NCAA tournament brackets busted across the country when a lowly team from Maryland eliminated mighty No. 1 seed Virginia.

But at least the upset gives you a shot at some free pizza.

At the start of the tournament the Little Caesars chain said it would offer free lunch combos at participating stores nationwide if a No. 16 seed beat a No. 1 in the annual NCAA college basketball tournament.

The University of Maryland-Baltimore County delivered the upset when it knocked out Virginia 74-54 on March 16.

The free pizza offer runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, the day of the national championship game.

The chain says most stores across the country are participating in the promotion, but suggests calling to make sure your location is.

There are about a dozen stores in the Omaha area and there are locations in such Nebraska cities as Lincoln, Grand Island and Kearney.

Joe Meyers, assistant manager of the Little Caesars in Bellevue, said his store is participating, and customers have been talking about the free lunch. He said his store has geared up by having 300 extra boxes and 300 drink bottles ready to go.

Normally the store has two employees working at lunchtime, he said, but will triple that count for today.

“We’re stepping it up,” he said.

Here are some of the rules:

The offer is for the Little Caesars Lunch Combo, which normally goes for $5, and consists of four slices of deep-dish pizza and a 20-ounce drink. Limit one lunch per family, while supplies last.

You must place your order in the store, not by phone, no later than 1 p.m. If you place your order after 1 p.m., even if you were already in line by 1 p.m., the offer is not valid.

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oconnor@owh.com, 402-444-1122

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