Wow, was the second round brutal on the lower half of the bracket. Only one higher seed was upset in the Book Region and the Movie Region (although it was a doozy, with Ocean’s Eleven besting the Toy Story Trilogy on a tight 60/40 split), but TV saw its #1 seed – and overall victory contender, I thought – The West Wing fall and two more contestes decided by tiebreakers, and MY TOP THREE SEEDS!!!! in the Video Game Region all went down.
After a bit of a delay in the second round, we’re back on a tight schedule for the rest of the tournament. We’re into the SWEET SIXTEEN! Here’s how the bracket stands (or click here for a full PDF version):
#1 The Lord of the Rings – 100% – WINNER
#12 Redwall Series – 0%
This would look to be another clear victory for The Lord of the Rings, which has lost only a combined 20% of the vote through the first two rounds (i.e. it’s won 180/200%). The Redwall Series has been surprisingly strong so far, and it denied an all-Tolkien matchup this round by beating The Silmarillion by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.
#7 Harry Potter Series – 67% – WINNER
#3 Ender’s Game – 33%
This matchup, on the other hand, figures to be hotly contested. One of the most influential fantasy/young adult series of all time versus one of the best sci-fi novels of all time. My gut says the social weight behind Harry Potter pushes it through, but Ender’s Game is not to be trifled with. Please remember that this is just about the books, not the movies (both of which I can’t stand, but for some reason a lot of you seem to like the Harry Potter movies).
#1 Forrest Gump – 57% – WINNER
#4 The Shawshank Redemption – 43%
Two ’90s classics that already went head-to-head in the Oscars, where Forrest Gump basically swept. It really comes down to a matter of personal preference, and it’s hard to fault anyone for making either choice. I’m very excited to see how this matchup goes.
#2 Star Wars Original Trilogy – 67% – WINNER
#6 Ocean’s Eleven – 33%
Ocean’s Eleven can hardly be thought of as an insurgent when it’s a six seed, but after knocking off the #3 Toy Story Trilogy and so disrupting a perfectly seeded final four from the Movies Region, I can’t see it as anything else. I gave it no shot against Toy Story, and I guess I give it even more of a no chance against Star Wars. The margin of victory for Ocean’s was small last round. I don’t think it’ll be so lucky this time.
#9 Arrested Development – 43%
#4 30 Rock – 57% – WINNER
I still can’t believe it. I know those original two and a half seasons of Arrested Development are great. But there were only two and a half seasons, and then the Netflix season happened. How did it beat The West Wing? It gives me pause. And, I think, it makes Arrested Development the heavy favorite in this matchup. 30 Rock is WONDERFUL, but it required a tiebreaker to shake off M*A*S*H.
#10 Mythbusters – 43%
#3 The Office (US) – 57% – WINNER
If there’s any favorite left in the TV Region, it has to be The Office. Yes, it had the easiest matchup of round 2, but it also was the only show to win by a decent margin. Those last few seasons were a little rough, but The Office was a phenomenon unlike anything left in this region.
Video Game Region
#9 Super Smash Bros. – 80% – WINNER
#13 Star Wars: Battlefront 2
I guess I understand how this happened, but I still can’t quite believe it did. So I’ll just say this: unlike last round, when Battlefront had a significant multiplayer/party game/replayability advantage over its competitor, it’s got to match strength to strength instead of strength to weakness. That favors Smash.
#7 Knights of the Old Republic – 25%
#6 Portal Series – 75% – WINNER
Even more than the top part of this region, I understand how this happened. Wouldn’t have been my choice, but Majora’s Mask vs. KOTOR and Mass Effect vs. Portal were in my opinion two of the very best matchups round two had on offer. This is going to be ridiculously competitive, but I expect Portal to have the edge.
Round 1 – 3/8 thru 3/13 – VIEW RESULTS
Round 2 – 3/14 thru 3/24 – VIEW RESULTS
Sweet Sixteen – 3/25 thru 3/28 – VIEW RESULTS
Elite Eight – 3/29 thru 4/1
Final Four – 4/2 thru 4/4
Final – 4/5 thru 4/10