After two weeks, and more than 22 million votes, MTV's Musical March Madness tournament moves on to the Sweet 16!
Through two rounds, MMM 2013 has already delivered the drama, with shocking upsets and cheating so rampant we were forced to alter the very rules of the tourney dominating the headlines of week one, and several back-and-forth battles — not to mention a pair of last-second buzzer beaters — wrapping up week two. So, who survived? And who saw their championship dreams shatter like Kevin Ware's right leg? Let's take a look back at all the action so far!
Oh, and if your favorite band is still alive in the Sweet 16, you can carry them to the championship, but you've gotta hurry: polls close on Wednesday, April 3 at noon ET, when we'll move on to the Elite 8.
We can officially remove any doubts surrounding #1 the Black Keys' tournament toughness: After a first-round exit last year, and a scare in the opening round this year, the Keys looked shaky, at best, but they put together all the pieces in round two by throttling the Flaming Lips. They move on to a big-time Sweet 16 showdown against #5 Fall Out Boy, who backed up their trash-talk (and won the Battle of Chicago) by dominating #13 Smashing Pumpkins. In the Midwest's other Sweet 16 matchup, #6 AWOLNATION takes on this year's true Cindererlla story, #10 Walk The Moon ... and though you'd think this one would favor Aaron Bruno — especially considering AWOL made it to the Sweet 16 last year, and has already taken down Alice In Chains and Bullet For My Valentine this year — well, let's not count out WTM just yet. Can they continue their run and advance on to the Elite 8? We'll just have to wait and see.
Only the strong survive in the Wild West, but it hasn't been easy: #1 Fun. needed a furious fourth-quarter comeback to knock off #9 Red Hot Chili Peppers, ultimately overtaking them as time expired and winning by less than 400 votes (which, in a matchup that saw more than 110,000 cast, is about as close as you can cut it). The road only gets tougher, too, as Fun. draw MMM powerhouse — and 2011 champs — Green Day in the round of 16. Billie Joe & Co. barely broke a sweat in their matchup against #13 Tegan and Sara (sorry, Quin sisters, there will be no upset this year) and look plenty tough. The same can also be said about the combatants in the West's other semi-final: #6 Blink-182 and #10 Thirty Seconds To Mars, two tournament-tested bands looking to finally make it over the hump. Blink went hard in the paint against #14 Queens of the Stone Age, and Mars dominated #2 Maroon 5 from the opening tip. Someone's going to win this region, and they just might be the team to beat.
Then again, if anyone wants the MMM trophy, they're going to have to pry it from Tokio Hotel's well-manicured hands, as the defending champs ripped #16 Japandroids by an historic margin in round two (perhaps their close call against My Bloody Valentine taught them humility?) and are already out in front of #5 the Strokes by a huge margin in the Sweet 16. They'll get the winner of the East's other Sweet 16 matchup — #11 Coheed and Cambria vs. #7 Florence and the Machine — and already, the Aliens and the Children of the Fence are clamoring for another battle between their two favorite bands. We'd say not so fast, but with fanbases this rabid, a third Tokio/Coheed tilt seems a mere formality ... we can't wait for them to lock horns in the Elite 8!
Top-seeded Paramore continue their march towards the title, as they handled #8 Metallica in round two, but they'll have to get past their old foes Linkin Park in the Sweet 16. LP dispensed of #12 Modest Mouse with ease to make it to their third-straight regional semi-final ... of course, they've yet to make it past this point, but perhaps this is the year they charge on to the Elite 8. And while a Paramore/Linkin Park battle may get most of the headlines, the South's other Sweet 16 matchup is equally as epic: #3 Ed Sheeran — fresh off his come-from-behind victory over sworn enemies Muse — takes on #7 Evanescence, who are looking to make a return trip to the Final Four. This one's gonna be a barnburner ... will Sheeran flex his muscle, or will Ev win another one for the underdogs. We'll find out on Wednesday!
MTV's Musical March Madness tournament moves to the Sweet 16! Voting is now open in all matchups and polls close Wednesday, April 3 at noon ET, at which point we'll move on to the Elite 8. 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.