Today marks the start of the NCAA Sweet Sixteen round of March Madness. Sure, you can show your team support by screaming at the television or carrying around lucky talismans (yes, we know about those "lucky" socks), but may we suggest a tastier take on sports team appreciation? We rounded up some recipes for each of the teams in the Sweet Sixteen.
Ohio State University - The team mascot and the state's nickname are one in the same: Buckeye. Buckeye is, of course, just another name for a chestnut. Though it may be a bit warm for some to fully enjoy a roasted chestnut, this Chestnut and Bacon Risotto, which uses jarred chestnuts, is good any time of year.
University of Kentucky - Nothing says Kentucky like a good old-fashioned Hot Brown. Calling this state dish an open-faced sandwich seems almost insulting as it is so much more. It's toasted bread topped with turkey, bacon, tomatoes, and a buttery, cheesy mornay sauce.
Kansas University - A Jayhawk, the team's mascot, is a fictional bird that is half bluejay and half sparrowhawk. Were they to exist, we're sure they'd produce delicious eggs that could be made into dishes like this easy Egg Salad.
Richmond - Take advantage of this Virginia team's mascot: the spiders. No, we're not suggesting you go rooting around in your cellar for a tasty daddy long legs. Instead, bake up this simple Along Came a Spider Cake.Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Marquette - Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Marquette University can be best celebrated with a beer-based snack honoring the brewing culture for which Milwaukee is famed. Try this Potted Cheddar and Beer Spread.
University of North Carolina - Mention North Carolina around us and we'll start salivating for some pulled pork barbecue. Cheer on the Tar Heels with a Pulled Pork Sandwich doused in a traditional vinegar-based sauce.
Virginia Commonwealth University - VCU's basketball fans are known and the rowdy rams so a rowdy recipe is in order. Rather than cook up the mascot itself in the form of lamb, fix up a bright and colorful tapa like
Pimientos del Piquillo Rellenos de Queso Roncal — pimiento peppers stuffed with sheep's milk cheese.
Florida State - Blue crab are unique to Florida's waters. A dish of Crab Cakes with Tropical Salad will keep you Seminole fans cheering even if the team falls behind.
Duke - The team's name — Blue Devils — comes from the French les Diables Bleus, which was a nickname given during WWI to the French Alpine light infantry battalion. So this recipe for Devils on Horseback seemed too perfect to resist — even though the infantry went by foot.
University of Arizona - You may be getting another dose of winter where you are but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some toasty Southwestern cuisine in support of the Arizona Wildcats. These Salsa Verde Enchiladas make a zesty, make-ahead centerpiece for any basketball-based evening.
Butler - With the Indianapolis 500 coming up and Butler in the semis, you can kill two birds with one delicious sandwich — the traditional Indy 500 sandwich, that is. It's a pork tenderloin sandwich. Change tradition up a bit with this Pork Pita.Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Wisconsin University - Many Badger fan traditions take place on State Street. And no visit to State Street is complete without a State Street bratwurst. Fix your own up in the form of Brats with Cabbage and Apples.
University of Connecticut - Every fuzzy, brown and white UConn Husky mascot except one is named Jonathan after Jonathan Turnbull, a pre- and post-Revolutionary Connecticut governor. This recipe for Hot Dog on a Stick makes a snack that both supports the canine mascot and is perfect for waving in the air to cheer UConn (and Jonathan) on.
San Diego State University - In between beach lounging and margarita drinking, eating fish tacos is one of the favorite pastimes of San Diego residents. Cheer on the party school's Aztecs with these Beer-Battered Fish Tacos with Tomato and Avocado Salsa.
Brigham Young University - Support the BYU Cougars with these
Catfish Fingers (get it? Catfish?), which are kicked up a notch with a fiery pinch of cayenne.
University of Florida - Be the hit at any Gator party with these layered Alligator Bite shots, which are sure to get your guests cheering even if they aren't Florida fans.
What's your favorite food-team combo? Let us know!