketball court on a sheet of thin plywood we had in the garage. Sixteen ounce Sprite bottles were perfect basketball hoop poles. I hot glued a chipboard backboard to the bottles, and used a ketchup container as the net. Tiny candy basketballs were just the right size for the Sprite basket ball hoops. My hubby offered to make a set of bleachers for the Coca Cola cans and cupcakes. I used my Cricut to cut tiny “foam” fingers for a few of the Coca Cola cans, and cupcake toppers using wood from the garage. It was ABSOLUTELY PERFECT for the court side Coca Cola can fans! Finally, I used my Cricut to cut more small chipboard backboards and vinyl nets for small dip containers, and to cut a vinyl basketball silhouette for my big orange drink bucket. Small metal buckets were perfect for straws (from Hoopla Events) and to hold wings and rings. The food was labeled with hand written tags with referee stripes, also from Hoopla Events.
Party favors were simple. I ordered black and white referee style striped bags from Hoopla Events, as well as plastic gum ball tubes. I filled the tubes with foil covered chocolate candies that looked like basketballs, and I stuck a tiny “foam” finger to the tubes. I added a bottle of Sprite, a package of basketball playing cards, and a (really annoying) basketball whistle to the bags too. I displayed a few of the bags next to our food table in an old Coca Cola bottling crate with a well worn older basketball.
Our party was a SLAM DUNK! The kids had their own tournaments on gaming systems and in the driveway with our family hoop, The adults cheered their favorite teams, and played a semi-tame game of indoor foam ball hoops! Go TEAM!
- 1 Can Coca Cola
- 1 Cup Ketchup
- 1/4 Cup Honey
- 1/4 Cup Steak Sauce
- 1/4 Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tsp Liquid Smoke
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
- 1/2-1 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- Mix ingredients in sauce pan
- Boil for several minutes
- Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens
Coca Cola BBQ Sauce:
*1 Can Coca Cola
*1 Cup Ketchup
*1/4 Cup Honey
*1/4 Cup Steak Sauce
*1/4 Worcestershire Sauce
*2 tsp Liquid Smoke
*1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
*1/2 tsp Pepper
*1/2 tsp Onion Powder
Mix ingredients in sauce pan
Boil for several minutes
Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens
- 1/2 Can Coca Cola
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Package of Thick Cut Bacon
- Mix Coca Cola and sugar to make a thin syrup
- Cook bacon in the oven on a cooling rack placed in a foil lined jelly pan at 350* for 10 minutes.
- Remove and “paint” Coca Cola syrup onto both sides of the bacon.
- Repeat every 10 minutes for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove and let cool.
Coca Cola Candied Bacon:
*1/2 Can Coca Cola
*1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
*1 Package of Thick Cut Bacon
Mix Coca Cola and sugar to make a thin syrup
Cook bacon in the oven on a cooling rack placed in a foil or parchment paper lined jelly pan at 350* for 10 minutes.
Remove and “paint” Coca Cola syrup onto both sides of the bacon.
Repeat every 10 minutes for 30-40 minutes.
Remove and let cool.
- 3 tsp vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup Sprite
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- Bag prepackage coleslaw shreds
- Whisk vinegar, sugar, Sprite, and lemon juice together until sugar is dissolved.
- Add mayonnaise and whisk to mix.
- Add slaw mix.
- Mix to combine.
- Refrigerate and serve when cold.
*3 tsp vinegar
*1/4 cup sugar
*1/4 cup Sprite
*1 tsp lemon juice
*1 cup mayonnaise
* Bag prepackage coleslaw shreds
Whisk vinegar, sugar, Sprite, and lemon juice together until sugar is dissolved.
Add mayonnaise and whisk to mix.
Add slaw mix.
Mix to combine.
Refrigerate and serve when cold.
Styling and photography by Everyday Party Magazine
Recipes adapted or developed by Everyday Party Magazine
Favor Bags, Paper Straws, Food Label Tags, Gum Ball Tubes from Hoopla Events