Tokio Hotel, Mumford & Sons Go To War In Musical March Madness' East

Voting is now underway in all first-round MMM matchups, and we break down the action in the East Region.

MTV's Musical March Madness tournament is back, and 64 bands have entered the fray (bizarrely, the Fray aren't one of them) in the hopes of hoisting the big gold trophy aloft.

Of course, in order to realize those championship dreams, one of them will have to unseat Tokio Hotel, who conquered MMM last year in convincing fashion, and, after just a few days of voting, appear primed and ready to become the first band to repeat as champs in 2013. They're currently mauling the competition in the East Region, and seem mortal locks to once again advance to the Final Four. Unless someone dares to challenge them, that is.

And with first-round voting underway in all Musical March Madness matchups — polls close on Monday, March 25 at noon ET — we here at tournament HQ are breaking down the full field of bands competing for the title. We've already broken down the action in the Midwest and the West, and today, we're turning our attention to the East, where it appears to be Tokio Hotel ... and everyone else.

Take, for example, #1 seed Mumford & Sons, who had the year's best-selling rock album (and took home the top prize at the Grammys last month), but are currently getting all they can handle from #16 Japandroids. Can the Canadians summon some Northern Thunder and continue Mumford's run of tournament futility? Right now, less than 400 votes separate the two bands, and another early exit from Mumford & Sons would certainly give Tokio Hotel a clear path to the finals ... especially considering the East's #2 seed, Vampire Weekend, are also locked in a tight matchup with #15 Atoms For Peace, meaning that this year, the region's top two bands could be sent packing after one measly round.

So, who, if anyone can give Tokio Hotel a run for their money? Well, #3 Coldplay is getting all they can handle from #14 Yeah Yeah Yeahs — the lead Karen O. and the guys by fewer than 100 votes — and #4 Phoenix seemingly can't put any distance between themselves and #13 Arcade Fire (right now, it's Win Butler & Co. by a slim margin), and while #5 The Strokes are pasting #12 Fiona Apple, they can't come close to the sheer number of votes being cast by TH's fanatical "Alien" following. Shoot, even dark-horse favorites #7 Florence and the Machine are struggling against #10 Passion Pit.

And though we've spent nearly this entire breakdown talking about Tokio Hotel, we feel we'd be remiss if we didn't make mention of the truly epic walloping they're handing out to #9 My Bloody Valentine: Simply put, they're up by more than 1 million votes, a blowout that, if it holds — and there's no indication it won't — would make history as the most lopsided victory in Musical March Madness history. Are MBV showing the rust that comes with a twenty-year hiatus, or are TH just that good? We're going with the latter.

In fact, if there's anyone with the fanbase and tournament experience to stop Tokio Hotel's march to the championship, it may very well be their old foes, #11 Coheed and Cambria. They knocked off TH in an epic 2010 Final Four matchup en route to their first MMM title, and the two bands squared off in a memorable Elite 8 tilt in 2012 that saw Tokio extract some revenge. With Coheed handling Bruce Springsteen with relative ease this year, they seem to be on a collision course with Kaulitz & Co. in the Elite 8 once again ... in the rubber match to end all rubber matches (note to Coheed's publicists and managers: your band's chances of winning would be greatly improved if you'd respond to our emails.)

Is the East a foregone conclusion? Or will an unheralded band be able to knock off Tokio Hotel? We'll just have to wait and see.

MTV's Musical March Madness tournament is back! Voting is now open in all first-round matchups and polls close Monday, March 25 at noon ET, at which point we'll move on to the second round of action. 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.