MTV’s Musical March Madness: Neon Trees Vs. Patrick Stump, Rise Against Vs. Pete Wentz/Black Cards

It’s MTV’s second annual Musical March Madness! MTV News took the 64 biggest names in rock, split them up into four regions, assigned them seeds and puts them up against one another in a single-elimination series of match-ups in a winner-take-all contest. We’re leaving it to you to decide an actual champ in this field of 64, so over the next few weeks, fan voting will determine who will emerge as this year’s champion. It’s all about the fans, and the artist with the most passionate fan base will score the awesome Musical March Madness trophy!

The first round of voting in the 2011 MTV Musical March Madness tournament is underway, with heated competitions already dividing fans of Foo Fighters, Disturbed, Dave Matthews Band and the Damned Things. Continuing in the Midwest bracket, we bring you four more top-shelf competitors trying to fight their way through the tournament. Once again, the voting will close on Sunday night (March 20), with the new match-ups revealed next Monday, March 21. Vote on!

(5) Neon Trees vs. (12) Patrick Stump
Neon Trees have spent the last year building buzz and establishing themselves as players on the rock scene (mostly thanks to the chart-topping single “Animal”). Also, they’re from Utah, just like BYU. Meanwhile, Patrick Stump has spent that same year reinventing himself as a solo artist, and he surges into the tournament on the strength of his well-received solo EP Truant Wave. Will the upstarts upend the veteran? Vote and see!

(4) Rise Against vs. (13) Pete Wentz/Black Cards
Political-minded aggro-punk outfit Rise Against snagged an impressively high seed in this year’s Musical March Madness tournament thanks to the their excellent new album Endgame (which hits stores on Tuesday, March 15). Former Fall Out Boy bassist Wentz slipped a bit this year, but came on strong late with the establishment of the Black Cards, his new and still somewhat mysterious project. In this battle of modern punks, who will stand tallest?

Check out the Musical March Madness bracket and be take a look at the hoops-centric photos of some of the tournament’s biggest bands.