The definitive guide to watching March Madness – USA TODAY

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone has their own March Madness tradition. Many of those traditions are wrong. Here is your guide to doing it right:

Location

I’ve heard arguments for watching March Madness games at a bar, but there are too many variables at a bar. They might not have the right game on the big TV, someone will undoubtedly get there super early and steal the good tables, there might be an obnoxious group of people there all rooting for a team you don’t like…lots can go wrong.

Alos, bars during the day on weekdays can be depressing.

See? (Getty Images)

See? (Getty Images)

The proper location to watch a game is at someone’s house who has comfortable couches and a stocked fridge. You get to pick the people you spend time with, you can control the volume, you don’t have to fight for seats, and no bozo in facepaint is going to scream in your face if his favorite team beats your favorite team. Someone’s house is the way to go.

Of course it goes without saying that both bar and home are better options than watching at work. You already knew that, though.

Food

This food was prepared by the Culinary Institute of America. So just, uh, try to make food like this. (Handout, Culinary Institute of America)

This food was prepared by the Culinary Institute of America. So just, uh, try to make food like this. (Handout, Culinary Institute of America)

March Madness food is simple. The fewer plates the better, because plates require sitting upright. Even more importantly, food requiring forks and knives should be avoided. This isn’t for any macho “finger food is man food!” reason or such Guy Fieri stupidity but rather because eating food that requires a fork and knife on the couch is super awkward and you will almost 100% of the time spill everything all over yourself.

So, chips with dip is a good bet. Chips with guacamole is a better bet, because guacamole is objectively the best dip there is. Wings are good. Spring rolls. Basically anything that isn’t going to make too huge a mess when Iowa hits a clutch three to send the game into overtime and one of your friends jumps up on the couch and starts screaming.

Beverages

Soda, beer, warm milk. Whatever makes you happy. I’m not trying to live your life over here.

TVs

Contrary to popular sports-world belief, one TV is fine for March Madness. If you really want to spring and rent another TV for a few days, by all means, knock yourself out.

This is a television. You will need one of these. (Photo courtesy Vizio)

This is a television. You will need one of these. (Photo courtesy Vizio)

One TV is plenty, though, as long as you have someone who is vigilant with the remote. As soon as a game gets boring, this person should be frantically scanning the other games, looking for last-minute action. She should know what channel truTV is on the dial, which is something I’m not sure even most cable companies know. This remote control person has all the power in the world-of-one-TV, so make sure she’s chosen wisely.

Guests

Friends with a similar rooting interest as you, should you be supporting a specific team in the tournament, are always nice to have around. Pain/joy is always better when shared with a group. (I think Freud said that.)

This is a photo of Dr. Drew and his family watching TV on a couch at home. They seem happy. Maybe Dr. Drew would watch March Madness with you. (USA TODAY Photo)

This is a photo of Dr. Drew and his family watching TV on a couch at home. They seem happy. Maybe Dr. Drew would watch March Madness with you. (USA TODAY Photo)

I’d say watch out for the girl who’s way too into her bracket, or the guy who knows every single prop bet and rattles them off all day, but people like this will find their way into any March Madness party and it’s best just to accept that they’re going to show up and do their thing. We all want to live in a world where these people, i.e. those who scream expletives when their 12-seed upset didn’t happen, don’t exist. But they do exist, and it’s best to just accept them and enjoy the day.

Also, always bet the under on amount of buzzer-beaters to happen. If there aren’t any buzzer-beaters, you win your bet. If there are, you get to enjoy a buzzer-beater. Win-win.

Food, Guides, March Madness, ncaa tournament, TV, NCAAB 

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