8 Ways to Get Your Girlfriend into March Madness

You’ve got the perfect girlfriend; she’s smart, hilarious, and knows how to charm the pants off your parents. The only problem is that during the month of March, she doesn’t turn into a crazed basketball-loving lunatic. But you can fix that! While she may never be as big a fan of college sports as you are, there are several ways to get her cheering along as you two watch the games together. Put these eight tips to use and marvel as your girlfriend becomes a smack-talking, ref-insulting March Madness fan.

  1. Make sure she sets up a bracket

    Whether she’s in a bracket group with friends, at her office, or you’ve set one up just for the two of you, the key to enjoying March Madness (besides your alma mater winning it all, of course) is to set up a bracket. This gives you a stake in each of the games and brings out a competitive spirit that makes the whole tournament a lot more fun. She’ll have someone to root for and you’ll have a girlfriend who will be interested in the outcome of the games. She may even stop lecturing you for checking the score while you’re at dinner!

  2. And don’t tell her how to choose

    Nothing will ruin the fun of having a bracket faster than someone telling you that all your picks are bad or just completely taking over setting it up. If you choose your girlfriend’s bracket for her, she won’t be invested in it anymore and you can say goodbye to watching any of those 64 games with her around. You can suggest ways for her to pick, like choosing the cutest mascot, prettiest schools, cutest roster, or the school that’s farther east, but let her make the choices so she’ll follow the whole tourney.

  3. Share your knowledge

    Your girlfriend isn’t going to want you to tell her what to do, but if she asks for advice, by all means, tell her what you know. When you’re playing with your guy friends, or even next year when your girlfriend is totally obsessed with March Madness, you can keep all the insider tips and predictions you learned from those sports podcasts to yourself. But don’t be stingy this first time around if you want her enthusiasm to last. If you know that the team with the higher seed in a match-up has an injured star player and she doesn’t know who to pick, give her the facts and let her use that information to decide. The longer her bracket lasts, the more games you get to watch. This advice goes double if there are rules in the game your girl doesn’t understand. Be patient and explain them to her nicely without being condescending.

  4. Let her trash talk

    The best part of any competition is engaging in some friendly trash talk with the other team. You’ll both have a lot more fun if you let her get a little sassy with the insults — and use some restraint when firing back at her. You’ve probably got some pretty nasty comebacks stored up, but it’s not a good idea to unload them on your favorite girl. Throw a little dirt her way, and save the most offensive burns for next year. If her smack talk isn’t up to par just yet, give her a few good lines to use when her team is beating yours or her bracket is doing great. She’ll enjoy herself more and you can start building a healthy rivalry that will last for years to come.

  5. Bet on it

    Bragging rights just aren’t enough incentive to a woman who’s not that interested in the tournament to begin with. Sweeten the pot with some interesting wagers. You can have smaller bets for games where you picked different winners and of course, a big bet for the overall bracket winner. You can also make side bets on things like which celebrities will show up, who will have the most fouls, and which coaches and refs will get in a fight. While putting in money is certainly an option, it’s more fun if you get creative with it. Some options: loser has to cook dinner, winner gets to choose a movie or date-night activity, or loser has to do something embarrassing. The options are endless and the more creative you get, the more fun your girlfriend will have.

  6. Let her pick her dream team

    We don’t think your sweetheart is suddenly going to want to put together a fantasy team of the best players in the NCAA, but she might be more interested in the action if she’s scouting out the most attractive men on each squad. Let her fill up a roster of freebies — guys she could hook up with guilt-free if she gets the chance before the tournament’s over. She’ll spend the games scouring the court and benches looking for the perfect additions to her team. You could even suggest a few to get her started. We’re thinking Patric Young from Florida, Tim Abromaitis from Notre Dame, or whoever your NCAA man-crush is.

  7. Throw a party

    If your girlfriend likes hosting parties and whipping up delicious treats for guests, this is a sure-fire way to get her interested in the excitement of the tournament. And if she doesn’t like playing host, she’ll still love attending the party you throw. Who doesn’t love friends and food all in one place? Your party can be as involved or as simple as you want, depending on how much time you and your girlfriend want to put into it. You can have complicated team-themed dishes and decorations or just throw some pizzas into the oven and set out some bowls of chips. It’s up to you as long as everyone has a good time.

  8. Create a bracket for whatever terrible reality competition she loves

    She made a bracket in an attempt to enjoy something you love, so it’s only fair that you do the same for her. She’ll be much more open to watching games or finally giving in to your gaming knowing that you are also open to watching her shows later on or some of her favorite college movies. Several perennial girl favorites, like The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise or Dancing with the Stars, have “Fantasy” leagues through Facebook or the network’s website. Or you can create your own fantasy team by drafting from several different reality shows. Your girlfriend will appreciate the effort and you will be able to endure her favorite shows a lot more easily. “Does that count as making out?! That’s 30 points!”

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