Greetings fellow planeswalkers and welcome to the 2015 March Madness tournament! This year’s tournament features 31 of the most famous and infamous planeswalkers from across the multiverse facing off in eight different arenas. Our dedicated staff of analysts and reporters are on-hand to bring you all of the exciting action as these powerful beings face off in one of the deadliest, intense, and time-honored competitions known across the ‘verse: basketball. Today we’re proud to bring you our regional recaps and previews of the Sweet Sixteen.

March Madness 2015 Schedule

Regional Preview

Regional Recap/Sweet Sixteen Preview

Sweet Sixteen Recap/Elite Eight Preview

Elite Eight Recap/Final Four Preview

Final Four Recap/Championship Preview

Championship Recap

Regional Match Recaps

Stadium of the Boros Legion – Ravnica


(1) Jace Beleren vs (4) Ral Zarek
(2) Domri Rade vs (3) Vraska

Greetings from the lovely Boros Stadium. I’m Lavinia of the Tenth, the official court-ordered recorded for all of the March Madness games held on Ravnica. As a representative of the Azorius Lawmages you can rest assured that my reports will be accurate and complete. Our two matches tonight featured three natives to Ravnica and one non-native. 72% of all citizens of Ravnica attended the games including 90% of the Boros and 80% of the Azorius. This likely explains why only 30% of the Rakdos attended and why 50% of them are now in lock-up.

The first game was highly entertaining based on the decibel levels of the crowd. This is due to the large support from the Gruul tribes for their hero, Domri Rade. Domri’s speed and agility and ability to turn up his physical game gave him an edge very early on. However, the gorgon Vraska was able to patiently wait out her young opponent until he finally took a break to catch his breath and glanced at her and turned to stone. Gruul shamans weren’t able to restore Domri until Vraska had taken a commanding lead, shooting at-will from the free-throw line. Domri tried valiantly to claw back but fell just short. Final score: 89-88 Vraska.

The main event featured fan-favorite Ral Zarek hoping to defeat his rival, Jace Beleren. In the spirit of friendly competition, Jace agreed not to invoke his powers over the guilds as the living embodiment of our laws and way of life. He did not, however, agree to forgo his illusion magics and Ral ended up playing the entire first half of the game on a fictional court several blocks away from the stadium. Ral was furious but managed to employ his strong 3-point game in the second half to mount a comeback. In the end though, like Domri, he was not able to make up the difference and will have to once again explain to Niv-Mizzet why he couldn’t defeat Jace. Final score: 64-58 Jace.

Next up will be Jace versus Vraska as the former maze-runner for the Golgari also seeks revenge on a grudge with the Living Guildpact.

Gavony Township Civic Center – Innistrad


(1) Liliana Vess vs. (4) Tiablt
(2) Garruk Wildspeaker vs. (3) Tamiyo

Jonas here, reporting for the Estwald Daily Courier, the official paper of my home village. It was a long and tiring trip to Gavony but I am glad to say I was able to make it despite my caravan being attacked by vampire bandits no less than three times. We arrived just in time to catch Garruk, the hunter of great fame known very well in Estwald, sink two free-throws after Tamiyo, who would not be very welcome in my town, had committed a very grievous foul. Garruk’s physical advantage was clear throughout the game. His height is listed at eight feet but he may as well have been ten feet tall as he dunked over Tamiyo seemingly at-will. Garruk eventually held back as even the greatest hunter will not feast on prey that is undeserving and once he led 134-28 he played defense for the rest of the game. Tamiyo did not score again.

The demon queen Liliana and the devil-blooded Tibalt took the court to much anguish as the citizens of Gavony threw all manner of vile refuse at the two combatants who represent everything dark and unholy that the good folk of Gavony despise. It was to little avail as a small army of impish creatures protected their masters throughout. Tibalt got the early jump on Liliana almost literally. This game was full of fouls on both sides as each player was seemingly ignoring the rules altogether and committing all kinds of fouls to steal the ball or prevent plays. Tibalt was very strong from the line, hitting 46 shots on 68 free-throws. Unfortunately for him, Liliana has been practicing her free-throw for the past two centuries and almost went perfect, hitting 59 on 65 attempts. Liliana won 66 to 50.

