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Soda March Madness Part Three: Who will fall flat before the championship?

Ella Wachtel
The Soda March Madness has been completed and a winner has been announced.

Welcome to the third and final part of Soda March Madness. Unlike what was planned previously, the exciting conclusion to this tournament will be in this article. The best soda will be crowned today.

First, we must go through the Elite 8 matchups, starting with #1 Coke and #8 Fanta. Fanta is a strong orange soda, but Coke is a super-giant soda that has withstood the passage of time. Even though Fanta is nearly 60 years younger than Coke, it is obvious that Coke has and will last forever. Therefore, Coke gets the win.

In the next Elite 8 game, we have the battle of the root beers, with #12 Mug Root Beer going against #13 A&W. Mug Root Beer is better for floats and other root beer flavored items, but this is due to its mellow flavor that is not great for drinking on its own. A&W, on the other hand, is the exact opposite, with a strong presence that is good for drinking, but not for floats or other desserts. The mellow flavor of Mug is suited to casual consumption for first-time root beer drinkers. The combination of this and its float-ability give it the close win over A&W.

Next up is #15 Baja Blast versus #26 Cheerwine. The NC favorite has had a bit of a Cinderella story in this tournament, upsetting much higher seeds than itself, like #7 Pepsi Zero Sugar. This is due to its unique cherry flavor. Baja blast, however, has not been tested against higher seeds, using its citrus flavor to just barely make it here. Cheerwine wins in a tight match due to the fact that it does not taste as artificial.

In the final Elite 8 matchup, we see #3 Dr. Pepper going against #11 Monster. This is an easy win for Dr. Pepper, as it is actually a soda. Monster only got this far because it was going against really bad sodas. It is finally going against a good soda and falls short.

Moving into the Final 4, the matches are so close that they require a list of criteria. Each soda will compete for one point in each of these categories: History (the older the better), Branding, Cost, Flavor and, as a tiebreaker, Can Design.

In the first match, it is #1 Coke and #12 Mug Root Beer. In the History category, Coke blows Mug out of the water, being invented 54 years earlier, 1-0 Coke. Mug wins in the Cost category, with a price of 69 cents per can compared to Coke’s $1.40. Now we have a 1-1 tie. Coke wins in Branding because of its recognizability and holiday commercials. This is compared to Mug’s little to no commercials, making it 2-1 in favor of Coke. In Flavor, Coke narrowly wins this category due to its slight cinnamon twist on normal cola; this is only slightly better than Mug’s classic root beer. Coke is going to the championship after this 3-1 win over Mug.

In the second Final 4 match, it is the local favorite #26 Cheerwine versus #3 Dr. Pepper. In History, Dr. Pepper wins, being created in 1885, while Cheerwine was first made in 1917, 1-0 Dr. Pepper. In Cost, Cheerwine wins with a cost of 75 cents per 12 ounce can against Dr. Pepper’s $1.03 per can. Just like the first Final 4 match, it is now a tied game after the first two categories. Moving into Branding, Dr. Pepper wins because it is recognized nationally, compared to Cheerwine’s NC exclusivity. Dr. Pepper takes the lead 2-1. In Flavor, Dr. Pepper’s hydrating blend of 23 flavors beats the delicious cherry flavor of Cheerwine. With this, the championship is sealed: #3 Dr. Pepper versus #1 Coke.

And now, the moment we have all been waiting for: the championship match between #3 Dr. Pepper and #1 Coke. The first category, History, is a win for Dr. Pepper by one year. Coke was invented in 1886 and Dr. Pepper was invented in 1885, making the score 1-0 Dr. Pepper. As far as cost goes, Dr. Pepper wins again, with a cost of $1.03 per can, compared to Coke’s $1.40. Dr. Pepper now has a commanding 2-0 lead. In Flavor, Dr. Pepper’s hydrating blend of flavors seals the deal in the championship, beating the all-time classic Coke.

With that, Soda March Madness is over, and the question of what soda is best is answered: Dr. Pepper.

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About the Contributors
Lucas Prestipino
Lucas Prestipino, Copy Editor
Ella Wachtel
Ella Wachtel, Photographer
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