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And just like that, three No. 1 seeds have fallen.
In the case of Jakes, the runner-up in our 2009 Battle of the Burgers, we might have predicted it: We've heard gripes that, in expanding across the Metroplex, the quality might have dropped a notch. Its competition, meanwhile, was Chop House Burgers in Arlington --- a newcomer that everyone told us we seeded far too low.
Pop's victory over Kincaid's, however, was a little more surprising: Two old-school burgers, similar in flavor and style, yet the newer one (Pop's opened just last year) displayed far more classical grace.
As for Five Guys, well, chains can be unpredictable -- maybe there's a new guy behind the grill; maybe the manager was taking too long a coffee break. But they really seemed to be suffering an off day, and M&O happily capitalized on the mistakes.
All three upsets, however, underscore a couple of the chief lessons of any bracket competition -- and indeed two of the most enduring lessons of human existence. For one thing, a champion can't let down his or her guard for a minute. For another, you can never rest on your laurels.
Looking ahead to next week's Elite Eight round, we can't wait to see what happens when Chop House squares off against Love Shack, which squeaked past Dutch's to secure its place in the quarterfinals. We're also curious to see if our sole surviving No. 1 seed -- 2009 champion Fred's -- holds up against deeper competition. This year's tournament has been marked by high-profile slip-ups. Could the seemingly unflappable Fred's be next?
For now, though, here are the results of our Sweet 16 match-ups, bite by bite. As for the judges, their shirts are grease-stained, and their cholesterol levels are spiking. But in a competition marked by upsets and heartbreakers and truly tasty bacon, their juices are definitely flowing.
(If you'd like a copy of the bracket to print out so you can play along at home, click here.)
M&O vs. Five Guys: Click to find out the winner.
Charley's vs. Grumps: Click to find out the winner.
OC Burger vs. Maple & Motor: Click to find out the winner.
Kincaid's vs. Pop's: Click to find out the winner.
Johnny B's vs. Fred's Texas Cafe: Click to find out the winner.
Love Shack vs. Dutch's: Click to find out the winner.
Jakes vs. Chop House: Click to find out the winner.
H2 vs. Keller's: Click to find out the winner.