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Snacks and Mocktails Based on Your Fav Final Four Team

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

The 2024 Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament has narrowed down to four teams: North Carolina State University, the University of Iowa, the University of Connecticut and the University of South Carolina. The Final Four matches are set to be exhilaratingly competitive, and the talent of both teams is bound to make the last two matches before the championship match close-scoring games. Instead of nervously biting your nails during the tournament, here are some snacks and mocktails to munch on and drink with your girls while pulling for your favorite team:

1. If you are a Wolfpack fan, try this bright red, muddled strawberry mocktail that matches NC State’s colors (this is a friend’s recipe that I can vouch for; it’s delicious). Simply mix sparkling water, strawberry lemonade and muddled (crushed) strawberries for a sweet, bubbly drink. If you’re feeling extra fancy (which you should – it’s the Final Four after all!), add a slice of lime. As a North Carolina native myself, I knew that there was only one appetizer I would want to pair with this mocktail: Carolina sliders. North Carolina is known for its Carolina burger, which is topped with chili and coleslaw.  While the burger might sound a little outside the box, it is one of my favorite parts of going back to my home state.

2. Iowa’s signature bright yellow color inspired me to include this Jalapeño Pineapple Mocktail. The mocktails’ powerful kick matches the Hawkeye’s powerful performance on the court. For a Hawk-inspired treat, making a “bird feed” bar with lots of snack options will appeal to all of your fellow fans. Setting out bowls of different types of candies (or combining them all to make the TikTok-famous “candy salad”), popcorn, pretzels and other bite-sized foods will satisfy both savory-girlies and sweet-treat girlies.

3. If you’re a UConn fan, then this gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan Sparkling Blueberry Ginger Mocktail will match your deep blue Huskies apparel. Speaking of the university’s mascot, the love that real huskies have for cold weather might make an ice cream bar the perfect addition to your Final Four party. Whether you are more of a Ben & Jerry’s connoisseur or a classic Blue Bell queen, having your favorite ice creams and toppings is sure to alleviate some of the stress of being a spectator. Personally, I would think that a bowl of chocolate chunk ice cream topped with every type of chocolate I could find would prevent the number of times I yell at the TV – or at least decrease it.

4. This garnet Vampire’s Kiss mocktail is sure to channel the aesthetic of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. With ingredients like pomegranate juice and cherry syrup, the drink’s rich color will pair perfectly with your gameday mood board. Another mascot-inspired snack pairing is to have a chicken wing bar with an assortment of sauces such as garlic parmesan, buffalo (my personal fav) and hot sauce. Don’t forget the ranch and blue cheese for dipping!

The Wolfpack, Hawkeyes, Huskies and Gamecocks have all earned their place in the Final Four. Each team’s determination and talent are going to make the next two games thrilling to witness. If you and your besties are planning on streaming the games, these team-centered snacks are sure to boost your team spirit as you watch history unfold.

Caroline Crews is a third-year public relations major at the University of Florida. As a PR major, she enjoys nerding out about consumer analytics and campaign design. Caroline has used her education to design social media plans for both non-profit and for-profit organizations, create targeted email campaigns, and construct the branding of several organizations. When Caroline is not immersed in the field of PR, you can find her going on a walk, spending time with friends and family, or making a pot of coffee.