April 5 (scroll down to vote)



Some fun tidbits about the tournament. Over 25,000 votes have been casts, with an average of over 400 votes per matchup.

The biggest matchup was Pie Pan (of course) versus Zog’s bartender Zan Bell, with 684 votes casts.

Best anecdote: a supportive mom imploring people online “please don’t let my kid lose to a roundabout.”


It’s live action out there.

11:32 update

Despite sleeping all day, Pie Pan has taken a commanding lead. But Cat’s Cradle had a commanding lead on the Botanical Garden at this point yesterday. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.

And then there were two.

On one side we have Pie Pan, a cat who lives at the Baxter. Pie Pan caught the world’s attention when she took out Chapel Hill Transit in the first round, then rode roughshod over any bar or bartender in her way: Imbibe, Zog’s bartender Zan Bell, OSCS, and finally the Cave, who had a great tournament.

On the other we the NC Botanical Garden, which has taken to the competition like a worm to compost, decomposing well-regarding opponents: Town Manager Chris Blue, BIPOC youth art on the buses, the Carrboro Farmer’s Market, and Cat’s Cradle.

Experts are torn about who will win the whole thing. Some say Pie Pan is unstoppable, as evidenced by her 50+ point victory in the Final 4. Others note that NC Botanical Garden, while not winning by margins as large as Pie Pan’s, had to take out two 1-seeds to make it to the championship.

Anything can happen. Will the kids be rushing Graham Street tonight in honor of Pie Pan, or setting a pignut hickory tree on fire beside the Garden’s Turtle Pond?

Voting is open until midnight, after which we will finally know the coolest person place or thing in Carrboro and Chapel Hill!

April 4


Pie Pan is starting to look like the 2009 Heels. Up big on the Cave.

7:45 update

Hold on to your knickers. NCBotanga, after being down all day, is making a run and is currently leading perennially cool Cat’s Cradle.

It’s been a wild ride and we’re almost to the end. Everything these teams have fought for, have been training for – despite not knowing they were in this competition until we alerted them to that fact – comes down to this moment. Today, we determine who will make tomorrow’s March Radness Championship.

Vote below. Voting ends at midnight tonight.

April 3

Voting starts tomorrow. We have interviews up with the North Carolina Botanical Garden and Pie Pan, a cat.

March 28

The Cave had a dramatic comeback last night, setting up an epic contest against Pie Pan, who has gone from relative obscurity to perhaps the favorite to win it all.

The NC Botanical Garden will battle Cat’s Cradle in the other matchup.

No voting until next week!

March 27: The Elite 8

3:55 analysis

Seems like a low intensity day so far. IP3 and Pie Pan are cruising. The Botanical Garden is sticking it to the pig. Are these leads safe, especially considering that OCSC and The Cave voters tend to show up at night?

We’ll be down to 4 teams after today. We have contests that pit bars against food, plants against a pig, and a hangout for cool cats against a cool cat that hangs out. Updated bracket is below.

Schedule note: we’ll announce the final 4 tomorrow but will hold that vote and the championship next week. We want to make sure the teams have time to prepare and get caught up on their coursework.

Now go on and get to it! Click below to vote.

March 26: The Sweet Sixteen

8:17 hot take

One of the more interesting outcomes at this point is the return of cool to Chapel Hill (or the return of Chapel Hill to cool?). If current leads hold, 6 of the 8 teams in the Elite 8 will be from Chapel Hill, despite Carrboro’s reputation for being the cool part of our towns.

Maybe we need to make up some “Chapel Hill: Secretly Cool” t-shirts?


The denizens of OCSC have been alerted. Surged to an almost 100 vote lead on Bolin Creek Trail.


Biscuits over books. SBK is killing it, taking 83 of last 100 votes in its battle against the CH public library.

3:32 update

1-seed OCSC is only up by 9 votes.

Pie Pan apparently has a posse. After being down big this morning, they have gotten 88 out of the last 100 votes against Zan Bell. We know better than to count out Bell, though.

Cat’s Cradle may be the most dominant 1-seed in the tournament – currently crushing Forest Theater.

Yesterday was wild. Pie Pan has done it again, winning by a couple votes, setting up a doozy today against Zog’s bartender Zan Bell.

A few other teams have been flying under the radar, slowly but surely crushing their competition: Bolin Creek Trail, the Forest Theater, the library, and the pig on top of Crook’s Corner.

Something has to give.

Click for a larger version of the updated bracket

March 25: Round of 32


Rougarou/Imbibe is back in the lead.

And we’re off to bed. Too much stress. Sweet 16 tomorrow!


4 votes


Christ, so many close ones tonight.


The Cave versus the Weave being so close is making me wondering why we don’t have a local establishment with a vodka hot bar.


Uh oh. Rougarou/Imbibe has cut it to 6.


We may only have one bartender left tomorrow: Zog’s sleeper cell Zan Bell. Jamie McPhail from OCSC has had a great tournament but appears to be going down to a drive thru restaurant that sells something called the Bad Grandpa Combo.


The Cave has taken a commanding 15 vote lead over the Weave.

And 100% of Cave votes are from the U.S.


This has become a global competition.

Rougarou/Imbibe has one vote from Japan. Pie Pan has one from Argentina.


Pie Pan extending the lead, taking it all in stride.


Bummed that Habitat for Humanity and the Francis Sheltley bike path are probably going down tonight. Did CHALT rally their troops today?


Pie Pan just took the lead.


The Cave is now BEATING the Weave.


Could the Weave be the first one seed to go down? It’s only leading The Cave by 4 votes.



Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen is up by just 4 votes

1:23 pm

That’s some pig. (Voting is still open.)


