MTV's Musical March Madness has reached the Elite Eight ... and if you thought the past three weeks of bracket-busting action were intense, well, buckle up, because you haven't seen anything yet.
After all, one of these bands will hoist the MMM trophy next week — will it be defending champs Tokio Hotel? Eternal bridesmaids Paramore? Tough-talking tourney virgins Fall Out Boy? — but before they get there, they've got to survive and advance. And that's gonna be tough; after all, things are about to get fast and furious.
Because voting is already underway in all Elite Eight matchups, but polls will close on Friday, April 5 at noon ET ... and then we head to the Final Four. It all leads up to the 2013 MMM championship game, which will tip off on Monday, April 8 (the same night as the actual March Madness crowns its champion). But there's still plenty to be decided before we get there ... here's a look at our Elite Eight matchups!
Fifth-seeded Fall Out Boy have lived up to the pre-tournament hype, carving up the competition in the Midwest (and setting new standards for smack talk in the process). Their latest victim? Overall #1 the Black Keys, whom they took down in the Sweet 16 without breaking a sweat. But now, they face their toughest test: Certified Cinderella story Walk The Moon, who entered MMM as a #10 seed, but proved the selection committee wrong by running off an impressive string of upset victories. They toppled #2 seed the Foo Fighters in the opening round, #7 Nine Inch Nails in the second, and survived a furious rally from #6 AWOLNATION in the Sweet 16 to make it this far. Can they take down one more higher seed and continue their improbable run to the Final Four? At this point, we're not willing to bet against them.
Sure, Tokio Hotel's quest to make history as MMM's first repeat champs has grabbed most of the headlines, but perhaps we all should be paying closer attention to Green Day, who already have one title to their name — not to mention a trip to the finals last year — and are running through the 2013 tournament with ease. They ripped Deftones, pasted Tegan and Sara, and just blasted #1 Fun. in the Sweet 16 ... and now, they'll go head-to-head with Thirty Seconds To Mars, who have been here before, but have yet to make good on their pre-tourney promise in past years. Then again, after outlasting #6 Blink-182 in the Sweet 16 (guess they weren't all that hard after all), and taking down #2 Maroon 5 before that, it seems like Jared Leto and Co. may have finally put their "soft" reputation behind them. Are they tough enough to topple Green Day and advance to their first Final Four? Or will the former champs flex their muscle one more time? This one's gonna be epic, indeed.
Speaking of epic, in the East, it was looking like our Elite Eight matchup would be the third installment of the Tokio Hotel/Coheed and Cambria bloodfeud ... until Florence and the Machine staged a furious last-minute rally and sent C&C packing. We're not gonna lie, we never saw that one coming, and after three-straight trips to the Elite Eight (and a 2010 MMM championship) Coheed are done. And while Florence's shocking upset means we won't get to see another battle between MMM's two oldest foes, well, it sure makes for one intriguing — and unexpected — Elite Eight matchup. After being pushed to the brink by My Bloody Valentine in the opening round, Tokio Hotel have once again regained their championship form, but we're pretty sure they never thought they'd draw Florence and the Machine here ... will they be prepared? Or can Florence pull the upset to end all upsets and continue on her improbable march to the championship? We honestly have no idea what'll happen here.
From the moment they entered MMM 2013, Paramore were determined to put past disappointments behind them and finally take the title ... and, after outlasting #13 Linkin Park in the Sweet 16, they're one step closer to accomplishing that goal. The only thing standing in their way? An Elite Eight matchup against #3 Ed Sheeran, who thanks to the support of his "Sheerios," had already knocked off Guns N' Roses and Muse, and just notched a convincing victory over #7 Evanescence, a band that made the Final Four last year. Simply put, he's gotten tougher as the tournament has progressed, and right now, he may actually be the favorite in the battle against Paramore. Will Hayley Williams and Co. come up short once again? Can Sheeran continue to shock the world? If you're looking for an Elite Eight matchup that may go right down to the wire, well, this one may be it. Get ready.
MTV's Musical March Madness tournament moves to the Elite Eight! Voting is now open in all matchups and polls close Friday, April 5 at noon ET, at which point we'll head to the Final Four. 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 spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM — but get ready, it's gonna be a war.