NCAA/Character Battle Tournament

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**Be sure to keep checking back to this page, because I will be updating it after every day of games. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page for the newest content. Each update will be separated by a hard horizontal line.

Original Bracket

***You can Fill Out Your Own Comic Book Character Bracket by just clicking on the link and printing out the PDF.

My Bracket

***You can see my untainted bracket here.

I've finally filled out my bracket. Check it out. Thor will be winning the whole tournament. Makes sense. He's got one of the best books on the market and a new movie coming out this year with my girl Natalie Portman. Anyway, let me know what you think about my bracket. Too many Marvel wins? Too many DC wins? Crazy upsets? Just post your thoughts in the comments section. Also, if you really feel like having your own superhero bracket, just tell me who you think will win each game in the entire tournament in the comments section, and I will create an image of that bracket for you and post it on this page. Then you can save it for yourself. Fill Out Your Own Comic Book Character Bracket if you're interested.

Friends of Plots and Pictures

The Creation
As you can tell from my last post, I am a huge fan of character battles.  The problem with character battles though, is that the same characters usually always win.  Batman or Spider-Man will always be the "favorite" superhero.  Gamefaqs does a video game battle every year, and Cloud and Sephiroth have pretty much won the fan voting every year.  I want some parity.  Some surprises.  Some intrigue.  So I decided to pair one of my favorite things - a superhero character battle, with another one of my favorite things - the NCAA Championship Tournament.  This combination of sports and comic books should also obliterate the cliche way of thinking what a dork should be.  We can like both?

Filling out the tournament was a fairly easy process. I used only DC and Marvel characters, giving each an equal number of characters in the tournament.  For every team in the NCAA Tournament, I assigned a comic book character.  I determined what seed a character should be based on how cool, relevant, or mainstream that character is compared to the other characters within its own company. For example, Captain America is very relevant and earned a 1 seed.  You probably don't know who Mockingbird is, so she got a 14 seed.  

As the tournament progresses, the characters will follow their assigned teams.  If UAB beats Clemson on Tuesday, Harley Quinn will have beaten Cyclops in a character battle, earning the right to match up against Flash. Every comic book character's success is entirely dependent on the college basketball team it is linked to.  Who knows who'll make it to the Final Four!?!? I'm already excited! Hopefully sports fans will be more inclined to cheer on comic book characters after reading this, and maybe comic book fans won't be so scared to watch basketball after checking this out. Oh, and each character who makes it to the Final Four will get a place on the background graphic of my blog where Thor, Ms. Marvel and 5 others currently are.  I sure hope Squirrel Girl doesn't make it.

Below you'll see a minor analysis of each region, breaking down some of the more interesting match-ups. Be sure to keep checking back to this page, because I will be updating it after every day of games. Just scroll down to the bottom of each page for the newest content. Each update will be separated by a hard horizontal line. 

Galactus - East Region

A 1 seed has never lost to a 16 seed and it had better not happen this year. Captain America is my favorite character in this tournament and I'll be darned if he goes down to Stilt Man of the Flaming C.  The number 12 seed in this region is interesting because it's the inaugural first round game of the new 68-team tournament.  Harley Quinn and Cyclops are basically 2 of the last characters who earned their way into the tournament without getting that automatic qualifier.  Sucks for them. They'll have to fight 3 times this week to accomplish their goal (which they won't). Watch out for Black Bolt. He's a scary looking high-seed character. I have a feeling Wolverine may be in some danger. He's been known to get his butt whooped a lot, and this tournament should be no different.

Uatu - West Region

This is the only region with no "first round" games. This new 68-team system is awful confusing. Oh well. Spider-Man will be upset in this region. Too bad he got linked to Duke. They're known to falter around the Sweet 16 (last year was an anomaly). The Atom could pull off a monumental upset against Apocalypse in the second round and maybe even Luthor in third. I like the chances of the little guy. Thor will be a beast. His team, Connecticut, is actually undefeated in tournament play for the year. Iron Man should make some noise as well, working with the ol' coach of the Fab Five (excellent documentary on ESPN).

Guardians - Southwest Region

Batman should have no problem running through this region.  There are still some interesting match-ups though. We get a nice little lady-battle with Ms. Marvel and Poison Ivy going on. You really can't go wrong with those girls, but I usually root for justice, so Ms. Marvel, you go girl. Hopefully Bigby from Fables can do some work. He's awesome and deserves to be represented like it in this tournament. Hawkeye could end up facing his wife, Mockingbird, if they both make it to the Sweet 16. They won't though, Both will probably go down in their first fights. The most likely Sweet 16 battle will be the far more interesting showdown between Green Lantern and his arch enemy Sinestro. You're my boy Sinestro.

Darkseid - Southeast Region

Death was awful in her last fight, but she should be alright now. I'm looking for her to make a Sweet 16 appearance. She's earned it, branching off from her amazing Sandman series to make an appearance in Action Comics toying with Lex Luthor this year. I am a huge fan of Nick Fury. He should have some success. Spider Woman will have the biggest upset of the week, taking down everyone's favorite villain - the Joker. What!?!? Yeah, I meant it. Dex-Starr will be one of the highest seeds to make the Sweet 16.

Tuesday and Wednesday Games

This year, the tournament has 4 play-in games. The NCAA officially calls it the first round, but in my eyes the first round doesn't really start until Thursday. Anyway, some pseudo-official action starts Tuesday and ends Wednesday.

First up is the 16-seed pairing of Captain Boomerang and Squirrel Girl. Squirrel Girl has enjoyed a huge resurgence lately, appearing in issues of Spider-Man, episodes of Attack of the Show, and the vocabulary of weekend sports anchor Jake Young. Captain Boomerang also got a popularity boost from being ridiculed by Conan O'Brien on his late night show. Both are mere 16 seeds and hilarious jokes of characters. Look for Squirrel Girl to jump on Captain Boomerang early beating him into submission with the help of her squirrel friends.

Harley Quinn and Cyclops are two of the last four characters to make it into the tournament and will be matched up Tuesday Night. A lot of people felt Harley Quinn didn't deserve to be in the field, seeing as how she's just an ancillary character. Don't sleep on her though. She's capable of providing pressure for 40 minutes. Cyclops is an X-Men though and will most likely win.

The two other 16-seeds square off early Wednesday evening. Conan, The Flaming C, O'Brien, will be bringing the pain. His perpetually hot oven mit and oh-so-comfortable loafers should give him all the advantage he needs over the villain every one loves to pick on. Stilt Man.

Finally, on Wednesday night we get the last two of the last four characters to get into the tourney. Deadpool has probably enjoyed the biggest resurgence of any character lately. He's got three or four comic books out right now, appears in everyone else's comic book, and might be getting a movie. Still, his teleportation, regenerative, and ninja powers shouldn't be a match against Supergirl. She's got the strength and speed of Superman with the legs of Wonder Woman. Deadpool will fall.