1:21 pm

Pie Pan, the cat, could not be reached for comment.


9:39 am

Looks like the Farmers’ Market is pulling ahead of Brian McGee, whose Twin House Music is directly next to the farmers’ market. We sense future tension.


You know the deal. Get to it!

We’re doing all Round of 32 matchups today. Voting ends at midnight.

March 23

We’re taking the weekend off but updated bracket is below. It’s only going to get uglier from here. Cat’s Cradle versus Carolina blue firetrucks? Cosmic versus Open Eye? IP3 versus rushing Frankin Street? Brutal. Gird your loins and hug your children. We’ll see you on Monday.

Click for a larger version of the updated bracket

March 22 (scroll down for links to vote)


The Blog Blog is getting sleepy. Probably done with updates tonight – we’ll fire up the round of 32 early next week.

Keep an eye on Richard Stilwell at OCSC, who’s been doubling up Carolina North Forest this evening but it still behind by ~25. We don’t know if the Zoggers like him like they like Pie Pan, but we’ll find out in a couple of hours.


Pho Happiness is not going to win. They got a really tough draw. Please show them some love soon. They are super friendly and have great food. They are reliably gluten allergen friendly. And they deliver pho in a fresh and non-mushy manner, which is not easy to do.



Wait, why have I never thought of having a Triangle Zog Zog party before right now??


Relationship goals: find someone who loves me as much as Zoggers love Zan Bell


And there it is.


Imbibe is still behind but won 80+% of the vote since 6pm.


Henderson Street is not fucking around tonight. This was a bikeway bloodbath earlier today.


Pie Pan is up by 7.



Chapel Hill Transit provides 7 million free rides each year.

Pie Pan is 1 cat who hangs out at a bar.


5 votes 😳


Chapel Hill Transit clinging to a 10 vote lead on Pie Pan


We believe Pie Pan is getting a down ballot boost from the Zogs contingent. Zan Bell could be a kingmaker here?


Don’t look now but Pie Pan has received 2/3rds of the last 100 votes in that matchup. Still a lot of votes to make up but there could be enough time.


Is there a Vote for Zan Bell phone bank set up at Zogs right now? The roundabout was winning most of the day but we’re seeing an epic comeback.


Can’t help but wonder what sort of conversations are happening tonight. “Hon, what do you mean you were beaten by a botanical garden today?”


Who has a pic of Pie Pan? [email protected]

11:08 update

Is there any other town in America where a rock star would be in a dead heat with a bus stop?

The sun’s rising and the Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen is advancing, making a late night comeback to eek out a win. Full results from yesterday are below.

And Day 2 voting is open.  Matchups we’ll be watching:  a squirrel against a pig, a bartender against a roundabout, and a brutal contest between two blue bloods in the Morehead Planetarium and the Bolin Creek Trail. Click the icons to get to voting.

Yesterday’s winners

Click for a larger version of the updated bracket

March 21: It begins (scroll down for links to vote)

10:03 analysis

Human beings who don’t work at OCSC are having a rough day. Only Jamie McPhail appears likely to advance.



Looking forward to a battle between a cat and a transit system tomorrow

4:50 update

Imagine waking up this morning – maybe you didn’t even know you were in the tournament – and now you’re beating art.

1:38 update

oh wow – nail biter (christ, I want a sausage egg and cheddar right about now)

12:27 update

Is this the end of pickleball in Chapel Hill?

11:11am update

The Cave versus Brandwein’s Bagels is the most exciting matchup so far. The Cave has come back from behind. Will it be neck and neck or could this become a blowout because most people who go to the Cave don’t wake up until 2pm?

Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen could be a sleeper candidate to make it to the final 4. Did anyone see them beating Carrboro Music Festival???

It’s going to be a wild day.

You will be asked to make decisions you perhaps never considered, such as whether a pickleball stud is cooler than a bike path, or whether a place to get beer with your dog is cooler than an organization that builds homes for low-income families.

Probably a good time to mention that voting is anonymous!

We vote today on 8 matchups in each of two regions (voting ends at midnight). We’ll wrap up the round of 64 tomorrow. Select the icons below to vote!

March 20

Welcome to the March Madness Tournament Central!

Voting will start tomorrow and we’ll keep updating this page with links to vote, updates, hot takes, and deep analysis.

How did we get here?

We were tired of not knowing what the coolest person place or thing is in Carrboro and Chapel Hill, decided to run a tournament, and asked for your submissions. And hoo boy did you respond. We thought we might struggle to get to 64 “teams” but you sent in over 150.

What did you learn from the submissions?

A couple things. First, y’all really have different ideas about what is cool. Some of you fall into what we would call the Miles-Davis-is-cool camp, while others are team Barry Manilow. But hey, different strokes.  Second, many if not all of you may be alcoholics. Lots of bars and bartenders made the tournament.

How did you trim the field to 64 teams?

Play in games held around 11pm last night, obviously. There were several duplicates that were removed, and similar submissions combined into one. People or places that no longer exist were tossed (RIP). And yeah sorry but a few entries that sounded extremely uncool had to be removed. Better luck next year.

What are the 1 seeds?

There are some clear juggernauts that received multiple submissions and secured one seeds (all other submissions were randomly assigned their seeds). Here are your one seeds for each bracket:

The overall field

Click the image to open a larger version in a new window.

What’s next?

Like, a lot.

We’ll post polls for you to vote on each matchup starting tomorrow. We’ll only run this on weekdays. Voting will close by midnight each day and winners will advance to the next round. Any ties will be settled by coin flip.

Check back tomorrow to begin voting!

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