When we tipped off the Musical March Madness Sweet 16 on Monday, we told you that things were about to get interesting ... and, well, we weren't lying.
Because as our bracket got smaller, only the best of the best remained. And with so many big-name bands still alive in the quest for the MMM championship — heavyweights like Green Day, Linkin Park, Paramore and Evanescence — the matchups were only going to get tougher. We knew that this was the round where the mighty would begin to fall.
And, after one day of voting, that looks like it's going to be the case. Sure, there's still time to help your favorites advance to the next round — voting in all Sweet 16 matchups closes tonight at midnight ET — but with just hours to go, there are plenty of MMM favorites who are teetering on the brink of total elimination ... and even more matchups that are just too close to call. Here's an update from deep inside Musical March Madness headquarters.
#2 Paramore vs. #6 30 Seconds to Mars
We knew right away that this was going to be one for the ages, and so far, the tilt between Paramore and 30 STM has lived up to the hype. Spurred on by their fanatic fanbases, the two bands have been exchanging the lead for 24 hours now; early Tuesday, the Echelon helped boost Jared Leto and company to a rather commanding lead, but the Para-clan have rallied, and with less than 10 hours to go before polls close, it's Paramore who now cling to a slim lead. But we do mean slim: With nearly 1 million votes cast, it's Paramore by less than 4,000 ... so really, this one is going to come right down to the wire. Can Paramore move one step closer to avenging last year's championship game loss, or will 30 Seconds to Mars finally make it to the Elite 8 (after two Sweet 16 heartbreakers?) It's up to you to decide ... and we can't wait to see who comes out on top in this thriller.
#1 Evanescence vs. #5 Linkin Park
As the last remaining #1 seed in the MMM tournament, Evanescence's march to the championship game seemed all but assured ... until they ran into tourney-tested Linkin Park, who had a sizeable chip on their shoulders after last year's Sweet 16 defeat. Like Paramore/30 STM, this one pits two rabid fanbases against each other, and the back-and-forth results speak for themselves. Upset-minded Linkin Park jumped out to the early lead, but as Tuesday wore on, Evanescence seized the momentum, and with hours to go, it's Amy Lee and the crew up by some 5,000 votes (with more than 600,000 cast). If LP want to advance, they're going to have to stage a late rally ... because right now, it's looking very bleak indeed. Still, as the past day has shown us, you can't count them out just yet.
#5 Green Day vs. #16 James Durbin
The defending MMM champs are getting all they can handle from this year's giant-killer, "American Idol" fave James Durbin. Having already knocked off #1 Foo Fighters and #8 Best Coast, Durbin looks to follow in the footsteps of #16 Sum 41, who made an improbable run to the Elite 8 in last year's tourney. He fell behind early, but in true underdog fashion, Durbin's been rallying all day ... and he's closing the gap by the minute. Can he shock the world? Did Green Day get too complacent? How many bandanas will Durbin wave triumphantly if he manages to advance? All of those questions and more will be answered in the coming hours, but right now, there's the potential for a huge upset brewing here.
Is your favorite band still alive in the Sweet 16? Do you want to avenge an early exit? Well, get voting ... polls in the Sweet 16 close tonight at midnight ET, and then we'll head on to the Elite 8! The MMM title is within reach, and you can determine who'll grab it.
MTV's 2012 Musical March Madness tournament has reached the Sweet 16! Voting runs until midnight ET on Tuesday, March 27, and winners are determined by fan votes, so if your favorite act is still alive, it'll be up to you to guide them to glory. You can rally the troops on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM or by downloading one of our custom badges — but get ready, it only gets more difficult from here on out.