"First Four" Results

As I predicted, Squirrel Girl jumped out to an early lead in her battle against Captain Boomerang. In direct defiance of the plan I laid out, however, Captain Boomerang came back to win. Squirrel Girl was up for almost the entire match, even toying with the ridiculous Flash-villain, but she got a little too comfortable. When playing with boomerangs, you must always keep an eye on their return paths. Unfortunately, Squirrel Girl forgot this cardinal rule and paid the ultimate price, letting Captain Boomerang's weapon sneak up on her at the end of the battle.

Of course Cyclops was going to win this showdown. The X-Men may not be real cool anymore, but they're still the X-Men. Harley Quinn did have a few tricks in her bag, barraging Cyclops with a flurry of unorthodox attacks for a stretch of the fight. The leader of the X-Men (and the entire Mutant race) sustained though and eventually pummeled Joker's lovely therapist into submission.

Conan O'Brien was NOT playing around. As soon he stepped into the ring, he unleashed a relentless beating upon Stilt Man that rivaled the beating he took in thousands of Marvel comic books. Whether it was pummeling by jai alai glove, stomping by cozy loafers, or distraction freshly baked foccacia, Stilt Man stood no chance. By the end of the fight, the Flaming C even had time to talk on his cell phone that he keeps on his belt.

Deadpool surprised Supergirl with some quick attacks early and never let up. She tried to make a comeback, but every time she got close Deadpool was able to teleport away, rendering her immense strength and beauty useless. Once he was out of reach, the maniacal hero was able to barrage her with horrendous jokes until she could take no more.

Round of 64 Results

We were treated to some epic battles on the first day, with many coming down to the very last blow. Day two gave us blowouts that showed exactly why some fighters were favorites and the others were jokes. Some interesting tidbits about the round of 64: only 7 of the of the 32 lower seeds won a match, 5 of which came from one region; 18 DC characters advanced compared to 14 Marvel (reason for concern for Marvel fanboys?).

Galactus - East Region

The first two duals were a couple of doozies. Cyclops came out with a fury against Flash. His phenomenal game-planning and ability to keep Flash close by, provided the perfect outlet for his optical blasts. In the end though, Flash's speed was a force too powerful to contain as the fastest man alive pulled away easily as time ticked down. Hulk and Firestorm put up one up the best duals of the round. Firestorm fought like a man possessed, constantly frustrating the Hulk. But as we know, the angrier you make him, the stronger Hulk becomes. With less than one second left in the battle, Hulk was able to deliver the killer blow, breaking Firestorm's heart...and the rest of his being. The Fantastic Four and Atrocitus delivered an intense back-and-forth display. There came a point when it looked like a sure victory for Marvel's First Family, but the master of rage poured on his fiery hate thick and was able to steal victory from the jaws of defeat. Martian Manhunter has a surprising amount of power, but Black Bolt can destroy mountains with a single whisper. And that was all he needed. Black Adam was no match for the Power Cosmic, as Silver Surfer moves on. Being a Nazi racist, Red Skull was so infuriated by his opponent, Lobo - the Intergalactic Redneck, that he eventually lost his concentration and let the fight get away from him towards the end. Everyone knows that Wolverine's greatest power is his ability to take a beating. He took a bit of a pounding from Blue Beetle, but the poor guy eventually got tired from whaling on the Canadian's bub's adamantium skull, allowing Wolverine to pounce. And comic book's greatest hero went up against its newest hero and it showed. Captain America annihilated Conan O'Brien in every way possible. No shield required.

Uatu - West Region

Everything went according to plan in this region. Not a single lower seed decided to put up a fight. Dream beat Professor X in the battle of mind-games, trapping him with the curse of Eternal Waking. Thor absolutely pounded Batwoman. She may be visually stunning and perhaps the most stylistic character in the tournament, but was no competition for the God of Thunder. Doctor Strange was able to put up a heck of a resistance against Catwoman, but once she was able to pilfer his Eye of Agamotto, he could do nothing to keep her from having her way with him. I won't even dignify Neptune Perkins by analyzing the humiliation he took from Iron Man. Most embarrassing of all - the Punisher. He was so obsessed with vengeance, that it blinded him to strategy as Green Arrow was able to trounce him with a barrage of arrows. Loki was closest to providing an upset, but being the God of Mischief, decided not to go for the win and forfeited the fight as time ticked away. The Atom was a pest for Apocalypse, but the all-powerful mutant was just teasing and squashed Atom just as he was getting excited. Spider-Man? He gave King Solovar the most passionate beating of the round. Who is King Solovar?

Guardians - Southwest Region

The name of this region might as well be changed to "Upsets Aplenty," which is kind of fitting seeing as how no one would suspect the diminutive Guardians of being the most powerful beings in the universe. All in all, 5 of the 8 fights were won by lower seeds. Kicking things off, the powerful Ms. Marvel fell prey to Poison Ivy's toxins and succumbed to the traps laid out by her fiercest plants. Black Widow pulled off the biggest surprise by taking down Bigby. Apparently she learned how to the murder a big bad wolf on one of her spy missions. Zatanna was able to cast a spell making Namor forget how awesome he is to get her surprising victory. Deadpool, getting his second win already, annoyed Doctor Doom to the point where he just didn't want to fight anymore. And being a ladies' man, Hawkeye knows when to cut his losses. A girl who can scream as loud as Black Canary is someone you most definitely want to bail on. No shame in that, Hawkeye. Batman, Sinestro, and Green Lantern had no trouble at all disposing of their weaker foes.

Darkseid - Southeast Region

Every match-up in this region was resolved on Day 1 and there weren't too many shockers. Daredevil put up a particularly entertaining fight with Aquaman. His heightened senses of smell and touch ensured he steered clear of the sea, rendering the laughable Aquaman utterly useless. Dex-Starr's rage was able to catch him up to Venom. But with it being too hard to control, he eventually faltered, allowing Venom to ultimately squeak by with a victory. Joker and Death toyed with their opponents but got bored after a little while and silenced them. Likewise, Superman and Magneto had no trouble showing why they are two of the most powerful characters in all of comic books. Biggest result though - Nick Fury's defeat. He got a little too cocky and decided to send a life model decoy in his place. Upon realizing this, Larfleeze decided he wanted to have one and disassembled it to figure out how he could make one for himself, giving him the win.

Round of 32 Results

This round was much more competitive than the last one. Almost every bout came down to the wire, with 7 of the 16 coming down to the last seconds. There were only a few runaways in all the action, one of which was by my boy Captain America. An interesting tidbit: 4 double digit seeds advance to the Sweet 16, 3 of which are in the upset-special Guardians Bracket. Overall, 9 of the 16 remaining spots are occupied by Marvel characters. Good comeback, Marvel! In the end though, this round will be most remembered for Superman becoming the first 1-seed to lose, being defeated by Daredevil. How could that have happened? Read on, silly goose.

Galactus - East Region

Once again Captain America proved that he is the greatest fighter in all of comic books. His calm, calculating, and collective demeanor was far more useful than the rage of Atrocitus. He could do nothing as Captain America attacked him from afar with countless shield throws, bouncing every which way and delivering a world of hurt every time they connected. America’s greatest hero was effective up close as well, ramming his opponent with the vibranium shield and making use of good old-fashioned fistful combos. In the end, Captain America would put on display the biggest beatdown this round of the tournament.

