The Round of 32 is in the books in our first annual Mad About Movies March Madness Madness Bracket Challenge (and Pro-Am) and what a great round it was! Thanks to everyone who voted. For the most part, the higher-seeded basketball movies protected their homecourt and advanced but the first round wasn’t without its fair share of upsets. Baseketball and The 6th Man triumphed as 5-seeds over the slightly favored 4-seeds, Basketball Diaries and The Other Dream Team respectively. Air Bud brought his A-game in an upset over Finding Forrester (sorry, Sean Connery). And in the biggest upset in Mad About Movies March Madness Madness history, Will Ferrell’s Semi-Pro, a disrespected 7-seed, pulled out a hard-fought victory over the 2-seed in the Hoyle Hustle Region, Love & Basketball. This was the tightest matchup of the first round, with Semi-Pro winning by only seven votes. So, if you’re a big Love & Basketball fan and you didn’t vote, this is squarely on you.
Voting is now live for the second round of the tournament and you’ll have only two days to cast your vote this time. So let’s have a look at the field.
(NOTE: If you’re super confused as to what exactly I’m writing about, I recommend you first listen to our Selection Sunday show here or on the podcast platform of your preference then run back through my summary of the first-round matchups here.)
THE SHORT SHORTS REGION
(#1) Hoosiers vs (#5) Baseketball
It has become quite clear that we seriously underestimated the fanbase Baseketball brings to the table. It’s been a few years but the last time I saw Baseketball I was underwhelmed; it doesn’t hold up so well. This should be an easy win for Hoosiers, often referenced as the greatest sports movie of all-time, but it turns out Baseketball fans travel well and this will be a barn burner.
(#2) Blue Chips vs (#3) Glory Road
In the first round, Blue Chips got a run for its money from Cinderella-darling Like Mike because I guess some people just want to watch the world burn. Like Mike is TERRIBLE. But I also think this struggle indicates the weakness of Blue Chips and Glory Road is primed for an upset.
THE SHUTTLESWORTH REGION
(#1) He Got Game vs (#4) Above the Rim
Tupac versus Denzel. This is what the Tournament is all about! He Got Game breezed through the first round though an inordinate number of people voted for Celtic Pride (ironically, I assume). Above the Rim had some competition from The Pistol but pulled away in the second half. This could be an interesting matchup but Vegas has strong faith in Jesus (Shuttlesworth).
(#2) Space Jam vs (#6) Air Bud
Millennials can’t be happy with this matchup this early in the Tournament. Both of these movies are darlings of the youth culture but as we know, only one can survive and advance. Michael Jordan once defeated a group of super powered, intergalactic Monstars so in my mind, his legacy takes a huge hit if he can’t beat a golden retriever.
THE HOYLE HUSTLE REGION
(#1) White Men Can’t Jump vs (#4) Eddie
White Men received the highest overall number of votes in round one. This means three things: One, obviously, this is an incredibly strong contender. Two, Thunderstruck is a terrible movie (duh). Three, more people voted for Juwanna Mann than Thunderstruck which is probably enough to get us all put on a government watch list. Eddie showed up and handled its business against Forget Paris but I think it’s in for a long day this time around.
(#3) Nowitzki: The Perfect Shot vs (#7) Semi-Pro
You guys. I love you all, you know that? Not only did Nowitzki win a sneaky-tough matchup with Sonicsgate, our German hero SOARED through, finishing as one of the five highest rated films in the first round. I like to think this is partly due to the strength of the film and partly because you all know how much we love Dirk and you want us to be happy. Well, I’m going to call on this good will again. We cannot let Semi-Pro win. This would be simply unacceptable. As incentive, please keep in mind that Richard has promised to allow you the listener to pick which film for which he will do a solo podcast episode if Nowitzki makes it through to the next round. So. I think that’s something we all need. Make it happen.
THE WINDY CITY REGION
(#1) Hoop Dreams vs (#5) The 6th Man
In hindsight, Hoop Dreams was the “weakest” of the 1-seeds and should’ve been in a tougher bracket (apologies to both He Got Game and Space Jam). The 6th Man has a bigger fanbase than expected and I’m concerned, as a Hoop Dreams fan, that it’s about to steamroll on to the next round. (Regardless of which movie wins, you should make time to see Hoop Dreams if you haven’t already. It’s important, although it doesn’t involve even one basketball-playing ghost.)
(#2) Teen Wolf vs (#3) Coach Carter
Both of these movies absolutely demolished their first-round competitors and as such, this has become perhaps the most interesting matchup of the day. Coach Carter is probably the better movie but again, Teen Wolf has Michael J. Fox…and a teen wolf. My brain says Coach Carter but my heart says Teen Wolf.