Class-ketball: A Gentleman’s Guide to the NCAA Hoops Tournament

Those keg-tapping, face-painting college days are (most likely) well behind you. While this doesn’t exclude you from getting in on the hoops action, it does mean enjoying it like an adult. Here’s our 5-step play for adding some sophistication to this year’s tournament.

Embrace the “Home” Court Advantage

Everyone enjoys a sports bar from time to time, but if you really want to make the most of the tourney, ditch the beer-guzzling masses and consider hosting a party at your place. The drinks are cheaper, the conversations are better, and there’s no chance of any altercations with “overserved” fans of the opposing team.

Ditch the Chips

Decided to throw that party? Great. Put a little effort into what you feed your guests. A few stray Doritos may have cut it in your dorm room, but any guy worth his salt knows how to whip up some killer finger food. Try Bobby Flay’s hot wings with blue cheese-yogurt sauce, or bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with cheese a.k.a “Devils on Horseback.”

Stay Out of the Paint

Hey, we get it: Painting your face proves your undying school spirit AND makes you feel like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. But when the TV cameras cut to the screaming older man coated in the colors of his alma mater, don’t you feel a little bit sad for the guy? Instead, channel your favorite dapper coach and throw on a jacket, tie, and maybe even a pocket square. Did anyone ever feel bad for Pat Riley? Exactly.

Choose Science Over Instinct

We all have our “fool-proof” methods for picking the best bracket, but the truth is nothing beats the accuracy of cold hard math. When it comes time to select your winning times, take a gander at the stats-driven analyses of Nate Silver. Looking for some more pointers? Don’t miss the video we did with college basketball nut and Brooklyn Nets announcer David Diamante here.

It’s Not All About the Benjamins

Yes, betting among friends makes games more interesting. But even the smallest amount of cash between friends can be a slippery slope—you never want to have to utter those awkward words, “Got my money?” Remember, there’s a reason it’s called a “gentlemen’s bet.”

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