The Flash was able to get off to a quick start and give the Hulk and unexpected beating. Unfortunately for Flash though, intermission came just as he was racking up the good combos. During this break, Hulk had nothing to do but think about how annoying the puny fast-man was. With that annoyance boiling up inside him, Hulk came out with a vengeance and was able to dish out some punishment of his own. Eventually, he was able to grab a hold of Flash. With nowhere to run (which just so happens to be a Jean Claude Van Damme movie), the Flash was no match for Hulk’s might and fell hard as the battle concluded.

This was a battle between two of the most powerful heroes in the cosmos. Silver Surfer wields the power cosmic and surfs the universe in search of peace and solace. None would be found here. Black Bolt rules the powerful empire encompassing the Kree and Inhuman races and would put up the fight of his life to defend his honor. Both warriors fought to a stalemate for 99% of the match. Black Bolt’s ability to manipulate the electrons surrounding him was countered by Surfer’s matter manipulation. The Zenn-Lavian’s concussive blasts were nullified by the ruler of Attilan’s invulnerability. In the end, the fight came down to a phenomenon rarely seen in this universe. For the first time, Black Bolt had to unleash the full force of his world-shattering voice. His scream was so powerful; it created a black hole in the battlefield that sucked Silver Surfer in it, effectively making the king of the Kree and Inhuman empire, king of this fight as well.

Wolverine’s strategy of pounding his opponent’s fists with his head has got him this far, and he wasn’t going to switch horses in mid stride for this battle. Lobo came prepared though. Instead of wearing himself out uselessly fighting the healing factor of Wolverine, he set up booby traps around the battlefield to wound the ferocious animal. Wolverine heals from all wounds though, and his freshness at the end of the battle obviously frustrated the intergalactic bounty hunter. Trying to finish the diminutive X-man once and for all, Lobo steered his hellish motorcycle right towards him like knight in a jousting dual. Wolverine knows nothing of chivalry though, and with his indestructible claws, sliced right through it, sending Lobo careening onto the floor of the battlefield. He was easy pickings from there. Wolverine gets another come-from-behind victory.

Uatu - West Region

Spider-Man was able to dominate most of this match. He does have super powers after all. Green Arrow is nothing but a Robin Hood rip-off. Spidey’s agility was too much for the archer. Any arrow fired was at a target that Spider-Man vacated countless seconds ago. With Green Arrow constantly missing and aiming at an ever-moving target, your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man was able to deliver numerous blows to his opponent’s body. As is usually the case in this round of the tournament, however, the battle would quickly change. Green Arrow was able to get a lucky hit on ol’ Webhead, nicking him in the shoulder. This obviously hindered him a bit, as the hits just kept on increasing for Green Arrow. Spider-Man would not be denied though, and was able to rely on his spider sense one last time to dodge the archer’s last arrow, catch it with his spider web, and slingshot it back at Green Arrow, sealing the win for Marvel.

Seeing Lex Luthor as too meager an opponent for him, Apocalypse sent out his horsemen to handle the first half of this fight. Luthor was prepared for them though, building machines specifically tuned to counter their every attack and easily defeating them. Perhaps a little perturbed at their insignificance, Apocalypse entered the fray with a fury. He made quick work of his human opponent and had him down for the count towards the end of the battle. Before finishing Luthor off though, the mutant god gloated about conquering yet another human and his machines. This gave Superman’s arch nemesis just enough time to activate his latest creation, a machine separating Apocalypse’s consciousness from his powerful new body and returning it to his old frail one. From there, Lex Luthor had no obstacle to advancing to the next round of the tournament.

Dream put forth quite the effort against the God of Thunder, but in the end, no mind games could compare to the wrath of Thor. The ruler of the Dream Realm had a fairly effective strategy at first, haunting his opponent with nightmares of Ragnorak. Thor’s greatest fear hindered him for much of the bout, but the Odinson is known for more than just being powerful. He is also known for his determination and arrogance. Neither would allow him to become prey to his own nightmares, and once that was decided nothing would stop the wrath of Thor as he brought the fury of a thousand thunderstorms. There was no way Dream could sustain a full on blow from Thor’s mighty Mjolnir.

Everyone knows that one of Iron Man’s biggest weaknesses is the ladies. He’s constantly bedding women and cutting them loose like a fish he’s caught. Maria Hill knows what I’m talking about. One of his biggest villains, Madame Masque, is even an ex-girlfriend. Catwoman joined that list of Iron Man rogues today. She was able to distract him throughout the entire fight with her feminine guiles. Iron Man was fortunate that extra time was given to extend the fight, or the buxom burglar may have defeated him. He was able to regain his composure though, and seeing the finish line, repulsor blasted his opponent to the doldrums of defeat.

Guardians - Southwest Region

Batman is known as the world’s greatest detective. If he has one major weakness, it’s the magical realm. Unfortunately for him, that happens to be Zatanna’s area of expertise. She was able to inflict a minor amount of damage against the Caped Crusader. In the end, it was all for naught though. Batman may not understand the mystic arts, but that doesn’t mean he can’t prepare an adequate defense against it. Zatanna has to recite spells in order to cast them. Knowing this, Batman released an incredibly loud sonic blast, deafening the adorable magician. Not being able to hear herself speak severely burdened her spell-casting. Zatanna was no match for the Dark Knight after that.

Neither of these fighters was expected to make it this far in the tournament. Black Widow looked happy to be there, after taking down the ferocious Bigby days before. Poison Ivy lusted for more. Once again, her love toxins convoluted her opponent. Once the super spy’s concentration was broken, Ivy cruised to yet another easy victory. Two fights already, and she has yet to break a sweat, keeping her luscious hair from frizzing up.

Deadpool continues his unfathomable run. He’s won 3 fights already! I just don’t understand why this guy is so huge nowadays. The Merc with the Mouth even defeated my favorite villain in this tournament. Sinestro should have easily won this fight, but being in the Guardians Region was perhaps a bit unfortunate for him. He’s been at war with them for a long time, and refusing to let their former greatest warrior represent them in the Final Four, gave Deadpool a device that would drain his power lantern. After that, Sinestro couldn’t use his power ring. And let’s be honest, he’s no match for Deadpool in hand-to-hand combat. Another easy victory for the insane-in-the-membrane mercenary.

The Guardians have an equal dislike for Green Lantern. Black Canary needed none of their interference though. From the onset of the fight, she was able to incapacitate the wielder of the Green Light. Green Lantern became so frustrated by her Canary Cry, that by the end of the bout he completely lost his will to continue. With no willpower to draw on, his ring was no use to him. And the Green Lantern fell victim to the lovely Black Canary.

Darkseid - Southeast Region

I told you Superman was lame!!! Daredevil listened to me. He does have super hearing after all. Speaking of which, his hearing gave him the ability to hear the fear in Superman’s heart. Apparently kryptonite was nearby, and Superman’s anxious state gave him away. With Daredevil finding kryptonite, the playing field was suddenly level and he was able to pound on the Man of Steel accordingly. Superman is tenacious though and put up a fight towards the end, but with the kryptonite still in his possession, the Man Without Fear looked to deliver the killing blow. This fight would take a turn for the absurd in the end though. As he was attempting a wicked roundhouse kick, an incredibly loud train passed by, giving Daredevil an intense and seething pain, due to his heightened sense of hearing. He fell and dropped the kryptonite, allowing Superman to take full advantage. The dork was still weak from Daredevil’s beating though, and fell….right in front of the train. Match over. What a shame that such a great bout had to end in such a lame way.

