Kim O'Reilly

Like the TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship, 8-seed Jalapeños were never supposed to be here -- according to the so-called "experts." This bracket's Cinderella navigated a difficult road, beating 3-seed Peppers on a buzzer-beater and upsetting 1-seed Mushrooms, just to have a shot at the crown. Unfortunately, Jalapeños also ran into a generational buzz saw that is 1-seed Pepperoni and did not live to tell the tale.  

Pepperoni was the heavy betting favorite to win the national championship of pizza toppings heading into the bracket, and the performance was dominant. The classic topping crushed Jalapeños with 87.5% of the vote to capture the first Pizza Pandemonium championship. 

Said Twitter user "Tom Fornelli's Lawn" in the comments: "This is Georgia vs. TCU all over again." 

With the victory, Pepperoni joins a storied history of March Madness-style champions at CBS Sports. Last year, the Michigan Surrender Cobra emerged as the winner of college football's Meme Madness. In 2019, a consortium of side orders -- fries, tots and onion rings -- edged cookies to earn the title of top snack food. 

Now that Pepperoni has emerged as champion, make sure and order a pepperoni pizza in celebration while watching the Final Four this weekend exclusively on CBS. And maybe, for old time's sake, you can even toss some jalapeños on there. 

Pizza Pandemonium Bracket

Kim O'Reilly

Voting for every round round is being held via tweets from our Cover 3 Podcast account as embedded below. 

(1) Pepperoni vs. (8) Jalapeños

(1) Pepperoni: Cruised through the Hunter region with dominating wins over No. 8 Anchovies, No. 4 Bacon and No. 3 Sausage en route to the title game. None of them came within 50% of the pizza toppings staple, proving why Pepperoni could be the first preseason No. 1 to go wire-to-wire in our completely made up and delicious tournament. Pepperoni wasn't even challenged in the regular season, however; could that come back to haunt it with the national title on the line? Jalapeños are hot -- pun very much intended -- and will pose the biggest threat to date.

(8) Jalapeños: Capturing the Gatherer Region title, Jalapeños also apparently captured the hearts of Cover 3 Podcast voters. Once considered a mere regional power, Jalapeños have announced their presence on the national scene with authority. The Florida Atlantic of this tournament spent the last five years dominating lower-level competition in the state of Texas and throughout the southwest part of the country. However, the rise in popularity in hot foods and sauces across all 50 states has helped elevate jalapeño into a budding superpower in the topping world.