Who: The hard-riffing, hirsute champions of the South region in MTV’s Musical March Madness tournament , Coheed and Cambria have outgunned pretty much everyone on their run to the Final Four — including a #2 and a #6 seed — and now stand as a legitimate threat to win the whole thing. It all starts with C&C mastermind Claudio Sanchez, a threat to score from pretty much anywhere on the floor. As comfortable driving and dishing as he is penning bong-glazed, beard-y graphic novels, Sanchez is sort of like the musical equivalent of John Wall, except with better hair. Let’s just call him the MVP of the whole tourney.
How They Got Here: The selection committee was unkind to Coheed, saddling them with a #15 seed and scheduling a first-round matchup against highly favored #2 Paramore. Undaunted, C&C blasted Hayley Williams and company 60-40, then made quick work of their second-round opponent, fellow shredders Mastodon. Looming in the Sweet 16 were #6 Phish, who — after favorites the Kings of Leon, Paramore and the Dave Matthews Band were all bounced from the tourney — were seen as the favorites to win the region. But once again, Coheed rose to the occasion, winning a bruising 56-44 showdown and moving on to the Elite Eight, where they dispensed of Alice in Chains with relative ease. Through it all, Coheed have proven to not only be the band no one wants to face, but the band that seemingly cares more about winning this whole thing than anyone else. And that tenacity has paid off in spades.
The Outlook: Rabid, die-hard fanbase? Check (and then some). Dedicated bandmembers with too much free time on their hands? Yep. An actual, upcoming album to promote? Indeed. A few weeks ago, it would have seemed improbable (we didn’t see them beating Paramore, to be honest), but at this point, Coheed have the right chemistry to take the championship. They’ll face their toughest test in the Final Four, squaring off against #16 Tokio Hotel — a matchup of two bands with insane-o fans and nothing left to lose. The Internet shall surely buckle beneath the weight of their votes.
Throughout the day, we’ll be breaking down the four bands still standing in MTV’s Musical March Madness tournament. Voting on the Final Four opens Friday (April 2) on the Newsroom blog and runs until Sunday night.