Magneto and Death had an incredible debate over what is right and what is wrong. The Master of Magnetism tried to convince the unexpectedly cute and flirty Death that it wasn’t his time to die. He fights for justice, according to him. Humans have persecuted mutants for ages and it’s time for mutants to rule the world. Death seemed convinced, but Magneto blundered in the end, saying he wanted to actually murder all humans for what they’ve done. That’s not just. Death didn’t think so either. She took his soul and skipped along the path to her next unfortunate opponent.

The Joker relished his fight against the wielder of the Orange Light. Heck, doesn’t the Joker relish everything? Anyway, using Larfleeze’s intense greed against him, the Joker left hundreds of presents around the arena. Being the King of Avarice, Larfleeze had to open them up and possess its contents. Too bad for him that the Joker filled them with toxins and bombs. After the 93rd box, Larfleeze was weakened beyond belief. From there, the Joker wailed him to death with a crowbar, earning a spot in the Sweet 16.

Wonder Woman is having a big resurgence these days. A new costume, TV show, and writers for her book. Perhaps buying into the hype, Diana was feeling good about herself and it showed. Venom came out swinging but obviously didn’t know who he was messing with. Wonder Woman may be a beauty, but she’s a beast in the streets. Absorbing every attack Venom could dish out, the Amazon princess was able to walk away unscathed when the battle was through. All it took was her magical Lasso of Truth. Once she got that around Venom, Eddie Brock could do nothing but whine about his miserable life. Whiners are wimps, and Wonder Woman just proved that.

My 1st Weekend Performance

I think it's pretty obvious for anyone to see, that I love basketball and I love superheroes. Combining the two should give me the ultimate edge in this tournament. So you must be wondering how accurate my picks are. Not so hot to say the least. You can view all my hits and misses at any time by clicking on my bracket at the top of the page or by just clicking on the picture right about this text. You want to know the details though. I've got just want you're looking for.

There have already been 52 battles fought in this tournament. Of those 52 I've only correctly picked the winner 29 times in my bracket. That is an accuracy rating of just 55.8%, similar to UCLA's free throw percentage (ZING). All is not lost though, because 3 of my Final Four warriors still remain, with Nick Fury going down in the Round of 64. Those 3 warriors are also the only ones I have left that can make the Elite 8, with locks like Sinestro, Superman, and Silver Surfer (alliteration), faltering in the Round of 32. Punisher did me no justice, getting whooped in his first bout. I only have 5 correct picks in the entire Sweet 16 round and only correctly picked 1 match-up that will take place - Thor vs. Iron Man. Go Thor!!! No one is left in the entirety of my Darkseid region, so it doesn't really matter what happens henceforth. I wouldn't mind seeing Daredevil taking out some more DC characters though. My Guardians region has 1 hero left - Batman. That's not my fault though. The other 3 characters are surprises to everyone. Darn you Deadpool! And I currently rank next to last in my office pool. Sad face :-(. That commercial has been airing way too much.

All is not lost though. Since most bracket pools are very back-ended in terms of points, I still have a golden opportunity to prosper in this tournament. My only Final Four warrior out is Nick Fury, and everyone else's pick in that region, Superman, is also gone. Also, one of the 3 I have left is Thor, a 3-seed whom most people didn't see doing much. If he goes on to not only make it to the Final Four, but win it all, I will go back to looking like a genius. On a side note; Thor may have been my pick and will do me the most good, but I wouldn't mind at all seeing Captain America take the tournament crown. He's my favorite hero and totally deserves to be recognized as the greatest comic book character.

If you were wondering how Marvel fared against DC, fear no more. Both started with 34 characters a piece. There have been 52 fights. Marvel has won 25. DC 27. So DC has the slight edge in number of battles won. There are 16 warriors left standing. 9 of them belong to Marvel. 7 to DC. So Marvel has the very small lead in win-potential left. I'd say the two are performing about evenly. Looks like my seeding was spot-on. Maybe I should work for the NCAA selection committee. Anyway, both Marvel and DC should be equally represented in the Final Four. If not, a huge upset would have happened. That would just make this tournament even more enjoyable! I hope the upset's to Marvel's benefit (still not bias).

Enjoy making fun of the ineptitude I've shown in picking winners so far. I know I've screamed at the sky like Hugh Jackman in a Wolverine movie on multiple occasions (darn you Nick Fury, Silver Surfer, Sinestro, and Punisher). This is all still fun for me though, so expect many more updates and incorrect picks on my part.

2nd Weekend Preview

The best match-ups so far will be taking place in the second weekend of the tourney. The Sweet 16 will have the bulk of the interesting character dynamics. These duels must have been written in the sands of destiny because we're being treaty to gems like, the Repentant Catholic vs. the Avatar of Death, Brains vs. Brawn, and Magic vs. Science. Thesis papers could be written analyzing these battles. Maybe that'll be my next project. The Elite 8 pairings won't have quite the dynamic these Sweet 16 ones will, but if things play out like I think they will, the Final Four will feature a battle between arch nemeses and best friends. One step at a time though. I haven't done the match-ups of Thursday and Friday (awesome songs by Conan O'Brien and Rebecca Black, respectively) justice...yet.

Galactus - East Region

Captain America and Hulk should give us the most epic battle fought in the Eastern Hemisphere since Reggie Miller took Michael Jordan's Bulls to Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1998. Here we have a duel between two fighting styles on the opposite ends of the spectrum. In one corner is Captain America, who represents the peak physical and mental condition of the human body. The Hulk shows us what can happen when we sacrifice our minds for a stronger body. Will the uncontrollable rage of the Hulk overpower the strategy of the the Super Soldier? Interesting dynamic.

One of these days, Wolverine will find himself in a hole he won't be able to dig himself out from. Friday may be that day. Black Bolt possesses a power so destructive that Wolverine's healing factor may be negated. Besides that, the leader of the Inhumans has also shown composure late in fights that the X-Man hasn't witnessed in his previous opponents. And his claws may be indestructible, but Wolverine needs to rely on more than just some quick slashes to significantly damage Black Bolt.

Uatu - West Region

Spider-Man vs. Lex Luthor. Lex has been able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in his last two matches, but if he expects to win because of a Spider-Man lapse in judgment, then he is strongly mistaken. Spider-Man has sacrificed his body and social life for justice countless times, so he won't be taking this match lightly, despite what his levity may suggest. Spidey is strong from the perimeter with his web-shooters and very capable up close given his agility and spider-strength. Throw in the defense that comes with his spider-sense and I don't see any way Lex Luthor will be a match for him. I have been wrong before though.

