Move over college basketball, the Arizona Restaurant Association's version of the Sweet 16 is underway.
Arizonans have a new bracket to fill out with the first Ultimate Burrito Showdown beginning Thursday.
The event is an introduction to some of the 2014 Spring Arizona Restaurant Week participants.
Burritos from 16 restaurants will loosely follow the NCAA bracketing, kicking off Arizona's top "Sloppy 16" burritos and concluding with the championship April 7.
Burrito fanatics will take to Facebook to vote their favorite savory, tortilla-swaddled concoction into burrito stardom.
The Ultimate Burrito Showdown will pit lauded foodie favorites like three-time James Beard Award nominee Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza's Barrio Queen, and Phoenix favorite Otro Café, against longtime Valley treasures like Carolinas, and Los Dos Molinos.
From the "Sloppy 16" and the "Edible 8," down to the "Flavorful Four" and the final championship bracket on April 7, the best burritos from Sedona to Tucson will go head-to-head on Facebook to gather the most votes.
"We really wanted to do something fun to celebrate the flavors and cuisine of Arizona as a precursor to this year's Spring Arizona Restaurant Week," said Steve Chucri, president of Arizona Restaurant Association.
"As Arizonans, we are passionate about our food and proud of our culinary influences - what could be better than an extra way to celebrate March Madness with a little healthy competition among the best Mexican restaurants in the state?"
Facebook users will be able to vote once per day for the "Elite 8," "Flavorful 4" and championship matchups to win prizes courtesy of the Arizona Restaurant Association and Arizona Office of Tourism.
Matchups will be revealed daily.
The list of restaurants chosen to compete in the inaugural Ultimate Burrito Showdown are:
Carolina's, Phoenix - Machaca Burrito
Molina's Midway, Tucson - Crazy Burro
Los Dos Molinos, Phoenix and Mesa - Green Chile Burrito
Barrio Queen, Scottsdale - Barrio Pollo Burrito
Blanco Tacos, Phoenix and Scottsdale - Machaca Burrito
Friday, August 1 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:20:08 GMT
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