As everyone flips their calendars to March, sports fans will turn their attention to college basketball for arguably the greatest post-season competition — the NCAA college basketball tournament, a competition so unpredictable that it’s become known as March Madness.
So in the spirit of a great American tradition, The Daily Targum is introducing the biggest food contest Rutgers University and its local restaurant scene has ever seen: March Munchies.
The tournament's name is a tip of the hat to its basketball doppelgänger and is a 32-restaurant, single-elimination tournament — half the amount of participants as the NCAA tournament but with all of the excitement.
The court begins at the border of the Douglass and College Avenue campus and stretches deep into the depths of Easton Avenue. From pizza places, falafel spots and sit-down restaurants, the competition is on, and by the end of the month's madness, there will be one New Brunswick Champion.
The restaurants were selected through a rigorous vetting process: from Yelp! reviews, the opinions of Targum editorial members and invested University students.
The restaurants will act as teams do in the NCAA competition and will be pitted against each other every weekend with shared hopes of advancing to the finals. All participants have been seeded from 1 to 8 and separated into four regions consisting of eight teams.
After much deliberation the final seeding is as follows:
1 - Tacoria, Stuff Yer Face, RU Hungry and Hansel & Griddle
2 - Destination Dogs, Diesel & Duke, P.J’s and Daniels
3 - Sanctuary, Wings Over, Olive Branch and Honeygrow
4 - Fritz, Krispy, KBG and Mamouns
5 - Chapati House, Ramen Nagomi, Brother Jimmy’s and Jersey Subs
6 - Cheezen, Filipos, Knight Wagon and Bubbakoos
7 - Bagel Nosh, Criminals & Tacos, Indochine and Noodle Gourmet
8 - Efes, Edo, Picken Chicken and Teri Teri
The seeding is far from perfect — a give-in when discussing something as subjective as food. That’s where your voice comes in.
There will be four rounds — the First Round, the Sweet 16, the Elite 8, the Final Four and the New Brunswick Championship. Voting polls for each round will begin every Thursday and run through Sunday, each week differing in the number of matchups per day.
The First Round begins this Thursday and features 16 head-to-head contests in four days, meaning there will be four matchups to vote on each day.
Votes will be counted from first 24 hours of the matchup being posted, so it is crucial to follow closely every day to have your full say in the outcome of the tournament.
Get your friends, neighbors, parents, pals, professors, pets and anyone else you know involved.
The higher the participation, the more likely it is there will be surprise winners, cinderella stories and the madness that makes March a special time of year on the basketball court — and now in New Brunswick restaurants.
Without further ado, here are your first-round matchups:
Day 1 (Voting March 2nd)
1) Stuff Yer Face vs. 8) Picken Chicken
2) P.J.'s Pizza vs. 7) Noodle Gourmet
3) Sanctuary vs. 6) Bubbakoos
4) Fritz vs. 5) Chapati House
Day 2 (Voting March 3rd):
1) Tacoria vs. 8) Efes
2) Destination Dogs vs. 7) Bagel Nosh
3) Olive Branch vs. 6) Cheezen
4) Mamouns vs. 5) Brother Jimmy's
Day 3 (Voting March 4th):
1) RU Hungry vs. 8) Teri Teri
2) Daniel's Pizza vs. 7) Indochine
3) Wings Over Rutgers vs. 6) Knight Wagon
4) Krispy vs. 5) Ramen Nagomi
Day 4 (Voting March 5):
1) Hansel & Griddle vs. 8) Edo
2) Diesel & Duke vs. 7) Criminals & Tacos
3) Honeygrow vs. 6) Filipos Pizza
4) KBG vs. 5) Jersey Subs