I need to find a way to upload my completed bracket, but for now, here are the highlights:
In a shocking upset, way-under-seeded crowd favorite The Hold Steady take out overhyped 1-seed Nickelback. Sure, it's never happened in the men's NCAA tourney; but in real life, no one actually likes Nickelback. Petite but voluble Pete Wentz makes it to the Sweet 16 before being muscled out by Detroit's own White Stripes, who go on to win the region over the very entertaining but predictable (read: West Virginia) Foo Fighters.
Exhausted from all of the late-night streaking to gear up for their comeback, recently reunited Blink-182 couldn't stave off a surprisingly robust Modest Mouse in the second round. Laws of the animal kingdom prevailed however, as M. Mouse were trampled by Gorillaz. The battle of the mid-90's heavyweights was intense but in the end, Green Day's soaring and politically charged anthems dominated Weezer's why-can't-I-get-the-girl poppy angst.
Both the second and third round match-ups had bands looking over their shoulder at imitators, duplicators and usurpers to *their* thrones. Creepy brilliance and haunting vocals weren't enough for Radiohead to outlast critical-darlings-gone-mass-appeal Coldplay, who in turn barely managed to hold off Vampire "We Care About Africa MORE Than You; Just Check Our Beats!" Weekend. But in a bracket-buster, Canadian upstarts Arcade Fire blazed through challenges both big (drunk and bloated Duke, ahem, U2) and small (Animal Collective without most members, who were off pursuing myriad zoological side projects) to take the region.
Overall number-1 seed Kings of Leon had a fairly easy romp through the South region, with few substantive challenges in the early rounds. Too busy either making out with chicks or preening in the mirror (respectively), Adam Lambert and John Mayer couldn't stop the hometown favorites. In the bottom of the bracket, Them Crooked Vultures proved surprisingly robust despite their age but ultimately suffered from Dave Grohl's split focus on fellow Elite Eight competitors Foo Fighters.
In a battle of aggression, relevance and pure volume, the focused and continually prolific Green Day elevated past the influential but recently abandoned White Stripes. They went against Kings of Leon, who yelped, stuttered and wailed their way through Arcade Fire, in the final match-up. While KoL have dominated radio and sales in the past year, the depth and endurance of Green Day's catalog was too much to overcome.