Thor and Iron Man have had their share of differences before. Most recently, during Civil War, Iron Man created a clone of Thor for his army. That clone went on to accidentally murder a friend of the Avengers. Thor was enraged and thoroughly humiliated the Iron Avenger in battle. That was then, and this is now though. Tony Stark has upgraded his armor vastly since then, and Thor has been decimated physically and emotionally from attacks on his home. This duel will be hard fought and incredibly fun to watch. Classic!!!

Guardians - Southwest Region

Batman and Poison Ivy is our first match-up between a hero and a character from his rogues gallery of this tournament. These two have duked it out countless times, but Poison Ivy has never been stronger. Batman better have a good gameplan, because the sultry naturist has perfected a toxin that has completely confounded her two previous opponents, including the Mighty Ms. Marvel. The Dark Knight is well-known for thinking ahead though, and probably already has a strategy to counter her new love spell. Without that surprise working to her advantage, Poison Ivy will finally be given her due justice...most likely.

The battle of the mouths. Who can nag each other more? Deadpool or Black Canary? Deadpool will say the craziest things a mile a second until you feel like your ears are going to fall off. Black Canary will scream so loud, that your ears will literally begin to bleed. Both of these heroes are surprises to get here. One will shock the world one more time with a vocal performance for the ages. Like Taylor Swift!

Darkseid - Southeast Region

Yes! This will probably be the most interesting pairing for the round. Daredevil, eternally guilt-ridden catholic, against the very embodiment of Death. Will the Man Without Fear be able to overcome the sorrow and regret of his past shortcomings to convince Death that he deserves to continue in this tournament? Or will the adorable Death punish the horned hero for allowing 2 girlfriends to be murdered, being sent to prison, and allying with The Hand ninja clan?

We get another complete contrast of styles in the second match-up of this region. Wonder Woman is probably the most stoic person in all of comic books. I'm not sure if she's ever even been drawn with a smile. The Joker can't not smile. Literally! A smile is cut into his face. Other than that, the Joker is diabolical, sadistic, and conniving. The Amazon princess is cool, methodical, and honorable. What will win? The jack-in-the-box style of the Joker, or the steady-as-she-goes method of Wonder Woman? I don't know. It'll be fun to see though.

Sweet 16 Results

Not a good round for the 1-seeds. One was embarrassed and the other lost a heartbreaking fight. Batman (the only 1-seed remaining) was lucky enough to fight someone he has extensive experience beating up. Other than 2 shocking defeats, the round also gave us the best fight of the tournament so far, 2 battles that needed extra time to crown a victor, another upset by Daredevil, and a pair of embarrassing pummelings. Daaaang, Black Bolt. Only 1 female remains in the tournament after this round, too. You go, Wonder Woman! For me though, I'll most remember the fall of my favorite hero. Think I'll go reread Fallen Son (a comic book series about the stages of grief experienced by the super hero community after Captain America's death).

Galactus - East Region

NOOOOOOOOOO!!! Not you, Captain America! Not you. I must admit that my favorite hero wasn't able to get the job done tonight. Cap just couldn't get his offense going. Every shield toss was dodged by the surprisingly spry Hulk. And anytime the WWII hero tried to take the fight to the big guy, he was immediately countered by much more menacing blows. Cap jabbed, and Hulk threw hooks. Side kicks were trumped by ground stomps. Shield charges were nothing compared to a thunderclap (not an STD). Even though the Hulk dominated this match technically, Cap's heart and determination allowed him to hang in there until the end, with a chance to win even. He got lucky, catching the Hulk in the back of the head with a ricochet of one of his shield tosses. This left him with no protection, however, and with no shield to block the brunt of the force, Hulk knocked Captain America's lights out, winning the match. You're my boy, Cap!

Perhaps realizing that he couldn't depend on his healing factor to win this match, Wolverine decided to start a little earlier than usual. Going feral right out of the gates, the ageless mutant unleashed a continuous and devastating barrage of attacks upon his opponent. Black Bolt, usually incredibly durable and well prepared, was caught completely off guard and wasn't able to defend himself from anything. Wolverine's adamantium claws quickly sliced through any invulnerability the Inhuman thought he might have had. In hardly any time at all, he was able to knock Black Bolt unconscious, not even giving his foe the opportunity to think about using his world-shattering voice.

Uatu - West Region

There was no way Spider-Man was going to lose this fight. He has the better skill set, the stronger determination, and he's smarter. Lex Luthor would unveil his greatest invention this night though. After taking a beating for half of the bout, Luthor was finally able to activate his own version of a Spider-slayer. His is unique to Alastair Smythe's though in that it doesn't attack Spidey in battle. It negates his spider sense. Without it, Spider-Man wasn't able to predict Luthor's every move. In his attack suit, the bald baddie was able to fly around Spider-Man and close in with numerous attacks, constantly and from different directions every time. With no defense against this relentless force, Luthor landed more blows against Webhead than anyone else had all year by the time the fight was over.

I knew this one was going to be a fight for the ages. Just check my Sweet 16 preview. In the end, this fight would be the best of the tournament so far, and I have a feeling it still will be by the time Thor or Captain America wins the whole thing. Iron Man came out with a fury, hoping to catch his opponent off guard and build an insurmountable lead. His mach-2 speeds and flurry of steely punches hurt the Asgardian, but Thor was quick to recover, taking his own lead. With a pound of his mighty hammer, the Odinson called forth a monstrous Thunderstorm, shorting out Iron Man's suit temporarily and leaving him vulnerable for a beating - which mostly certainly came. Eventually, the Iron Avenger was able to reboot his hardware and call forth his drone Iron Men. This barrage of offense took its toll on the God of Thunder. Just as time was ticking away though, Thor was able to pull off the ultimate momentum-switching counter, catching 2 of the drones and throwing them back at Iron Man. Add in the lightning Thor shot at him just as contact was made and the resulting explosion left Iron Man completely incapacitated. One more strike with his hammer, Mjolnir, was all Thor needed to finally claim victory of his very worthy opponent.

Guardians - Southwest Region

Poison Ivy was so unfortunate to have to face Batman in this tournament. Her toxins and killer plants were able to catch every other opponent off guard, but the Caped Crusader had seen it all before. No old tricks, no matter how refined and improved, were going to work on the world's greatest detective. With nothing to fall back on, Poison Ivy was completely helpless against her arch enemy. With a simple backhand to the face, Batman was able to win his 3rd (and easiest) battle of the tournament.

Deadpool did it again. The same way he's infesting every comic book on the market today, he is taking over this tournament. Black Canary was on my side though, and wanted to oust the most annoying hero as much as I did. She put up a valiant effort too. Prepared for his teleportation device, Black Canary was able to unleash her sonic scream everywhere Deadpool appeared. The Merc with a Mouth has some vocal prowess too, and was able to distract her with some awful jokes. At one point it seemed he was looking at someone not even there and talking to that "person." Instead of taking advantage of the situation though, Black Canary stood dumbfounded trying to figure out what was going on. Deadpool, the opportunistic guy that he is, used this lapse in concentration to use the very teleporting technique Canary swore would not beat her. Finally able to get in close, Deadpool was easily able to take down the crime fighting siren with his swordplay.

