Barbecue bracket: who should win? - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Barbecue bracket: who should win?

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When you think BBQ, a lot of great locations come to mind: Memphis, Texas and even Alabama.  Right now, 32 Alabama barbecue restaurants are competing in the first Alabama Barbecue Bracket.  You'll get to vote for your favorite.

The competition, which is sponsored by the state tourism department, coincides with the NCAA's March Madness basketball tournament and The Year of Alabama Food.  Starting on Monday, March 11, you'll be able to begin voting for the best barbecue restaurant in the state at Facebook.com/AlabamaFood.  The 32 bbq joints were selected by Facebook and Twitter users.  They have been divided into four geographic regions. They've been seeded and matched up in the bracket based on social media polling that was conducted last year.

"Barbecue is part of our heritage," said Alabama Tourism Director Lee Sentell. "As a result, there's always been a debate in this state about which restaurant serves the best barbecue. Our Barbecue Bracket gives Alabamians and visitors an opportunity to choose their favorite barbecue restaurant. It'll be a very tough competition, because our restaurants make some of the best barbecue in the country."

Each head-to-head match up between restaurants will last for 72 hours for a total of 28 days. The restaurants with the most votes will progress to the Sweet 16, the Elite Eight and the Final Four. Voting for the restaurants in the Final Four will take place from April 1 through April 5.

The winning restaurant will be named "The Year of Alabama Food Ultimate Barbecue Champion" on Monday, Apr. 8 - the same day as the NCAA's Men's Division I Basketball Championship. The winning restaurant will receive a plaque and bragging rights.

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