MTV’s Musical March Madness: Thirty Seconds To Mars, Imagine Dragons Battle Out West

We break down all the #MMM first-round matchups, and today, it's the Wild West region.

MTV’s fifth-annual Musical March Madness tournament tipped off on Monday (March 17), with 64 bands beginning the quest for total supremacy … and one very toned trophy.

Who should be clearing out some space on their mantle? Ultimately, it’ll be up to you: Vote now for your favorites in all first-round matchups at MMM.MTV.com, and make sure to check back on Monday, March 24 at noon E.T. when the tournament moves on to round two.

Vote Now In All #MMM First-Round Matchups!

And with 32 matchups spread across four regions, #MMM 2014 is more unpredictable that ever — no wonder Warren Buffett’s offering $1 billion to anyone who fills out a perfect bracket (oh, wait, that’s the NCAA tournament). So to help you make the most informed picks, we’re breaking down the action, region by region.

We began by taking a look at the Mighty Midwest , where bands like Fall Out Boy and Walk The Moon are battling it out. And today, we turn our attention to the Wild West, home to tournament-tested talent and a kennel-full of underdogs looking to take a bite out of this year’s field. Here’s our up-to-the-minute analysis.

The #1 seed in the West went to Imagine Dragons, who, thanks to a remarkable 2013, enter this year’s tournament brimming with confidence (and looking to prove that last year’s opening-round exit was a fluke). So far, it’s looking good, as they lead #16 Kesha by a sizeable amount.

But can the Dragons hold on and make a deep run in #MMM 2014? It’ll be tough, especially given that they’ll face the winner of the #8 Young The Giant/#9 Panic! at the Disco tilt in the second round. YTG are newcomers to the tournament, while Panic! has proven time and time again that they’re one of the toughest outs in all of #MMM. They might be a sneaky pick for a return trip to the Sweet 16 this year.

The rest of the West’s top half features a par of bands making their debuts in the the tournament — #5 Haim vs. #12 Pierce The Veil (currently it’s PTV with a huge lead) — and two acts that have been around the block a time or two, #4 Avenged Sevenfold vs. #13 AFI. This one’s super tight, with A7X clinging to a tiny lead, though whomever comes out on top here will face a tough second-round matchup against PTV.

The West’s #2 seed is Thirty Seconds To Mars, who are looking to avenge last year’s championship game loss to Ed Sheeran, and are currently up big on #15 Echosmith. Mars will more than likely advance to round two, where they’ll take on the winner of #7 Beck vs. #10 the Used … and given that, at the moment, it’s the boys from Orem, Utah up big, let’s just say Mars/Used is gonna be a barn-burner.

In the West’s other first-round battles, #3 Foster The People are locked in a tight struggle with upset-minded #14 the Neighbourhood, and #6 Capital Cities are getting ripped by one of #MMM’s all-time best, #11 Linkin Park, who, after five years in the Big Dance, are still in search of their first title. Perhaps this is the year they’ll win it all!

Of course, as history has shown, there are no sure things in #MMM, and there’s plenty of time for the totals to change. If your favorite band is up big, you’ve got to keep them in the lead … or, if they’re losing, well, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Voting in the first-round continues until Monday, March 24 at noon E.T. … so hit the polls! Championship dreams hang in the balance!

MTV’s Musical March Madness tournament is underway! Vote in all first-round matchups now at MMM.MTV.com, and spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM