5 Essential Snacks for a March Madness Viewing Party

guys playing basketball - march madness

Are you excited about the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic  Association) basketball tournament? Perhaps you’ve got a voting game going with your friends and colleagues as to which team will win? Have you thought about the viewing sessions and how to maximize the party opportunity?

What is March Madness? 

Basketball is a game of skill and talent and as the spectator, you get to watch some incredible jumps and goals. You need focus, resilience, and physical shape to excel at basketball. Just like any sport, how you manage your emotions and the belief you can win also has a huge part to play in the outcome of the game.

As spectators, it’s inspiring and exciting to watch this mentally and physically demanding game. Let’s also not forget the teamwork that’s in action in front of you as you cheer on your team. Moreover, you can have friends and family around you as you create your unique supportive team to cheer on the players.

You might be one of the lucky ones with front-row seats in the actual arena to watch the game up close and personal. As you’re sitting on the edge of your seat, you might be absent-mindedly snacking to calm your nerves. Instead of salty or fatty snacks, why not opt for a healthier gourmet popcorn option? Even caramel popcorn isn’t as bad for you as some other processed snacks.

Have you ever wondered about the origins of March Madness?

  • Basketball tournaments
  • Since 1939
  • Canceled in 2020

Basketball tournaments

NCAA has been around since 1906 and the basketball tournaments started in 1939. Today, it’s one of the biggest events in US sport. This year, they start on Sunday 13th March and end on Monday 4th April so you have plenty of time to get yourself ready with all your favorite viewing snacks.

Since 1939

The tournaments started in Illinois and it seems the term “March Madness” was coined by Henry V. Porter. He was a teacher and later became a coach for the game. Today, it’s become a great way to enjoy some sport with friends and family and to take some time out from our busy lives.

Canceled in 2020

Covid 19 has impacted us all in one way or another. Sadly, this also meant that the NCAA has to cancel the tournament in 2020. So while last year was a particularly mad one as we tried to regain some normality, this year is also going to be epic. Today, all of us appreciate even more the ability to go out and mingle with other people. You no longer have to enjoy your caramel popcorn in isolation.

live streaming march madness

Set Up Your Perfect Viewing Party 

Do you have your preferred way of watching sport? Some people prefer the comfort of their own home over actually going out to the game. You can of course do a bit of both as most people won’t want to do the whole season away from work.

If you’re going to host a viewing party with friends and neighbors, you’ll want to plan ahead of time. Get your to-do list ready and give yourself plenty of time to get the food, drinks, and snacks organized. You might also want to delegate certain foods out to your friends so it’s more a shared co-hosting experience.

Let’s also not forget the equipment. The last thing you need is for the black screen of death if your equipment breaks down at the last minute. So, check everything and get some spare cables just in case. Then, clear the space and get all the comfy seats in place within easy reach of the caramel popcorn.

As we all know, there’s a wide range of snacks and food you can offer. You can include healthy vegetable and dip snacks alongside your gourmet popcorn, for instance. Many people also enjoy cocktail sausages or chicken wings. If you’re in a vegan household though, you’ll want to get creative with your vegetables, sweets, and caramel popcorn.

Finally, make sure you cover the following themes for an even more special experience:

  • Decorations
  • Music
  • Games


If you’ve been following the game for a while, you might already have paraphernalia such as t-shirts and posters to put around the house. You might even want to hand out caps to your guests as they come in.


What are you going to play during the advert breaks? You also have the build-up before and the party afterward for which you’ll want the right music for you and your friends. People will also help you finish off any food or caramel popcorn at that stage. 


To make the game even more exciting, you can run a voting game so that everyone follows a team. Another approach is to follow a particular player and vote on the potential number of goals.

Gourmet Popcorn Snacks for March Madness Parties 

For the best viewing party, get a range of snacks, including healthy ones with indulgence.

Chewy caramel popcorn

Caramel popcorn is the perfect blend of healthy and indulgent. Air-popped corn is a whole grain that’s good for you and even reduces heart disease. Of course, you should drizzle the caramel conservatively. Then again, what fun is life without a little indulgence?

Gooey chocolate drizzle

Chocolate is another wonderful indulgence to add to gourmet popcorn, especially when it’s still hot and melts in your mouth. You can also take it further and add some color with lots of sprinkles on top.

Sweet and sour

Surprise your taste buds by combining salt and sugar on top of your gourmet popcorn. There’s something fun about not knowing exactly what taste you’re about to encounter as you pop it into your mouth.

Parmesan rosemary gourmet popcorn

For those who prefer savory, this is a great way to do something different with your gourmet popcorn. Simply melt the cheese on top and sprinkle your rosemary.

Cheese mix

There are many cheese lovers out there and gourmet popcorn works wonderfully well with a cheese mix. You just need to melt some butter and cheese that you then drizzle on top of your gourmet popcorn for that intense flavor.

Enjoy Your March Madness

The great thing about such a huge sports event is that everyone is on the same schedule so you can coordinate time off more easily with your friends. In fact, it’s a great reason to hang out with your friends and get some bonding time.

Many of us also work too hard and we all need a break to avoid burnout. What better way than by indulging a little with some great food and snacks? Don’t forget all the laughs and excitement you’ll be getting during the game to further promote your wellbeing.

Moreover, studies show that sports fans are happier and with greater self-esteem. This is partly because they have a purpose in following their teams. Most importantly though, they’re part of a community. We all need to feel that we belong and sport binds people together very well.

So, don’t hesitate to have some fun during your March Madness and to enjoy it to the full.

  • Friends
  • Disconnect
  • Indulge wisely


Psychologists have confirmed in many studies that social connection keeps us happy and healthy. We don’t just need to belong but we also need to be able to talk about our emotions and to be ourselves with people. Furthermore, friends give us confidence and support us through tough times.


The key to having time off is to cut work completely. A good way to do this is to turn off all your notifications and to put your out of office on. If you don’t, you never really relax and your break will have been a waste.

Indulge wisely

It’s fun to go crazy with food but remember that coming back to healthy habits will be that much harder. That’s why it’s a good idea to go for healthier options with gourmet popcorn. You can still add some indulgence with your sauce but you’ve cut down on calories.

basketball court

Final Recommendations for your March Madness Viewing Party

The best way to fully enjoy your viewing party is to get your friends involved. Get them to help out with food and snacks while you sort out the decorations, for instance. You can also have fun getting creative with your gourmet popcorn toppings. Anything and everything go well with gourmet popcorn so it depends on your preferences.

So, get your list ready with plenty of time ahead of the game. Sort out the team paraphernalia decorations, get your caramel popcorn or any other popcorn ready, organize drinks and check your viewing equipment. After that, you can sit back and get stuck in the game.

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