The impending match between Liliana and Garruk promises to be very entertaining if the entire village of Gavony isn’t consumed into hell before then.

Temple of Triumph – Theros


(1) Elspet Tirel vs. (4) Xenagos
(2) Ajani, Goldmane vs. (3) Kiora

Welcome to the aptly-named Temple of Triumph, where we are set up for a battle of outsiders in the sweet sixteen. I’ve been studying the tournament for the last ten years at the Academy of Athreos and this is the first we’ve ever had a dead competitor advance, but it turns out no matter whether Elspeth bested Xenagos, or Xenagos edged out Elspeth, that record was going to be broken.

Elspeth came to Theros destined to destroy Xenagos, and it was inevitable that she would do exactly that. It turns out that in a match of four on two, the team with four wins. Elspeth’s helpers were smaller, but they overwhelmed the reveling satyrs. 85-70 was the final score.

The other first round game pitted cat versus sea creature. Guess what? Cats hate water! Kiora kept Ajani off balance all game and cruised to an easy 77-54 win. Can Kiora beat a dead planeswalker? We’ll find out soon!

The Atarka Hunting Fields – Tarkir


(1) Ugin vs. (4) Narset
(2) Sarkhan Vol vs. (3) Sorin Markov

Taigam here. Want to hear all the good information about our little basketball tournament? Well it’s a good thing I’m talkative in this timeline. Let’s start with the undercard. Sorin versus Sarkhan. The vampire proved too slow for the dragon in this one. Steve Nash recently retired from the game, and Sorin might want to consider doing that as well. Those knees aren’t getting any younger, Herr Markov. 88-40. Need I say more?

Ugin against Narset? This was a thriller. Narset focused every once of energy and pushed Ugin to the brink. It was all tied at 74 with four seconds left. Narset drove for the winning basket. Ugin boxed out but Narset drew the foul. All she had to do was hit. One. Free. Throw. Somehow, she missed both, and the second ricocheted directly into Ugin’s vast nexus, which funneled the ball into the opposite net for the surprise win. Narset looked on puzzled. She could not explain was vile force she felt swirling the arena. It was draconic, but a bit too colorful to be her opponent. Someone wants Ugin to win this one, she thought.

Hey, don’t ask me? 76-74 Ugin, that’s all I know!

Yawgmoth Memorial Arena – New Phyrexia


(1) Karn vs. (4) Venser
(2) Tezzeret vs. (3) Koth

Hello everybody, I’m Mel, reporting live from Yawgmoth Memorial Arena for the first round of March Madness! I’d tell you I’m excited to be here, but I’m standing in the heart of all evil in a shrine dedicated to bleeping Yawgmoth. Good thing I’m immune to–oh, never mind that! Let’s get to the basketball.

The headlining game tonight really brought down the house. Normally the two-fifteen game is a perfunctory affair, but Venser versus Karn? Those two have some history. Karn’s Shaquillean bod would seem insurmountable to most, but what about the second coming of Russell Westbrook? How does a great defender stop someone who can’t be blocked? For the first three quarters, we were waiting to find out. Venser drove to the hole time after time while Karn spun around in disbelief clutching useless hexplates in hand. But in the fourth, Venser’s longshot rally ran out of spark. Karn came to life, wowing the crowd with explosive dunks. Three times the entire backboard vanished! Karn had just enough to survive the scary first round challenge, surging past Venser for a 74-68 victory.

Karn now gets the privilege of facing off against the Tezz. My good friend Koth came up short in the second matchup of the night, but nobody was surprised. When you make a ton of four-pointers but your opponent drains the fives, it’s not a good matchup. The seeding committee sure didn’t do poor Koth any favors. At least he got to play on his home court, right? Yeah, that’s a sore spot as well. Tezzeret never trailed, winning by the final score of 85-64.

