It’s Time For March Mugness! See All The Matchups And Game Recaps—And Vote!

[Editor’s Note: You should click here to vote for the Elite Eight. And here is the recap of the Sweet 16.]

Welcome to March Mugness, the greatest caffeine competition in the history of startup-y sports. Or something like that.

We’ve put together a 32-“team” bracket of coffee shops that we’ve visited as part of the beloved Where’s Pete? weekly contest from June 3, 2019 through March 30, 2020, when the pandemic forced us outside coffee shops and into taking pictures of restaurant exteriors while fully masked. So really, this is a great window into the Time Before.

The squads have been broken into four regions: Downtown Durham, Downtown Raleigh, The Killer C’s (Chapel Hill/Carrboro/Cary) and Burbs + NC State. Hey, when one tries to divide a Triangle into four equal parts, some re-shuffling is going to happen. Each coffee shop in each region was seeded 1-8.

We’ll recap the full tournament in this space. For right now, you should go vote in the Sweet 16. The polls are open until 5pm ET tomorrow (Friday), March 19. Here are the matchups.

Downtown Durham
No. 1 Beyu Caffe v. No. 7 Monuts
No. 3 Mad Hatter’s Café v. No. 4 Cocoa Cinnamon

Downtown Raleigh
No. 1 Morning Times v. No. 7 Yellow Dog
No. 4 Sir Walter Coffee v. No. 6 Videri Chocolate

Killer C’s (Chapel Hill/Carrboro/Cary)
No. 1 Café Carolina v. No. 2 Carolina Coffee Shop
No. 3 La Farm v. No. 4 Gray Squirrel

Burbs + NC State
No. 2 Guglhupf v. No. 8 Jubala Coffee
No. 3 Starbucks/Page Road v. No. 4 Liquid State


Round 1 Review

Now let’s recap the thrilling action from Round 1, in which a total of 84 people cast votes and there were three big upsets.

Downtown Durham
No. 1 Beyu 59, No. 8 Foster Street Coffee 11
No. 7 Monuts 50, No. 2 Durham Hotel 22
No. 3 Mad Hatter’s Café 50, No. 6 Saladelia 20
No. 4 Cocoa Cinnamon 50, No. 5 Joe Van Gogh 30

No. 7 Monuts proved far too much for No. 2 The Durham Hotel.

The big story in the Downtown Durham bracket was No. 7 Monuts clobbering second-seeded Durham Hotel 50-22, despite the fact that the Durham Hotel was the site of the first-ever Where’s Pete? photo. So much for nostalgia.

None of the games in this region were particularly close and aside from the Durham Hotel, the other favorites won easily, including top-seeded Beyu trouncing No. 8 Foster Street Coffee by 48 points. Downtown Durham also received the most total votes, with Cocoa Cinnamon’s 50-30 victory over Joe Van Gogh recording the most votes of any individual first-round matchup. Looking ahead, will Monuts have what it takes against powerhouse Beyu?

Downtown Raleigh
No. 1 Morning Times 44, No. 8 Benchwarmers 21
No. 7 Yellow Dog 41, 42 & Lawrence 20
No. 6 Videri Chocolate 39, No. 3 lucettegrace 25
No. 4 Sir Walter Coffee 37, No. 5 Heirloom 23

Seven was a lucky number in the Oak City as well with No. 7 seed Yellow Dog doubling up No. 2 42 & Lawrence (the favorite spot of NC State entrepreneurship guru Lewis Sheats) 41-20. Sixth-seeded Videri Chocolate, with a picture taken by Lewis himself, had little trouble scoring an upset of its own against lucettegrace, the preferred haunt of Fourscore Business Law’s Jesse Jones. Elsewhere, top-seeded Morning Times made short work of No. 8 Benchwarmers and No. 4 Sir Walter Coffee took care of fifth-seeded Heirloom. This region will also see a second-round matchup between a No. 1 (Morning Times) and a No. 7 (Yellow Dog).

Burbs + NC State
No. 8 Jubala 33, No. 1 Bean Traders 32
No. 2 Guglhupf 52, No. 7 Benelux 18
No. 3 Starbucks/Page Road 33, No. 6 Starbucks/Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd 28
No. 4 Liquid State 37, No. 5 Pine Street 20

No. 8 Jubala edged top-seeded Bean Traders 33-32 in the biggest shocker of the first round.

In both the biggest upset and closest game of the first round, eighth-seeded Jubala took down No. 1 Bean Traders by a single point when an attempted dunk of a cruller into a cup of coffee by Bean Traders was blocked at the buzzer. No. 2 Guglhupf, perhaps miffed at being relegated to the “Burbs” rather than Downtown Durham, clobbered No. 7 Benelux and will meet giant-killer Jubala in the Sweet 16.

Meanwhile in a showdown of Starbucks locations, No. 3 Page Road edged No. 6 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd by 5 points, which is just as well because the latter is my “home” Starbucks and I’d just as soon it be less crowded once I can actually sit inside again.

Killer C’s (Chapel Hill/Carrboro/Cary)
No. 1 Café Carolina 36, No. 8 Crema 26
No. 2 Carolina Coffee Shop 35, No. 7 Perennial 26
No. 3 La Farm 37, No. 6 Fount 28
No. 4 Gray Squirrel 36, No. 5 BREW Cary 31

This was the only “chalk” region, with all four of the favorites winning. The closest game was the 4-5 matchup between Gray Squirrel and BREW Cary. No. 7 Perennial, which has actually permanently closed, wasn’t able to find a new lease on life vs. No. 2 Carolina Coffee Shop. But the lack of upsets sets up a star-studded Sweet 16. So go vote!

About Pete McEntegart 61 Articles
I've worn many hats, but my current chapeau* is as Managing Editor of GrepBeat, which covers the Raleigh-Durham tech scene, especially tech startups. Sign up for our Tuesday-Thursday email newsletter at Hope to see you around the Triangle! (*chapeau is French for "pretentious")