Photo: Annabelle Breakey

Whether you've been following along all month long or not, the championship game for men's college basketball is tonight, and that warrants a viewing party. Skip the crowds at the bar and make all the dips and finger foods you need right at home. As we all know, whether you're into sports or not, it's all about the snacks.

April 02, 2017

We know. You’ve had your April Fool’s jokes, you’ve said hello to April showers, and you've welcomed the start of baseball season and springtime weather. However, there still remains one unfinished matter of business from last month, and that, of course, is March Madness. What started with 68 hopeful college basketball teams is now down to 2, and tonight, there will be a winner.

Watch: How to Make Spinach and Artichoke Dip

 

Regardless of the outcome of the game, it’s important that for most of us who’ll be watching at home (or pretending to care at a friend’s house) that we are well-fed and satisfied as we watch (or pretend to watch) along. Whether you’re scoping out the viewing party spread because you could care less about the game and you’re just plain bored, or you’re too stressed and nervous to watch so you need a distraction in the form of snacks, these dips, spreads, and finger foods are sure to keep you occupied.

1. Nashville Hot Chicken Dip

Nashville Hot Chicken Dip image

 Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez, Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Katelyn Hardwick

Skip the sports bar and bring the hot wings home. There's nothing like gnawing on a chicken wing to help ease the stress of the game.

2. Chile con Queso

 Photo: Annabelle Breakey

Nothing screams "SPORTS!" quite like a big bowl of queso. And if your team loses, it's a great vessel in which you can drown your sorrows.

3. Creamy Artichoke Dip

Warm artichoke dip is always a party favorite but full-fat cream cheese and mayonnaise drive up the calories. This lightened version has less than 75 calories per serving and when served with crunchy veggies like bell peppers and carrots, is a guilt-free appetizer.

 

Recipe: Creamy Artichoke Dip

Your friends might not all be pulling for the same team, but they can all agree that this s%^* is tasty.

4. Lemon-Caper Parmesan Potato Salad Bites

Lemon-Caper Parmesan Potato Salad Bites

Spuds and sports--they just go together, okay?

5. Mini Corn Dogs with Cranberry Mustard

This recipe is for the person who cares about good, high-quality food... but is also the same person who's drunk on a Monday night yelling about a bunch of college-aged dudes putting a ball into a basket.

6. Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

 Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

Make this for the person who doesn't care about sports. They will eat these toasts, be very happy, and not bother you while you're focusing on the game.

7. Pizza Sticks

 Photo: Beth Dreiling; Styling: Cari South

A night that is celebrating all things college obviously calls for an honorary dish that commemorates the only thing you ate in college. Admit it, we've all been there.

8. Bacon and Cheddar Sliders

 Photo: Nigel Cox; Styling: Molly Findlay

Bacon + Burgers + Basketball + Beer + Boys = A lot of words that start with "B."

9. Cheesy Sausage Roll-ups

 Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Claire Spollen

This is the "lay-up" of party appetizers. If you mess this up, you should seriously considering hanging up the jersey.

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