Did pizza toppings predict the eventual Final Four winner?


Pepperoni or sausage? Did the Final Four winner come down to preferred pizza toppings?

Was the Final Four winner predetermined by favorite pizza toppings? This year’s March Madness was a crazy one. From the heartwarming story of Loyola Chicago and Sister Jean to the multiple upsets in the first couple of rounds, this year’s basketball tournament was a crazy one. Still, could favorite pizza toppings have predicted the eventual Final Four champion?
Photo by Cristine Struble
Slice analyzed some data about basketball fans favorite pizza toppings. Looking at the last four teams standings, only one team’s fans had a different favorite pizza topping. Villanova, Michigan and Kansas basketball fans all choose pepperoni as their favorite, and most ordered, pizza topping.

Loyola Chicago fans weren’t pepperoni fans. Actually, they didn’t even have pepperoni as a top three pizza topping. Their favorite pizza topping was sausage. Did this pizza topping preference predict the Loyola Chicago unraveling in the last game?

In previous studies, pepperoni was found to be the most popular pizza topping. It makes sense that the majority of basketball fans would have this pizza topping in their top list. Still, why didn’t Loyola Chicago want pepperoni pizza?

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Thinking about the Chicago area, sausage is always a popular choice on pizza. For example, Lou Malnati’s iconic deep dish is often served with a huge slab of spicy Italian Sausage. The Windy City loves its hearty, flavorful food. Maybe pepperoni just isn’t a big enough flavor for those basketball fans.

Building on the idea of pizza preferences, it would be interesting to see if the type of pizza had an impact too. Chicago fans love their deep dish pizza. Maybe basketball fans prefer traditional slices, too.

Truthfully, maybe it wasn’t pizza toppings at all. The beloved Sister Jean gave up losing for Lent. Since the game was technically after Lent, maybe it was just time.

So, no matter who wins tonight’s game, the pizza topping winner is pepperoni. Sorry sausage, better luck next year.