MTV's Musical March Madness has reached the Sweet 16 ... and, after even more shocking upsets, this year's tournament is anyone's for the taking.
But before we get to the bands still standing, let's remind you that, starting today, #MMM really speeds up: Voting in the Sweet 16 is now underway, and polls will remain open until Wednesday, April 2 at noon ET ... from there, we move to the Elite 8, and, by Friday, we'll be down to the Final Four.
So, who survived to the Sweet 16? Some names you'd expect ... and plenty that you probably didn't (let's just say no one had Palaye Royale or Phantogram making it this far). Here's a recap of the round that was, with a tip of the cap to all the brackets that were busted along the way.
Things remained (reasonably) normal in the Mighty Midwest, as three of the region's top four seeds advanced to the round of 16.
In the top half of the region, it's #1 Fall Out Boy vs. #4 Blink-182 — a battle that pits student against master — while in the bottom, #3 Walk The Moon will take on #10 5 Seconds of Summer, the Australian upstarts who continue to impress in their tournament debut.
Neither FOB or Blink have been tested so far — Fall Out Boy blasted Bleachers in round two, and Blink easily beat the Fray — though we're willing to bet that's going to change, starting now. Walk The Moon survived a tough challenge from #6 the Killers, and 5SOS survived a late charge from #15 Amy Lee to advance ... which of these four bands will face off in the regional final? We're not sure, though it looks like we're in for a pair of epic battles before we find out!
The Sweet 16 matchups in the Midwest:
» #1 Fall Out Boy vs. #4 Blink-182
» #3 Walk The Moon vs. #10 5 Seconds Of Summer
The WTF West continues to confound, as only one single-digit seed plays on in the round of 16.
That's #9 Panic! at the Disco, the #MMM vets who held off a hard-charging #16 Kesha to advance. They'll take on #13 AFI, who dominated #12 Pierce The Veil and might very well be the band to beat in the region ... though they'll get their toughest test against Panic!
In the other Sweet 16 battle, it's #10 the Used facing off against #11 Linkin Park. Both bands have looked strong so far — the Used took care of #15 Echosmith in convincing fashion, and LP solved#14 the Neighbourhood without breaking a sweat — though there can be only one winner here. Will LP continue their tradition of #MMM success, or can the Used break through to the Elite 8?
The Sweet 16 matchups in the West:
» #9 Panic! at the Disco vs. #13 AFI
» #10 the Used vs. #11 Linkin Park
Surprise, surprise: Tokio Hotel is in the Sweet 16, having blasted Bayside in round two. They'll take on #14 Phantogram, who added another upset to their impressive 2014 tournament run, knocking off #7 Tegan and Sara with a late rally. That came after their opening-round win over #2 Lorde, which, in any other matchup, might make them the favorites ... though we're going to go out on a limb and say they're no match for Tokio's insane-o fans, who seemingly never tire of voting for their boys in online tournaments. Sigh.
The East's other Sweet 16 matchup is slightly less predictable: #4 Bastille takes on #MMM's only unsigned band, #16 Palaye Royale, who shocked the world once again by knocking off #8 Coldplay in round two. Can they take down one more top seed and advance to an inevitable Elite 8 showdown against the Aliens? We'll just have to wait and see, though, at this point, we wouldn't bet against the Palaye boys.
The Sweet 16 matchups in the East:
» #4 Bastille vs. #16 Palaye Royale
» #11 Tokio Hotel vs. #15 Phantogram
Yes, for the fifth-straight year, Hayley Williams and Co. came up short in #MMM, though they've never exited this early. Daft Punk staged a furious fourth-quarter comeback to pull the upset, and now, the Dynamic Duo take on #13 A Day To Remember, who managed a rather impressive victory of their own over #4 the Black Keys in round two. So who wins this battle that no one saw coming when #MMM began? You got us.
Believe it or not, the Foos have never made it this far in #MMM, and, after pasting #6 the Dead Weather, they're looking tough. Meanwhile, the pop-punkers from Poughkeepsie upset #2 Kings of Leon in the second round, and definitely aren't going to be daunted by another higher-seeded band. This one also appears to be headed right down to the wire.
The Sweet 16 matchups in the South:
» #8 Daft Punk vs. #12 A Day To Remember
» #3 Foo Fighters vs. #10 We Are The In Crowd
Our Sweet 16 is set, and voting is underway! Polls will remain open until Wednesday, April 2 at noon E.T. There's not much time to help your favorites advance!
MTV's Musical March Madness continues! Vote in all Sweet 16 matchups now at MMM.MTV.com, and spread the word on Twitter using the hashtag #MMM