On Monday, when we unveiled our [article id="1659761"]2011 Musical March Madness bracket[/article], there were more than a few shock seedings ... though perhaps none were as eye-opening as the #5 seed given to [artist id="3466729"]Neon Trees[/artist], the Provo, Utah, quartet who went from unknowns to rock-radio staples thanks to a relentless touring schedule and the success of their song "Animal."
The selection committee was obviously impressed with their overall body of work (tough, out-of-conference schedule, high RPI, etc.), but with first-round voting set to close on Sunday, the Trees find themselves locked in a tight battle with 12th-seeded Patrick Stump, perhaps proving that they're not yet ready for the MMM stage.
Still, the Trees remain confident they can overcome Stump and advance in the bracket ... the way they see it, the selection committee has given them a clear path to the MMM championship.
"A five seed is good, because early in the brackets they face a way lower seed," drummer Elaine Bradley said. "So knowing that, that's good for us early on. But then being a five seed gets problematic, because within your own bracket, you're facing people bigger than you, [but] I'm confident maybe we'll make it past the first round, and then after that anything goes."
And, as they enter the home stretch of the first round, the Trees have another plan up their sleeve. Even as a #5, they're still hoping to harness some of that Gene Hackman magic.
"You know what? I'd like to believe we can go all the way," Bradley said. "We're like 'Hoosiers,' maybe we're a little bit of an underdog, maybe we wear flat Converse instead of the fancy Nike Airs."
"None of us [actually] have Converse on," frontman Tyler Gleen added.
So, will the Neon Trees battle their way past Patrick Stump? Or will it be one-and-done for the rock-radio upstarts? That's really up to you now, isn't it? Voting in all first-round matchups is now open over in the Newsroom blog, and closes Sunday night. May the best band win.
MTV's Musical March Madness tournament is back! Voting on all first-round matchups continues until Sunday, at which point we'll move on to the second round of the action. All winners are determined by your votes, so if your favorite act made the cut, it'll be up to you to guide them to glory. You can rally the troops on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM — but get ready, it's gonna be a war.