When historians look back on MTV News' inaugural Musical March Madness tournament, they will undoubtedly focus on the Sweet 16 matchup between [artist id="1231843"]My Chemical Romance[/artist] and [artist id="1231235"]30 Seconds to Mars[/artist] (well, either that or [artist id="960856"]Linkin Park[/artist]'s rather erroneous omission from the entire field of 65). It was, to borrow a few catchphrases, a clash of the titans, a barn-burner, a good old-fashioned slobberknocker: Two of the biggest bands on the planet — with two of the most rabid fanbases, the MCRmy and the Echelon — squaring off for a spot in the Elite Eight. It was like Duke/ North Carolina, Ohio State/ Michigan, Israel University/ Palestine Tech, only bloodier, more venomous. It was a match for the ages.
Votes poured in by the bucket load. Both bands led for extended periods of time, fell behind, then surged into the lead again, thanks to some rather creative campaigning (30STM imploring fans to vote from their school's computer labs was a genius touch,) and, perhaps fittingly, when voting closed on Tuesday night, things were tied, with each act grabbing 50 percent of the vote.
So, who won? Well, in a contest where more than 50,000 ballots were cast, it came down to just 327 votes, and in the end, My Chem moved on to the Elite Eight. I'm not gonna lie, we'll miss 30 Seconds to Mars and their fanatic, somewhat insane dedication to winning a fictional championship. But the fans have spoken, and Leto and company will have to wait until next year.
So, who will be joining My Chemical Romance in the Elite Eight? You can take a look at our updated bracket here, and voting will open Wednesday afternoon (March 31) over on the Newsroom blog. Let's get to the results.
In a region highlighted by shocking upsets (#16 the Hold Steady besting #1 Nickelback, #11 Shinedown over #6 Cobra Starship), we're left with a pretty straightforward final: second-seeded Muse versus fourth-seeded the White Stripes. Both bands handled their Sweet 16 opponents with relative ease — the Stripes thumped Patrick Stump, and Muse rallied to knock off a game AFI — but only one can advance to the Final Four.
(4) The White Stripes def. (9) Patrick Stump, 70-30
(2) Muse def. (14) AFI, 53-47
So, once again, our final in the Midwest region is #2 Muse v. #4 the White Stripes. To be honest, I'm sort of amazed the Stripes have made it this far. I didn't think Jack White even knew how to use a computer.
The Wild West continued to live up to its nickname, as it played host to both the MCR/30STM tilt and #14 the Young Veins vs. #15 Panic! at the Disco, a matchup that pitted former bandmates against one another. Sadly — perhaps due to Ryan Ross' refusal to campaign on behalf of his band — Panic! rolled past the Veins, setting up a final of two bands that haven't released much new music in recent years but whose fans don't seem to mind.
(5) My Chemical Romance def. (9) 30 Seconds To Mars, 50-50 (OT, MCR won on total votes)
(15) Panic! at the Disco def. (14) The Young Veins, 85-15
The West region final is #5 My Chemical Romance v. #15 Panic! at the Disco. Can the Panic! boys' dream run continue on to the Final Four? Or will MCR continue to flex their muscles? It's up to you.
I suppose it had to come down to this: 16th-seeded Tokio Hotel, who entered the tournament merely as an afterthought, roll on to the Elite Eight, after finally putting away a testy Vampire Weekend. (True story, VW frontman Ezra Koenig totally tweeted at me to complain about his band's matchup.) They'll face off against Owl City, who pasted MGMT. Both bands' fanatical fanbases will need to up their efforts leading up to the Final Four.
(16) Tokio Hotel def. (4) Vampire Weekend, 63-37
(3) Owl City def. (7) MGMT, 62-38
So, our East region final pits #3 Owl City against #16 Tokio Hotel. Surely the Internet will buckle beneath the weight of the vote.
The region that refuses to make any sense reaches perhaps the most (il)logical conclusion possible: #13 Alice in Chains — who outlasted Adam Lambert — going up against #15 Coheed and Cambria, who topped heavily favored Phish. Coheed seem to care about this tournament more than any band left in the field, so I suppose it's hard to bet against them at this point.
(13) Alice in Chains def. (9) Adam Lambert, 65-35
(15) Coheed and Cambria def. (6) Phish, 56-44
The South final is #13 Alice in Chains v. #15 Coheed and Cambria. Someone's got to win, right?
Once again, Elite Eight voting opens Wednesday afternoon and runs until Thursday night over on the Newsroom blog. Vote early, vote often, and perhaps you can help your favorite band advance to the Final Four!
Who do you think will take home the Musical March Madness championship? Are you as surprised as we are by the results? Talk about it here!