Darkseid - Southeast Region

Daredevil beat death. I know a lot a super heroes do that, but this is more meaningful. He was able to convince Death that it wasn't his time. With his many examples of heroism and humanitarian efforts, the Man Without Fear pleaded his case. He's stopped gangsters like The Owl, protected the public from the murderous Bullseye, defended the innocent in a court of law, and brought down the crime lord Kingpin. Just when it seemed Daredevil would walk away with an easy victory though, Death remembered the debacle that was Shadowland. This is his most embarrassing comic book story of all time. In it, he builds a large Japanese house in New York, invites a bunch of ninja to live with him, tries to resurrect Bullseye, and gets possessed by a demon. Death hated everything about it and was ready to bring her wrath down on the blind hero. She restrained herself though. No man should have to die with that tragedy being the last thing he does. Death gave Daredevil a chance to redeem himself and thought it better to never speak of Shadowland again. And just like that, Daredevil remains among the living and Death takes her unique skill sets to another dimension to wreak havoc.

Wonder Woman and Joker put up a fantastic back-and-forth affair. The Amazon attacked methodically with spears, super strength, and her golden lasso. The clown was as unorthodox as ever, attacking with spraying flowers, mechanical teeth, and a giant mallet. Every blow by one warrior was quickly countered by one from the other. These two fighters would continue fighting long after the sun set and lights went out. Advantage Wonder Woman. Her Amazon blood grants her incredible stamina, endurance, and strength. The Joker's bag of tricks is finite, and eventually emptied. With no more toys to play with, Batman's arch nemesis was no match for the glorious Wonder Woman.

Regional Finals Previews

The Elite 8 match-ups feature some pretty interesting pairings. One warrior facing his worst nightmare, a fight between opposite sensibilities, god-hater vs. god, and a reunion for two old pals are what we have to look forward to the next 2 days. If Daredevil can stick to his ninja ways and Deadpool can continue his uncanny run, we may be even see an all Marvel Final Four. Let's not get ahead of ourselves though. Check out exactly what makes these matches interesting.

Did you know Wolverine didn't make his debut in comic books within the pages of X-Men? He didn't have his own standalone series until 1988 either. No, Wolverine made his very first appearance in comic books in The Incredible Hulk #181 way back in 1974. In it, he was just a man looking for a great fight. Look for that heated rivalry to continue. The World-Breaker vs. the man that cannot be broken.

Lex Luthor always hated Superman because he doesn't trust people who make him feel inferior. In his mind, Superman thought himself a god and ruled the people his own way. Well Lex is really going to hate Thor. He actually is a God and holds a much more dynamic power than Supes. The Mighty God of Thunder wields a hammer that only he is destined to lift, controls the very storms that frighten humans, and can make the earth tremble at his whim. If Luthor felt inferior against Superman, he's crying in the fetal position now.

Batman hates the Joker. He's sadistic, diabolical, unorthodox, insane, and, most of all, annoying. Deadpool may not be a murderous, terroristic, antithesis to the Dark Knight, but the Merc With A Mouth is waaaaay more annoying than the Joker. And he can hold his own in a battle too, with even more agility and experience with multiple fighting styles than the Caped Crusader himself. If Batman wants to win this fight, he's going to have to control his emotions and lure Deadpool into an elaborate trap.

Daredevil is Marvel's grittiest character. He works the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen, fights the most murderous villain in comic books, and loses and regains his faith yearly. Wonder Woman is DC's little princess, not the cool kind that wants to be among the people like Princess Jasmine in Aladdin either. She's an uptight priss. Still, she upholds the values of her Amazon warriors, the way all heroes should. Daredevil must rely on his training. Wonder Woman her gifts. Which style will prevail? I hope it's Daredevil's.

Regional Finals Results

Every one of these battles was fierce. All 4 came down to the final blows of the fights. The last 1-seed fell. Deadpool continued his epic run. Daredevil slayed another DC icon. Thor was taken to the brink. Hulk reunited with an old sparring buddy. Marvel won every spot in the Final 4. I'm still so amped from watching all these fights that I can only make simple sentences, using words with minimal syllables. Awesome, awesome action (not even a sentence).

Galactus - East Region

The Hulk has had to fight to the bitter end of every one of his battles in this tournament. Stealing victories from a possessed flamethrower, captain of the Speed Force, America’s son, and the X-Men’s best killer, our gamma-irradiated monster earned his spot in the Final Four. Just like their first fight way back in 1974 in the pages of Incredible Hulk #181 (Wolverine’s first appearance), Wolverine tested Hulk’s endurance and durability. The green giant was able to pummel the Canadian animal in the early going. Supremely powerful punches to his head rattled Wolverine’s brain against his adamantium skull, giving him a monstrous concussion. Hulk was hoping the brain damage would limit his opponent’s healing factor. No such luck though. Once Wolverine was fresh as a daisy again, he went feral. And he was relentless. Normally, the Hulk’s skin is impenetrable, but the diminutive monster’s indestructible claws were somehow able to scratch the Hulk. Completely stunned by this predicament, Hulk was unable to counter and even started feeling woozy. This opening allowed Wolverine to continue his offensive bombardment. Eventually though, astonishment turned to annoyance, which only makes the Hulk angrier...and stronger. With this increased strength the green giant was able to rebound and unleash a combination of punches so devastating the X-Man couldn’t stand anymore. Still discontent, Hulk ground stomped on the now-sprawling-on-the-ground combatant. And just like in Wolverine’s debut into comic books, the Hulk wins the fight. This time though, it was for the Galactus Region Championship.

Uatu - West Region

Thor claims his right to the throne of the Uatu Region with a run for the ages. Fighting up-and-comers, rulers of nightmares, a battle-tested friend, and finishing it off with an overachieving mad scientist, the God of Thunder prevailed against every style of warrior who dared fought him. Iron Man may have given him the best quality fight of the tournament, but Lex Luthor gave Thor the scare of his life. If he’s known for one thing, it’s that Luthor always has a plan. Of course, his inventions wouldn’t be effective against an Asgardian the way they were against mere humans. An Asgardian machine would do just fine though. Somehow finding a way into the treasure room of Asgard, Luthor stole the Destroyer Armor and found a way to activate it. This armor has the ability to sap Asgardians of their very life force. It also grants the wearer immense strength and durability, energy projectiles, and gargantuan size. Thor was easily wounded by this obscene gesture from his opponent. He is no mere Asgardian though. He is the son of Odin (ruler of Asgard and the creator of the armor) and Gaia (a Greater god). This lineage prevents the armor from sapping Thor’s life force, but Luthor was still able to put a hurting on him. The Thunder God’s strength and power were nothing compared to the Destroyer Armor’s, but his determination, arrogance, and honor are matched by no one or nothing on this world. Refusing to be denied his destiny of reaching the Final Four, Thor returned every blow Luthor was dishing. Hanging in there until the very end, the Odinson finally struck gold when he was able to damage the chest of the armor with his mighty hammer, Mjolnir. With this tiny crack, Thor was able to rip Luthor out of the Destroyer Armor, deactivating it, and show how a fair fight would have played out. After he was through, Lex Luthor was barely able to crawl away. And Thor was flying off to the Final Four as the Champion of the Uatu Region.

