Well, here it is. After a long week of consideration, poring over the data, and general procrastination, the final field is set (albeit much later than I originally wanted). The official pizza bracket has been released. The photo above may be difficult to read, but you can click the link above to download the PDF. Please download the bracket and fill it out as you go dancing with me through the competition.
Determining the final 7 pizza shops to make the tourney was tough. Though, I feel confident that the right decisions were made. Joining the 25 previously mentioned entrants into the tourney are Jioio’s, Italian Village, Osso’s, Upper Crust, Cucina Bella, Mario’s, and Enrico Biscotti. I had to pull the trigger on those located in the distant suburbs. The buzz was too hot for me to ignore. Therefore, Jioio’s, Osso’s, Upper Crust, and Mario’s will have their shot, but you best believe that I will complain onerously.
After the final 32 were selected, the next step was deciding the regions and seeding. I elected to separate the field into 4 regions based on geographic location. For the most part, the regions make sense. Obviously, most places are centrally located within the city limits, but some stretches had to be made. Next, I had to establish the seeding for each region from 1 to 8. This process was about a scientific as a creationist’s educational beliefs. I simply ranked them based on popularity. Regardless of seed, the best pizza places will advance to the final four based on the already discussed judging criteria (Appearance, Components, Overall Flavor).
With all of the preliminary work completed, it is now time to get down to the eating. I will release a game schedule each week. The first round of games should be completed by next weekend if everything goes the way it should. Below is this week’s schedule:
- Wednesday, March 8th: 1 Mandy’s vs. 8 Monte Cello’s
- Thursday, March 9th: 1 Spak Bros vs. 8 Caliente
- Friday, March 10th: 3 Aiello’s vs. 6 La Tavola
- Saturday, March 11th: 3 Pasquarelli’s vs. 6 Mario’s AND 1 Mineo’s vs. 8 Jioio’s
- Sunday, March 12th: 2 Mercurio’s vs. 7 Graziano’s
If you notice, on the weekend (sometimes) I will be doing at least 2 games (lunch and dinner). This will also probably happen on the first 2 full days of the NCAA tournament (Thursday 3/16 and Friday 3/17). I suggest you eat at each of these places so you can form an opinion and then tell me why I’m wrong (or right, I guess).
Please let me know if you wish to join me as an official judge for any of these games.
Now, if you would excuse me, I am going to take a bunch of laxatives to clear room for way too much pizza.