March Madness Munchies: Recipes Perfect for Tailgating and Game Watching

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Get ready to score a slam-dunk with the hoops crowd. March Madness is about to sweep the nation – that time of year when even the least knowledgeable among us develops a sudden passion for basketball. And with TVs across America tuned to the games, chances are you’ll be asked to supply some quick snacks at least once or twice this month.

 

All this hoops hysteria can be traced to humble beginnings – a turn-of-the century YMCA gym in Springfield, Massachusetts. The year was 1891, and Dr. James Naismith, asked to think up an indoor “athletic distraction” for a rowdy bunch of schoolboys, modified a game from his childhood that involved throwing a ball into an elevated peach basket. The game of basketball was born, and over the years it has evolved from distraction to national obsession.

Naismith could never have foreseen that the sport would change our national calendar. College championship games elevate the month of March to a hierarchy shared only by the Super Bowl’s hyped-up connection to January.

The majority of fervent fans that follow the NCAA tournament do so on television. While the fanatics in the arena are hard to match in showmanship and hysteria, those gathered in living rooms and dens around the country are as devoted, intense and focused as any in the stands.

But even a fanatic has to eat.

So lay in a supply of snacks and foods that are delicious, hearty, noncomplicated and easy to eat with one eye on a jump ball. A March Madness gathering is not the place to organize a wine tasting, a dessert fondue or anything that requires much concentration or attention, before, during or after the game.

Add a new dip or munchie rookie to your playbook to complement the veterans already in your game plan. These recipes, if prepared ahead, won’t take you out of the game for any time, and you’ll get a lot of cheers.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Crab Dip

Hot Shot Cherries and Nuts

Oven-Baked Mini Reubens

Double Chocolate Nut Clusters

What’s your favorite March Madness snack or appetizer – dips, finger foods, desserts? Let us know in the comments!

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