Guardians - Southwest Region

No one has won more battles in this tournament than Deadpool. Forced to earn his way into the field through a play-in fight, the insane hero went on to defeat a teenage Kryptonian, a villainous tyrant, a lantern of fear, the loudest woman ever, and even the most popular hero in comic books right now. Deadpool might actually challenge that claim within a few years though. Regardless, this ended up being a highly entertaining fight. Batman was not bothered by Deadpool’s awful jokes and schizophrenic conversations. After all, he’s had to put up with the Joker and his insanity for decades. Without this to catch his opponent off guard, Deadpool should have been no match for Batman. Not so fast. Relying on his pure fighting ability for the first time of the tournament, the Merc With A Mouth unloaded a barrage of long-range attacks on the Dark Knight. With pineapple grenades coming from every angle, automatic rifles thundering bullets, and bazookas blasting away, the Caped Crusader was wounded quickly. Resilient as ever though, Batman was able to pick himself up make this into a real fight. Seemingly flying to get in close to his opponent, Gotham City’s protector was finally able to utilize his extensive and overpowering hand-to-hand combat skills. With efficient takedowns and explosive body blows, this fight was quickly going Batman’s way. Even though the beating was taking its toll on the insane mercenary, however, Deadpool was able to dodge a few of Batman’s close-up punches. This tired the Dark Knight out and also made him an easy target for Deadpool’s blades. Back and forth this battle went, until finally Batman wore out from the swings and misses, explosions, and swordplay. Deadpool, looking the fresher of the two at the end of the battle, was content to fire away with his guns until his opponent could take no more, making the most unlikely warrior the Guardians Region Champion.

Darkseid - Southeast Region

Call him the DC Killer! Daredevil has just completed one of the most epic runs in the history of any kind of tournament. On his way to the Final Four, the Man Without Fear defeated 9-seed Aquaman, 1-seed Superman, 4-seed Death herself, and finally in the Elite 8, 2-seed Wonder Woman. All DC characters and all the highest seed he could have possibly faced in every round of the tournament. Rightfully so, Wonder Woman gave him his fiercest competition yet. Recognizing her strengths against her vastly inferior opponent, the Amazon princess didn’t bother with trickery or over-thinking. She took the battle right to Daredevil. With her super strength and speed, she was able to deliver any devastating punch and kick she wanted. The blind warrior is a brawler though and knows when to switch things up when the fight isn’t going his way. Retreating to the shadows and content to use stealth tactics, he worked his way around the arena blanketed by the darkness. With this new strategy, Daredevil was able to remain hidden from Wonder Woman, but with his heightened sense of hearing, smell, and touch was able to throw his billy clubs from every angle. Succumbing to the continuous poundings of the projectiles, Wonder Woman’s victory slowly slipped through her fingers. Not so fast though. Switching things up on her own, she brought out her magical Lasso of Truth. Entangling her opponent, the Amazon slung him back and forth into surrounding walls. But, Daredevil specializes in the truth though, so the Lasso didn’t have quite the effect it usually does against her opponents. Able to easily escape, Daredevil quickly got in close to the princess and used some of his street-fighting experience, something Wonder Woman is not familiar with, to pummel his opponent. Completely discombobulated, Wonder Woman retreated to her invisible jet for some stealth tactics of her own. Bad move! Daredevil is already blind and never needed vision to become the greatest warrior in the Darkseid Region. In no time, he was able to tear into the jet, and finish the fight he started what seemed like hours ago, becoming the Champion of this Region.

My 2nd Weekend Performance

It's a pretty safe bet that no one did particularly well this weekend. After all, only 2 people out the millions who've filled out a bracket on ESPN got the Final Four right. I'm not even sure I believe that many people did it. With all this in mind, I suppose my picks aren't all that bad, relatively speaking. I do have my champion left. Some other stuff went right too.

This tournament has already seen 64 different fights. Of those 64, I've picked the correct fighter 32 times for a 50% accuracy rating. That's actually a lot higher than I expected to get. The second weekend had 12 fights. I chose the winning fighter only 3 times for 25% accuracy. Going into the weekend, I had only 3 fighters left who could raise my accuracy. 2 helped me, but 1 of those got knocked out in the Elite 8. Now I only have Thor left. I picked him to win this tournament before any of it began because his comic book series has one of the best stories in comic books, his movie looks awesome, and he's one of Marvel's most powerful heroes. He won't let me down. Deadpool has screwed me over royally. I didn't pick him to win a single fight in this tournament. Supergirl totally should have beaten him in the play-in fight. I wish I had a little more faith in Daredevil. He's always been one of my favorite heroes. His stories are some of the most creative and intense in comic books (thank you Brian Bendis and Ed Brubaker). I never should have picked him to go out in the second round. Next year, you're going to be a higher seed, dude... unless you have another awful story like Shadowland.

Have you noticed that I haven't mentioned any DC characters yet? Well that's because there aren't any left. The Final Four is filled entirely by Marvel heroes. That's because even the unpredictable nature of the NCAA tournament knows that Marvel is better than DC. Of the 64 fights, Marvel has been the victor in 34. DC 30. In battles that involved a Marvel character against a DC character, Marvel won 25 times. DC 24. Wow that's pretty even. Marvel still won though. And that one is final because there are no more DC characters left.

My office pool is not final though. Currently, I'm somewhere in the middle of the pack. Only 3 brackets still have a chance to earn points though. Mine is one of them. I'm behind a man who also picked Thor to win the tournament so I can't pass him. However, I can still end up in 2nd place if Thor takes the crown. Come on, Thor! On a funny little side note, the other bracket that can win 1st place is by a girl who's gotten the "Last Place Prize" 2 years running. I may not be able to win this tournament, but I can still reign victorious in Jake Young's Leuthold Memorial Tournament.

So there you go. Have I proven to you that I'm a "glass half full" kind of guy? Don't let all those X's and lack of check marks on my bracket fool you. I'm very much alive in the grand scheme of things. Just like Marvel. OOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo!!! DC just got served. I'm a jerk (I actually like DC).

Final Four Preview

What a bittersweet weekend this will be. A winner will be decided in my very first tournament. I couldn't be more excited about that. However, I've had so much fun watching these intense battles and then bringing all the action to you. I will certainly miss that. Oh well. Neither of these changes how awesome these fights will be.

The first match-up that will be decided is the Daredevil-Deadpool pairing. Daredevil has only fought DC heroes up to this point. He's also faced nothing but the highest seeded opponent possible for each round. Deadpool is a Marvel veteran and anything but the toughest seed possible for the blind hero. Any other man would take this battle lightly. Not the eternally intense and somber Daredevil though. Both fighters are skilled in hand-to-hand combat. Daredevil has trained in numerous mystic and ninja fighting styles and Deadpool knows countless modern fighting techniques. The Merc With A Mouth does have an advantage when it comes to his vast arsenal of weapons, but Daredevil is very good at using the shadows as his friend. The Man Without Fear may have an unexpected advantage as well. We all know Deadpool is well-known for his ability to annoy opponents with his immature sense of humor and schizophrenic tendencies. Did you know Daredevil has a strong sense of humor too? Most of his stories involve tragedy, so it's hard to tell. But ol' Hornhead can joke with the best of 'em and shouldn't be thrown off by Daredevil's insanity/levity. Winner: Daredevil.

