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.
Chile con Queso
Credit: Annabelle Breakey

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.

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

Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Hummus image
Nashville Hot Chicken Dip image
| Credit: Hector Manuel Sanchez, Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Katelyn Hardwick

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

Chile con Queso
Credit: 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.

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

Lemon-Caper Parmesan Potato Salad Bites

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

5. Mini Corn Dogs with Cranberry Mustard

60 Easiest Finger Foods Ever

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

Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
Credit: 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

Pizza Sticks
Credit: 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

Bacon and Cheddar Sliders
Credit: Nigel Cox; Styling: Molly Findlay

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

9. Cheesy Sausage Roll-ups

Cheesy Sausage Roll-Ups
Credit: 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.

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane