MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - March 11, 2010) - (Family Features) The March tournament is finally here. That means 63 games in 6 rounds of tournament play. 65 hours of coverage over 19 days. And if we're lucky, 1 great Cinderella story.

Hoops fans all over the country will get caught up in the excitement of the national college basketball championship tournament, which tips off on Tuesday March 16. Whether you're rooting for top seeds or pulling for the underdog, add to the excitement by hosting your own tournament party.

Pre-Game Fun

Go one-on-one with the pros without breaking a sweat by firing up the basketball video games. Or show your skills in an indoor game of H-O-R-S-E. Set up some Nerf hoops or use trash cans and paper wads and let the games begin.

Slam-Dunk Snacks

When the action starts, make sure you're ready to cheer on your favorite teams with easy-to-eat snack foods that will give your guests the energy to go the distance. Nuts are a great source of natural energy -- fueling you up so you don't miss a second. Try Emerald Deluxe Mixed Nuts snack canisters for a great-tasting snack packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and the good fat your body needs.

Nuts are an easy way to keep snacking fingers happy. But also make sure hearty dips, a meat and cheese plate, and a variety of chips and salsas are on hand; they'll score extra points with hungry fans. At the buzzer, serve cookies, brownies or basketball cupcakes for a sweet finish.

Cheer for the Underdogs

Make that "underdog-team" as much a part of your tournament experience as cheering on the top seeds.

This year, Emerald Nuts has put a unique spin on the bracket brouhaha at UnderdogBracket.com. It's a bracket game that turns the tournament upside down by tracking your favorite underdogs and giving users a chance to win $10,000.

There are three ways to win:

--  Pick the underdog that goes the furthest for a chance to win $10,000.
--  Pick the championship team for a chance to win $5000.
--  Enter daily at UnderdogBracket.com for a chance up to $200 instantly.

You can text the word UNDERDOG to 87963 or go to UnderdogBracket.com to play along and for complete rules and prize list.

For more information about great game time snacks, visit emeraldnuts.com.

Photo Courtesy of Getty