Thor and Hulk square off in the main course Saturday night. These two warriors are two of Marvel's most powerful characters. In the past few years alone, both have accomplished incredible feats in the Marvel Universe. In World War Hulk the Hulk single-handedly took down every Marvel hero except one, the Sentry. Last year, the Sentry went crazy and could only be stopped by Thor. I wonder if the transitive property means that Thor could beat Hulk. I do know Thor has been having one heck of year. He's an integral part of the Avengers again, his book is one of Marvel's best, and he has a movie coming out. Hulk has been battling his own crew for a year now. His son came back and got mad him, there have been red versions of himself going around, and something huge is coming up in his comic book. Hulk is stronger, but Thor has the power of the elements on his side and nothing in this world can withstand his hammer, Mjolnir. I predict the Incredible Hulk to fall to the Mighty Thor.

National Semifinals

We finally have a championship battle set. Fighting through up-and-coming heroes, established powerhouses, best friends, and diabolical masterminds, Thor earned his way to fight the rampaging Hulk. Daredevil pulled off an even more impressive feat, besting 1, 2, and 4-seeds before finally taking on the surging Deadpool. Both Thor and Daredevil would prevail in their respective fights. They may not have been pretty, but both were wildly competitive.

Daredevil got off to a very good start against the surprisingly spry Deadpool. Overpowering the insane hero with his power and technical superiority, the Man Without Fear made this fight look the beginning. After the initial shock of being in a national semifinal fight, Deadpool quickly regained his composure and went back to what got him there. With a flurry of pineapple grenades and wild gunnery, he was able to assert his will upon the stunned foe. Deadpool's pure speed proved problematic to Daredevil. The blind hero looked exactly that, missing on numerous attacks and unable to dodge anything the Merc With A Mouth sent his way. This dominance too was fleeting. Daredevil regained his remaining four senses and was able to parry most of his opponent's attacks for the remainder of the match. Deadpool's speed remained a factor throughout the battle though. Both combatants fought to a stalemate, with attacks followed by counterattacks, followed by parries, followed by even more attacks. In the end though Daredevil's superior training and combat experience prevailed, allowing him to dodge slightly more attacks and land a few more blows than his very worthy opponent.

As with the previous fight, this one was also very evenly matched. Unlike the last though, neither fighter could pull away from the other at any point. For the entirety of the match, Thor stood his ground against the ferocity of the Incredible Hulk and the green monster withstood anything the God of Thunder attempted. In fact, Thor's hammer Mjolnir proved surprisingly ineffective against the incredible durability of the Hulk. Likewise, any attempt at a full on charge from the gamma-irradiated beast was useless against his airborne opponent. With neither's best attacks working in this match, the result would be decided by composure. We all know Hulk has never been in control of his emotions, particularly rage. Thor, formerly plagued by his pride, kept in complete control and, with a cool head, was able to lead a rampaging Hulk right off a cliff. Not very awesome, but certainly climactic.

So it's the Mighty Son of Odin vs. Hell's Kitchen's Blind Guardian for the championship of my inaugural tournament. On paper, this certainly looks like a mismatch. It definitely seems lopsided in my mind too. Thor is the God of Thunder. He can fly, summon lighting, and even control the ground beneath your feet sometimes. Don't forget Mjolnir either, Thor's hammer of destiny. Daredevil is just a well-trained fighter with super powered senses. I see no way he can beat Thor in this championship match. I still love you though, Daredevil.

A Champion Ascends

What a fight, right? No not really. As a matter of fact, the championship battle was almost awful. The two combatants were so mismatched that they failed to put up any kind of entertaining offense. In the end though, just as everyone expected, Thor ascended victorious and would feast like a king after the glorious feat of winning my first tournament challenge.

From the very beginning of the battle, it was clear that Daredevil's luck had finally run out. Anything that worked in previous fights, had no success against the mighty Asgardian. Any ninja or stealth tactics were laughed upon by Thor as he brushed off all close-quarter combativeness and slapped away each sneak attack. If anything, these attacks hurt Hornhead. With each punch against Thor's armor, Daredevil's fists cracked. Each stealth tactic being perfectly countered, disheartened and wounded him. Each flail of a kick would only tire the blind hero out. He was able to land some projectile attacks with his billy clubs though, but those were few and far between and let's be honest. Inconsistent attacks on the God of Thunder don't do any significant damage at all. Daredevil was hopeless in this fight.

Thor wasn't that much more impressive offensively. He didn't have to be. His strategy of standing around laughing at Daredevil's ineffectiveness suited him just fine for the first half of the battle. Perhaps tiring of his opponent's taps and pricks, the Asgardian brought down the hammer in the second half though. Any chance he got, Thor would grab his unworthy opponent and just smash him into the ground. Once he was sufficiently pleased with his foe's placement on the ground, he would pound him continuously with the mighty Mjolnir. Once the God of Thunder tired of this, he would summon forth the ravaging thunderstorms and fry the wounded hero where he laid. Everything came easy for Thor in this match and in the end, he would be the one who made the Man Without Fear finally cower.

The tales of the Mighty Thor shall be recited for ages. In the first round, he utterly dominated the increasingly popular and well-written Batwoman. After that, he conquered the ever-popular ruler of the Dream World. His first true test came when he had to take on one of his oldest friends. But Iron Man too would succumb to Thor's might after a well-fought battle. Lex Luthor also fought hard in the Destroyer Armor, only falling once Thor's cunning and battle-savvy took control. Hulk would test his might against the God of Thunder, but alas it was not enough. And in the very final stage of this epic, Thor, the Asgardian God of Thunder, would make Daredevil, the Man Without Fear, realize that the debacle that was Shadowland wasn't as bad as it could get for Daredevil.

You absolutely have to leave a comment on this page. This took a lot of hard work and I need your feedback. Also, I know you have something to say about some of the action that's going down. Don't be shy. Be heard. Leave a comment. Follow me on Twitter while you're at it, @SoKoJohn.
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  1. This is the most ridiculously awesome thing ever. I can't believe you know so much about these characters and can relate it all to what actually happened in the game

  2. I can't believe I find myself looking at this at the end of every day of games. Yet again John, you find a way to amaze me. Let's go CAPTAIN AMERICA!

  3. I'm glad you guys noticed the subtle way my battle recaps play out exactly the way the actual game did too. My many nights of reading comic books instead of going out and making friends have finally paid off for me!

  4. For the Sweet 16 region, you have North Carolina twice. Marquette should be Black Bolt.

  5. Otherwise, this is absolutely incredible!

  6. Thanks for the correction. My mind is blubber now from watching basketball all day and looking at computer screen all night for 4 days straight. It's fixed now though. Let's go Black Bolt!!!

  7. I find it comical that Joker represents the most moral school in D1. I also think T-Swift should win that 10-11 match up in the Guardians Region

  8. How do you think Amanda Bynes would do?

  9. Amanda Bynes would make a first round exit because she'd get punched in the head after her opponent got sick of hearing her whiney voice