We started MTV News' Musical March Madness with 64 bands (well, 65 if you count Against Me!), whittled it down to 32 last week, and now, after hundreds of thousands of votes — and nearly as many ticked-off fans — we've reached the Sweet 16.
Much like the real NCAA tourney, we had upsets, buzzer beaters and even an overtime tilt or two. After some heated, back-and-forth battles, we had heavyweights going down and Cinderella bands dancing on. One of these remaining bands will be crowned champion — and, once again, it'll be up to you to determine who makes it to the Elite Eight.
And now, on to the recaps. All results are based on percentage of votes, in case you were wondering.
The region where dreams go to die. Both #11 Shinedown and #10 Breaking Benjamin rolled into the field of 32 with momentum on their sides, and both jumped out to commanding leads over their respective opponents (#14 AFI and #2 Muse) but, in the end, neither band was able to hold on, and both were sent packing. The White Stripes dispensed of pesky 12th-seeded OK Go with relative ease, and, in the bracket's best matchup, 9th-seeded Patrick Stump needed overtime to best the upset-minded Hold Steady, who led early but wilted under Stump's full-court pressure.
(9) Patrick Stump def. (16) the Hold Steady (OT, Stump won on total votes)
(4) The White Stripes def. (12) OK Go, 60-40
(14) AFI def. (11) Shinedown, 61-39
(2) Muse def. (10) Breaking Benjamin, 53-47
The Midwest's Sweet 16 matchups are #9 Patrick Stump vs. #4 the White Stripes, and #2 Muse vs. #14 AFI.
Things continued to be wild out West, with #9 30 Seconds to Mars and #1 Blink-182 going head-to-head in a battle for the ages. Both bands led for extended periods of time, but in the end (thanks to some rather fervent Twitter campaigning by guitarist Tomo Milicevic), the guys in 30 STM pulled off the upset. Fifth-seeded My Chemical Romance rolled #4 Pearl Jam, #15 Panic! at the Disco blasted #7 Death Cab for Cutie, and #14 the Young Veins mounted a furious comeback to nip #6 Weezer.
(9) 30 Seconds To Mars def. (1) Blink-182, 69-31 (5) My Chemical Romance def. (4) Pearl Jam, 63-37 (14) The Young Veins def. (6) Weezer, 53-47 (15) Panic! at the Disco def. (7) Death Cab For Cutie, 72-28
Which means that, in the West, we've got a pair of totally epic matchups in the Sweet 16: #5 My Chemical Romance vs. #9 30 Seconds to Mars, and — in a battle that pits former bandmates against one another — #14 the Young Veins vs. #15 Panic! at the Disco.
Tokio Hotel march on! Originally only making the field of 64 as an afterthought, they knocked off #1 Coldplay in the first round of the tourney, then took it to #8 Radiohead in the second round. At this point, they've got to be the presumptive favorites to come out of the region. In other action, #4 Vampire Weekend outlasted #5 Phoenix in a battle of blog favorites, #3 Owl City nipped #6 Grizzly Bear, and #7 MGMT knocked off #2 Animal Collective.
(16) Tokio Hotel def. (8) Radiohead, 69-31 (4) Vampire Weekend def. (5) Phoenix, 55-45 (3) Owl City def. (6) Grizzly Bear, 51-49 (7) MGMT def. (2) Animal Collective, 63-37
So in the East, we're left with a rather improbable pair of Sweet 16 matchups: #16 Tokio Hotel vs. #4 Vampire Weekend, and #3 Owl City vs. #7 MGMT. Someone's got to win, right?
The region that refuses to be figured out. One week after they shocked the world by upsetting #1 Kings of Leon, 16th-seeded Creed got knocked off by Adam Lambert in rather convincing fashion. 13th-seeded Alice in Chains kept their impossible dream alive by outgunning #12 Nick Jonas (and his Administration), #6 Phish rolled past #3 the Dave Matthews Band and #15 Coheed and Cambria — the band nobody wants to face at this point — knocked off #10 Mastodon.
(9) Adam Lambert def. (16) Creed, 65-35 (13) Alice in Chains def. (12) Nick Jonas, 56-44 (6) Phish def. (3) Dave Matthews Band, 69-31 (15) Coheed and Cambria def. (10) Mastodon, 68-32
The Sweet 16 matchups in the South should be epic: #9 Adam Lambert vs. #13 Alice in Chains, #6 Phish vs. #15 Coheed and Cambria.
MTV News' Musical March Madness Sweet 16 voting is open now on the Newsroom blog and will run until Tuesday night. Hit the polls, and perhaps you can help your favorite band win a largely arbitrary and non-existent championship!