The 2014 NCAA tournament brackets have just been released, and while the sports media is busily parsing the surprises among the selections and seedings — Louisville, last year’s national champ, is ranked only fourth in the Midwest region and Larry Brown’s SMU didn’t even make the cut? — food-focused college hoops fans may be contemplating another question: What should I serve at my March Madness party?
Your guests will dribble — er, drool — over healthy March Madness munchies like Game-Winning “As You Wish” Guacamole (customize the recipe to suit your taste), Crowd-Pleasing Parmesan Chicken Fingers (ultra-simple and great for dipping in tomato sauce), and Olive and Caper Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes. (For more game-day snack ideas and recipes, check out Guy Fieri’s tailgating guide here.)
Or you could pay tribute to the schools whose teams made the grade by cooking up selections from the top 32 college eats from across the country. Honor Ohio State University with a Buckeye Doughnut, a mascot-inspired treat that combines chocolate and peanut butter to mimic its nutty namesake; pay tribute to the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Bo’s Express Ice Cream, named after Coach Bo Ryan; or celebrate the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Chicken and Cheddar Biscuit Sandwich, a Tar Heel favorite. These team-inspired recipes are total slam dunks.
And of course you’ll want to end the festivities with a buzzer-beating three-pointer, which is to say a really great dessert. How about a super-cute (and super-delicious) basketball cake, covered with orange and brown M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces? These basketball-decorated sugar cookies are fun too. Find a host of sugar cookie recipes to start you off here. Swish!