MTV News’ Musical March Madness: Muse Vs. AFI, Patrick Stump Vs. The White Stripes

It’s Musical March Madness! The sprawling bracket — both a parody and a tribute to the NCAA basketball tournament, masterminded by MTV News’ James Montgomery — takes the 65 biggest names in rock, splits them up into four regions, assigns them seeds and puts them up against one another in a single-elimination series of match-ups in a winner-take-all contest. We’re leaving it to you to decide an actual champ in this field of 65. Over the next few weeks, we will present a series of polls that will allow you to vote for the match-ups presented in MTV News’ Band Bracketology. You vote for the winners, we’ll keep advancing the seeds and, in the end, we’ll have some sort of champion. What will the winner receive? Little more than our esteem (as well as that of the fans) and some Internet bragging rights.

We’re half way through the voting for the Sweet 16, so let’s move on to the Midwest bracket, where four worthy contenders will attempt to go the distance.

(2) Muse vs. (14) AFI
As the highest seed left in the tournament, Muse have a target on their collective back. But that hasn’t stopped them from taking down surging underdogs like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Breaking Benjamin. Meanwhile, AFI have fought through two tough rounds, and though they are a 14-seed, they have to be considered one of the favorites to win (in fact, just about everybody left in the Sweet 16 could end up on top). Which one will continue their run?

(4) The White Stripes vs. (9) Patrick Stump
Stump had a thrilling win over the Hold Steady in the second round (the difference ended up being only a few dozen votes), but could he be exhausted by two straight intense encounters? Meanwhile, the White Stripes have fended off pesky upstarts Rise Against and OK Go in their push to the Sweet 16. Can Stump rally a third time or will Jack White’s primary powerhouse stop him in his tracks?