Crunch Madness heads into the Sweetest Sixteen


Jack Hoover

The updated Crunch Madness bracket. Photo courtesy of MavRadio.

With 48 matchups now decided and in the books, the Crunch Madness action is only beginning to heat up.

After two highly competitive and extremely exciting rounds, what is now set up is possibly the Sweetest Sixteen that has ever been seen. With crunch-off scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight, here are the highlights of the first two rounds and a breakdown of what to expect from the snacks still standing.

The Chips Region

As expected, this region has largely been all chalk, as the top snacks in this side of the region have by and large dominated the competition.

The only exception to this rule came in the first true upset of the tournament, as the No. 12 seed Sun Chips knocked off the No. 5 seed Funyuns. This upset seemed to prove the rule that it’s always smart to pick at least one 12 over 5 upset in your bracket. Unfortunately for Sun Chips, their victory over Funyuns seemed to be a one-off fluke, as they were easily beaten by the No. 4 seed Lay’s BBQ in the round of 32.

The four snacks left standing in this region were predicted to be here by the selection committee. No. 1 seed Lay’s Original looks to do battle with No. 4 seed Lay’s BBQ, while No. 3 seed Cool Ranch Doritos will take on No. 2 seed Nacho Cheese Doritos.

It might seem that the selection committee loves a tasty story in their tournament, as both of these matchups will feature familiar foes. The best two snacks from the Lays Conference and the Doritos Conference go head to head in what should be two munching matchups.

The Cookies/Cakes Region

If you’re the sort of fan that doesn’t like seeing the heavyweight snacks win out all the time, then the Cookies/Cakes Region might be more your speed. Upsets ruled the first two rounds of the tournament for this region, as nearly every top seed fell to the underdog or really had to scrap out a tough win.

It’s hard to pick out a matchup from this region that was the most exciting, as there were many to pick from. One of the contenders though would have to be the matchup between No. 3 seed Twinkies and No. 14 seed Famous Amos. In a contest that gave fans much to be entertained by, the un-favored and unflavored Famous Amos cookies nearly pulled off the upset, before barely falling short in the last few hours of voting.

While upsets did abound in this region, it was the upsets pulled by the Girl Scout Cookies that really stood out. The No. 13 seed Thin Mints and No. 15 seed Caramel Delights were picked by many fans as the upset specials in their bracket, and that’s exactly how it played out. Despite their low seeding both snacks advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, and if momentum is anything to judge them on, they don’t seem like they’ll be stopping there.

The Candy Region

The Candy Region will not be remembered for its first round upsets, as every single higher seed came out on top. But what the region lacked in chaos in the first round, it more than made up for in the second.

One of the storylines at the beginning of the tournament in this region was the No. 8 seeding of the Kit Kat bar. Many thought this was too low for a candy bar with a resume like Kit Kat’s. So, after a comfortable first round win against the No. 9 seed Sour Patch Kids, Kit Kats had a date with destiny against the No. 1 seed Snickers in order to prove that they had what it takes. And prove it they did—Kit Kats became the first team to knock of a No. 1 seed in the tournament, picking up a close, but gutsy win against Snickers.

Elsewhere in the region, the No. 5 seed Skittles knocked off the No. 4 seed Hershey’s, and the No. 6 seed Twix beat the No. 3 seed M&M’s for two more second round upsets.

The only snack that played according to plan was the No. 2 seed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, who picked up two dominating wins in its first two games. With upsets laying waste to the other top seeds in the region, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups will have to like their chances of making it all the way to the Final Four.

The Cereal Region

While there’s still time for this to change, the Cereal region has yet to give fans much to cheer about in terms of upsets.

The only notable one in this region came when the No. 11 seed Cocoa Puffs knocked off the No. 6 seed Cheerios. However, many argue that Cheerios was one of the weakest six seeds in the entire tournament and were undeserving of their seed. To see Cocoa Puffs come out on top was a surprise to few.

What the region has lacked in upsets, however, it’s made up for in exciting matchups. Perhaps the best matchup in the entire tournament came in the second round when the No. 5 seed Cap’n Crunch took on the No. 4 seed Reese’s Puffs. Experts predicted that this matchup would go down to the wire, but they didn’t predict just how close it would. Only by a margin of one single vote did Cap’n Crunch take the win to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.