tournament of pizza 2010 bracket rd2

Steve's predictions for Round 2 of TOP 2010

tournament of pizza 2010 bracket rd2

How the brackets shape up now. Here's a larger view.

By Steve Barnes

We're very happy to have the Times Union's Steve Barnes -- who writes the Table Hopping blog and column -- back for Round 2 predictions in the 2010 Tournament of Pizza. Steve lit it up in the first round, picking 7 of 8 matchups correctly. He'll be visiting the two finalists for a video segment ahead of the championship round.

Here's Steve's look at the Sausage Round matchups. Results from Round 2 start Tuesday.

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Nunzio's vs. Cusato's
Cusato's had a miserable score in the first round, ekeing forward past an even weaker challenger. Nunzio's, on the other hand, drew plenty of praise last week, and it placed second overall in 2009.

Prediction: Nunzio's by a mile. The shop has been too consistent to be knocked out in this round, and its sausage pie romped last year.


Marino's Flying vs. Pizza King
If you'll pardon the pun, this one is delicious: Last year's Schenectady champ (Marino's) takes on the Electric City winner and eventual semifialist from 2008 (Pizza King).

Prediction: Pizza King. This same matchup was so close last year -- with Marino's winning by a margin of just 3 percent -- that you know Pizza King must be itching for a chance to take back the Schenectady title.


DeFazio's vs. I Love
These pizza institutions will be battling for Collar City pride. Both had very good if not superior first-round showings, winning accolades across the judging categories. How they fare in this round may depend in part on whether the judges favor I Love's thin crust or the airy crunch of DeFazio's.

Prediction: DeFazio's. The shop's performance in the first round seems to give it the edge here, combined with the fact that I Love's sausage pizza last year won the round only because the competitor's was worse.


Paesan's Guilderland vs. Pasquale's
This one seems sure to be close. Both Paesan's and Pasquale's dominated their respective first-round opponents, and their individual winning scores were only fractionally different (Paesan's had a tiny edge). The judges' main complaint about both in the first round was an underdone crust, which presumably is a lapse in cooking, not an overall quality indicator.

Prediction: Pasquale's. In addition to being the two-time overall TOP champ, Pasquale's had the judges swooning in the sausage round last year.


Thanks again to Steve for his predictions! Results start back up Tuesday.

The 2010 Tournament of Pizza is sponsored by Sunmark Federal Credit Union, which now offers banking from mobile devices. They even have an app for iPhones and Android phones.


this contest is so exciting, even (especially?) as a judge! i can't wait to see what the next round brings!

Paesan's is clearly the best Brooklyn-style pizzeria slice you can get in Albany. While Pasquale's is not bad, I can't really place it as a typical pizza; it's not the traditional Italian pie you might get at Motorino in NYC or the American-style pie you'd get at Grimaldi's or a million corner joints in NYC either. Paesan's more closely approximates the latter which is why I return time and again.

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