Who: The last band standing in the certifiably wild West region in MTV's Musical March Madness tournament, My Chemical Romance have to be considered the favorites to win it all at this point, based on the bands they've bested and the help they're getting from their friends in 30 Seconds to Mars (more on that in a bit). Up until the departure of drummer Bob Bryar, My Chem were one of the few bands in the tournament who could field an actual basketball team (there were five of them) but even when playing a man down, they're a formidable squad, with the Way brothers running the show from the guard positions, Frank Iero scoring from the wing, and the indomitable inside presence of Ray Toro. Dude can totally dunk.
How They Got Here: My Chem's tournament was really a story of two halves — everything leading up to their Sweet 16 tilt against 30 Seconds to Mars and everything after it. MCR entered the field as a #5 seed and bounced opening-round opponent Gorillaz with relative ease. In the second round, they were pitted against formidable #4 seed Pearl Jam, and to the surprise of pretty much everyone, they positively rolled them, winning 63-37. That set up the now legendary Sweet 16 bloodfest against 30STM, a battle of bands with unyielding, fervent fanbases (the MCRmy and the Echelon, respectively). It was a back-and-forth affair, and in a fitting twist, it ended up tied, with each band grabbing 50 percent of the vote. After more than 50,000 ballots were counted, MCR were declared the winners (by a scant 327 votes). Though defeated, 30STM threw their support behind My Chem, which resulted in them absolutely destroying Panic! at the Disco in the Elite Eight.
The Outlook: With the power of 30 Seconds to Mars behind them — not to mention the might of the MCRmy — there's really no stopping My Chemical Romance, and a trip to the championship game seems a mere formality at this point. It almost doesn't matter that they haven't released a note of new music in more than a year or that their still-untitled fourth album has been in the works for nearly as long (or that they might not have a drummer right now). MCR are balanced, determined and tournament-tested. They'll face off against Muse in the Final Four and, call us bandwagon-jumpers, but we like their chances.
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.