March Madness has officially begun! Selection Sunday was yesterday, meaning brackets have been drawn up and we’re just waiting to fill them out. There’s a buzz in the air as the action is set to begin tomorrow right here in our city!

The Road to the Final Four begins right here in Dayton with the First Four – two games to be played on Tuesday, March 19, and two games to be played on Wednesday, March 20, at the University of Dayton Arena.

If you think about it, this is the perfect spot to start the tournament. Not only do we have the Dayton Flyers as local contenders this year, but we’ve got the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Xavier Musketeers a short distance south of us. Add in the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, the Bowling Green Falcons just north of here and we’re a central spot for Ohio basketball teams. Not all will be able to make it to the big dance this year, but it’s still exciting to have such great athletic talent all around.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Lexington Regional- Stanford vs Notre Dame

Tournament time
One of the best things about March Madness? It’s a fun thing that unites many of us for a few weeks each year. That’s one of the many great things about sports – it unites people. Young and old, men and women, sports fanatics and casual fans. Everyone seems to rally around the TV and their brackets as the madness marches on. As much as you may hate to see your bracket busted, there’s something about rooting for the Cinderella team each tournament, cheering for the underdog as they take on the goliath. When the ball is tipped to start the game, it’s a clean and even slate for everyone. Sure, a team’s record might help and experience can be on your side, but with the right heart and hustle and performance, anyone can keep dancing on.

Fast facts
We rounded up a few fun facts about this NCAA tournament

  • Started in 1939
  • UCLA is the team with the most national titles with 11. Kentucky is next in line with 8. John Wooden coached UCLA to 10 of those 11 titles.
  • UCLA is also the team with the most tournament appearances, participating 46 times.
  • 2018 was the first time in tournament history when a No. 16 seed University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) upset a No. 1 seed University of Virginia.
  • The most recent tournament champions were the Villanova Wildcats, when they claimed the National Title in 2018.

Game time eats
Ashley’s Pastries is a fan of March Madness and we hope you’ll keep us in mind as you plan out your watch parties. Our basketball sugar cookies are a must-have for the tournament, whether you’re watching on your own or with a crowd. We can even take custom cookie orders to whip up sugary deliciousness in honor of your favorite team!

While you’re picking up a cookie order, why not grab a few other bakery items to make hosting and/or watching the games easy? Give a delicious deli sandwich a twist by serving it on our pretzel knots. Add your favorite deli meats, crisp lettuce, a fresh slice of tomato and a creamy mustard, and it’s simple meal that’s sure to be a winner with your family or guests. Our salt sticks and rye sticks are great to nibble on as you enjoy BBQ wings or tasty chicken tenders — easy finger foods to enjoy without taking time away from the action happening on the court. And our French baguettes are great for topping with spinach-artichoke dip or fresh bruschetta.
If you’re firing up the grill now that the temperatures are creeping out of the freezing zone, our bakery fresh rolls are great for serving up hamburgers.

Ashley’s Pastries is always honored to be part of the Dayton community and that certain rings true this time of year. We’re all about the madness in March!