Tis the season for brackets and we've got one we think is almost as good as the real deal NCAA march madness: A bracket-based competition to pick the strongest town in the world. Read all about it here. We received initial submissions from three different countries, from towns big and small, north, south, east and west. This contest is a chance for all sorts of towns to show us what they're doing right, why they're wonderful places to be, and how they're planning for a strong future.

We're pleased to present the 2017 Strongest Town bracket, beginning with our Sweet 16 competitors:

Click to view larger.

We encourage you to download a copy of the bracket and fill it out yourself with your bets on the winner. Strong Towns staff will share their brackets in a future article and discuss on the Strong Towns podcast.

Over the next two days, we'll be publishing the first round of submissions and inviting your votes on each of eight match-ups. Voting closes on Thursday, March 2 at 11pm CT.

Vote for the Strongest Towns in these match-ups:

(All graphics created by Matthias Leyrer)