(Family Features) - Sixty-eight teams. Some will be underdogs. Some will be top seeds. Only one will emerge the winner.
There's something about the excitement surrounding the college basketball tournament every March that makes it absolutely infectious. Rooting for a long shot? Cheering on a sure thing? It doesn't matter; you simply have to be a part of it.
This year, make your house the center of the action and invite friends and family over to cheer on their favorites as the Cinderella stories play out and the real talent rises through the brackets.
- Encourage a game-like atmosphere with the right background music before and between games. Put beverages in a cooler instead of stashing them in the refrigerator and be sure to toss in sports drinks, too.
- Fill between-games downtime with some fun of your own: pick up a couple of indoor mini-baskets and foam basketballs and stage a hoops contest, or set-up a basketball-themed game for your video game system so guests can compete.
- Up the ante with a contest or two. Promise a prize for the biggest super fan - the one who shows up in full team regalia, face painted and giant foam finger in hand. Or plan a tournament trivia contest and award the guest with the greatest college hoops knowledge.
Watching basketball is no passive entertainment. Any game can turn on a dime, and it takes all of your attention and energy to keep up. This year, keep your college hoops party well-stocked with the snacks that will keep your sports fans energized and engaged - without keeping you holed up in the kitchen, missing the action. Make sure to keep bowls of easy-to-eat, fan-favorite snacks in strategic places around the room so everyone has easy access. Emerald's snack nut canisters are a great choice - both satisfying and loaded with energy-boosting protein that will keep everyone on their toes. Kettle Brand Potato Chips are just right for this type of party: plenty of hearty crunch, delicious flavors bold enough to eat right out of the bag and the true satisfaction you can get only from chips made from real, all-natural ingredients.
Three Ways to Win
This year, Emerald Nuts and Kettle Brand Potato Chips are adding a new level of excitement to the tournament with daily instant-win cash prizes, plus two ways to win $10,000 as the tournament progresses.
Emerald Nuts is back with their Underdog Bracket - giving you the chance to turn the bracket upside down and win $10,000 at www.underdogbracket.com by selecting the underdog that makes it the farthest.
Kettle Brand Potato Chips has created the Real 16 Bracket. Once the play really heats up and the real talent starts rising through the brackets, pick your top seed at www.kettlereal16.com and you'll have another chance to win $10,000 if your pick wins it all.
Don't forget to visit the websites for your chance to instantly win $50 cash, or you can text Kettle or Underdog to 87963 to enter from your phone.