It’s March which means its bracket season! While basketball fans get their brackets ready for the NCAA Tournament, pork lovers have their own brackets they are watching.

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Pork tenderloin lovers had their time in the spotlight to vote for their favorite sandwich. The Waukon eatery Lid’s Bar & Grill took the state's best title to northeast Iowa through popular and judges' votes.

Now, the Iowa Pork Producers Association, or IPPA, is looking for the state’s best-pulled pork sandwich, through a March Madness bracket theme.

The Pulled Pork Madness is a bracket-based competition that is comprised of fan nominations submitted earlier this month. On Monday, the IPPA released its “Sweet 16” mashups.

In the northeast Iowa match-up, Flip’s in Waterloo is going up against The Pub at the Pinicon in New Hampton. Pork lovers may recognize The Pub at the Pinicon from its past title of Iowa’s Best Pork Tenderloin for 2019.

This isn’t the only familiar restaurant in the “Sweet 16” this year. The Flying Elbow held the 2022 title in Iowa’s Best Burger Contest, and the Ultimate Best Burger title after a competition against New York.

Pulled pork lovers have until Friday, March 17th to vote on who they want to move on to the next round. Then the deadline to vote for the “Final Four”  vote will be due on March 22, and votes for the championship bracket will be due on March 27. The vote for the champion title ends March 30th with the winner being announced on the 31st.

The winner with the most votes will be named Iowa's Best Pulled Pork Sandwich, receiving $250 and a “Pulled Pork Madness” plaque.

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