So there’s your second round matchup here at Yawgmoth Memorial Stadium, Karn versus Tezzeret! I can’t wait to see that one. Come join me in a few days. I promise to keep you safe!

Emeria Sky Stadium – Zendikar


(1) Chandra Nalaar vs. (4) Ob Nixilis
(2) Nissa Revane vs. (3) Nahiri

Tuktuk, leader of tribe Tuktuk, report from floating stadium in smelly Kor sky island. Many goblins come today to watch orange ball game between kor lady and elf lady. Kor lady move very quickly but not able to avoid mysterious tree roots that keep blocking her way. Elf lady very nimble but many shots blocked by strange falling rocks. Goblins get bored of falling rocks and start throwing mud at court. Elf lady and kor lady both slip on mud and then rocks fall on goblins. Game continue as kor lady put orange ball in basket 67 times and elf lady put ball in basket 59 times.

In second game orange-hair play with orange ball against heavy suit of black plate mail. Plate mail very strong and able to box out orange-hair frequently. Plate mail score 40 baskets before armor begin to suddenly turn red and burn. Orange-hair score more baskets while plate mail falls off and transforms into bald human. Bald human scores a few more baskets but not enough to catch orange-hair who scored many more baskets. Orange-hair total is 82 baskets to human-formerly-plate-mail’s 75 baskets.

Orange-hair will take on white-hair in the sky islands finals unless sky island falls out of the sky before then.

Paliano Coliseum – Fiora


(1) Ashiok vs. (4) Dack Fayden
(2) Daretti vs. (3) Gideon Jura

Edric here, acting master of spies for Trest, filing a report on the 2015 March Madness regionals from Pailano Coliseum.

Ashiok, the mysterious dream-weaver last seen on Theros, has a very strong three-point game and an even stronger four-point game. Dack Fayden, whom you should have a very extensive file on, relied heavily on attempting to steal the ball from Ashiok whenever possible. Fayden set a new tournament record for steals, but also ended up getting into too much foul trouble. Ashiok won 64-58.

Daretti, the master scrapper of Fiora, took on newcomer Gideon Jura, who ironically hails from Theros, though claims no knowledge of Ashiok. Gideon is a very athletic point guard who was able to give Daretti a lot of trouble in the paint. However, Daretti’s mechanical apparatuses had a nearly flawless shooting percentage from the field, giving the goblin a 77-67 come from behind victory.

Tolarian Academy Gymnasium – Dominaria


(1) Nicol Bolas – BYE
(2) Teferi vs. (3) Freyalise

With the bye in my pocket, I decided that I would do the reporting on the match between Teferi, former planeswalker, and Freyalise, formerly living planeswalker. Although I have many matters to attend to, I felt that scouting this match personally instead of trusting one of my underlings to do it would pay off.

Freyalise was fiesty as ever showing that Llanowar spirit I haven’t seen in several hundred years, since that’s how long it’s been since she died fighting Yawgmoth. That seemed to be a sore point as I kept bringing it up while she tried to gain an inside lane to the basket past Teferi. Surprisingly the ancient creator of Phyrexia was a sore point for Teferi as well. He seemed none too pleased to have to recall his cowardice while trying to pull down rebounds.

In the end the elf woman was able to pay Teferi back for abandoning her and the rest of, what was his name? Ernie? Ezra? Oh I can never remember, but you know who I’m talking about. Anyways, Teferi is again crying to his friends about how much he misses his pet golem, or something. Freyalise won 54-49.

Sweet Sixteen Previews


Well there you have it folks. The sweet sixteen is all set and when the dust settles we’ll have eight regional champions moving on to the next round. There are a lot of exciting rematches to watch including Jace vs. Vraska, Liliana vs. Garruk, and Elspeth vs. Kiora. The Spirit Dragon will take on the Dragon Planeswalker in what should be a hot ticket. Venser and Tezzeret will be a match to watch as will Chandra and Nahiri. On Fiora everyone is entranced by Ashiok but can they defeat the renowned goblin scrapper Daretti? Last but certainly not least, can Freyalise defeat the indomitable Nicol Bolas? Tune in next time sports fans!

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