It’s that time of year again — when we pick sports teams and food teams to distract us until spring.

We’re talking about March Madness, and in our case a pizza bracket, commencing today with 32 local pie makers (no out-of-state chains allowed), pitted against each other in a good old-fashioned ‘za-off.

To start, we relied on our own reviews and on so many reader suggestions. We included the obvious favorites and sprinkled in some Cinderella stories for good measure. Surprisingly, it was hard to narrow down great Denver-area pizza spots to just 32 (though we thought 64 was just too unruly to start with).

For this first round, we’ve matched the pizzas by pie style (Neapolitan, New York, for example), or by destination type (sit-down restaurant, late-night slice, etc…). We’ve included a healthy variety, from Chicago styles to Denver (and Boulder) hometown heroes and rising stars from Longmont to Nederland.

RELATED: An extremely subjective — yet highly defensible — list of the best pizza in (and around) Denver

We tried to create the match-ups in such a way that the little guys had a fighting chance, and so that one style didn’t steamroll other, worthy competitors. But what we really hope is that you use our bracket as a guide to discover some new local favorites.

Editor’s note: Feel free to fill out your brackets and have fun with the Denver Za Madness. Voting will take place every week online, and the winners of each match-up will be posted on The Know and printed in the following week’s Denver Post food section, until we get to a local champion. May the best pizza win.   

Download a printable version of the bracket to play with your friends!

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  • Deep dish pizza chain expanding to South Broadway, Arvada, Loveland
  • This New York-style pizza restaurant is selling out before it’s even opened
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The 32 battling pizzas. Voting closes Tuesday, March 23, at noon.

Blue Pan vs. Hops & Pie

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Grabowski’s vs. Crush

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Crosscut vs. Walter’s 303

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Enzo’s End vs. Piccolo

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Bonnie Brae vs. Beau Jo’s

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Frontroom vs. Deli Italia

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Marquis vs. Fat Sully’s

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Cosmo’s vs. Brooklyn’s Finest

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White Pie vs. Audrey Jane’s

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Famous Original J’s vs. New Yorkese

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Basta vs. Cart-Driver

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Vero vs. Marco’s Coal Fired

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Babette’s vs. Joy Hill

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Pizzeria Lui vs. Viale

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Esters vs. Cattivella

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Pizzeria Locale vs. Proto’s

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