No two things go together better than game day and takeout from your favorite spot. Whether it’s pizza and wings, burgers and fries or foot-long subs and chips, the official start of March Madness means an inevitable spike in restaurant business that only the NCAA Basketball Championships can generate.
In honor of March Madness, food takeout and delivery app GrubHub provided Huffington Post with a ranking of the hungriest colleges in the U.S., determined by comparing the average number of orders per day over the three weeks leading up to last year’s March Madness to the number of food orders on game days. It’s pretty clear that students need more sustenance for picking brackets than they do for studying.
So which colleges were the hungriest? Here’s a look at the top five.
5. American University, Washington, D.C.
GrubHub reported a 16 percent increase in AU orders during last year’s March Madness game days. Niche.com picked Wingo’s in Georgetown as a top 24-hour AU spot and also one of the best places to get wings.
Although the AU Eagles did not qualify for the tournament this year, the team did participate last year, earning a bid from their win at the 2014 Patriot League Tournament. Ultimately, the Eagles lost to Wisconsin in the second round of the championships, 75-35. But that loss didn’t stop the students from coming in fifth for hunger.
4. Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
March Madness game days in 2014 meant a 17 percent jump in food orders from OSU students. Unexpectedly, Niche.com’s pick for best wings in the area went to franchise Buffalo Wild Wings, which was also listed as a student favorite alongside fellow chains Chipotle and Raising Cane’s.
The OSU Buckeyes will fight for the title again during this year’s March Madness, which marks their seventh running season at the tournament. Last year, the Buckeyes barely lost their first game in the tournament to University of Dayton, 60-59. Perhaps the hungry students at OSU were stress eating.
3. George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
In third place is G-Dubya with a 20 percent game-day order increase. Although the Colonials have never made it to the NCAA Championship, last year the team got the closest they’d ever been (they lost their bid to Michigan State). So why so much food? Just because GW wasn’t playing, the students stayed true and supported their neighbors from American and Georgetown, two of the other universities in D.C.
2. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
A whopping 30 percent increase in game day orders? Hungry Howie’s and Buffalo Wild Wings are listed as the best pizza and best wings (respectively) in the area, but, true to the diverse midwest fare, there are also several Asian and sushi places on the Niche list for MSU best off-campus dining.
The students at MSU are no strangers to March Madness, as this year is the Spartans’ 29th trip to the NCAA Championship.
1. Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
The number one hungriest college in America boasts a 31 percent boost in game day food ordering. Antonio’s Pizza, Wings & Pasta is the area’s highest rated pizza place on GrubHub, but with 14 restaurants just within a quarter mile of campus, Syracuse students are eating more than pizza and wings during games.
Unfortunately, SU’s self-ban on participation in this year’s tournament will likely push their hungry ranking down, but that doesn’t mean students won’t still be setting up brackets and strategizing outside their home team. No matter if Orange is on the court, basketball fans in New York will be watching.