The March to Madness Tournament 2020: Recap

With the inaugural March to Madness Tournament in the books, it’s time to dissect the results and see how the intrepid investigators of Arkham fared!

Acknowledgment

But first, we want to extend an enormous THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the tournament. Whether you filled out a bracket, voted on the various rounds, were part of the extensive discussion on Discord and social media, or you participated in any other way, thanks for making this so much fun for the community. This event got way more traction and generated more engagement than we expected, and we’re going to make things even bigger and better next year as a result.

We’d love to hear from you about your favorite tournament memories and experiences. Feel free to drop us a line on Discord, Facebook, or via email (mythosbusterspod@gmail.com) if you’ve got a story you’d like to share!

And now, onward to the recap!

Tournament Setup And Rules For The 2020 Edition

As a reminder, we included the 34 widely released investigators, so no Dexter Drake and no starter pack investigators (we’ve got a spot reserved for them for next year!).

The tournament involved a prediction phase where people filled out brackets to guess who they though would win each round and advance further in the tournament.


If you’d like to see how Mythos Busters filled out their brackets and who they thought would win, check out this pre-tournament video of them making their predictions. To see more about bracket leaderboards and the winning brackets, view our bracket recap page.


The tournament itself and voting in each round took place between April 22, 2020, and May 12, 2020. There was a play-in round involving four investigators, and then five more rounds that culminated in a champion being crowned.

There were no set voting criteria. The guidance we originally gave was: “There’s no real rhyme or reason for picking a winner, so use whatever criteria you want. The most important thing to do is to have fun with your predictions and your vote.”

Under this system, it was a free-for-all where some rounds went well for fan favorites, while others clearly skewed more toward strong solo investigators.

The Information And Arkham-Related Humor You Crave

Below, we outline how the matches turned out, but do more than just list the winners. Color commentary, in the form of humorous match rundowns, is provided by Evan Bowen (Discord handle “bowzo”). Many thanks to Evan for his contributions here and for keeping the conversation lively with his match previews in the #quarantine-con Discord channel.

We also show the “scores” of each game. Note that the “scores” show the percentage of votes that each investigator received in a round. We decided to use that method because it normalized things and accounted for the variance in the number of votes that were cast in each round.

Additionally, there are notes from the tournament commissioner if anything noteworthy took place during the match.

But that’s enough preamble from us – let’s dive into the replay footage and see how each round went!


If you want actual replay footage, check out our recap video where Scott, Sean, and special guest Casey (Discord handle Mister Trench) went over the results and revealed the champion live on stream. You can also check out a final version of the bracket with result percentages here.


Play-In Round

In the play-in round we had two fun match ups of four cult favorites.


Jim vs. Carolyn

First up, we saw two horror-healing heroes go head-to-head to see who would make it into the big leagues. Carolyn’s pacifist approach couldn’t quite get the job done and she ultimately lost to Jim’s mellow music therapy. “No! You can’t just heal mental anguish with simple tunes!” Carolyn protested, but Jim’s only response was “haha skully trumpet go dooooot!”

Result: Jim (54.1) beat Carolyn (45.9)


Lola vs. Mateo

With a small, but vocal, fan base, Lola Hayes seemed like she might be able to finally get past Act 1. But, after an utterly classless showing by Ms. Hayes, Father Mateo managed to turn this potential failure into an automatic success and easily moved into the next round!

Results: Father Mateo (74.5) beat Lola (25.5)


Round One

Northwest Division

Jim vs. Ursula

Fresh off his victory in the play-in, Jim Culver’s next tune was his swansong, as Ursula Downs was able to move into a connecting round after this test ended.

Result: Ursula (78.7) beat Jim (21.3)


Patrice vs. Calvin

In this early matchup, having no prior damage or horror meant Calvin couldn’t seem to make any progress. And so, Patrice swept her way into the next round faster than a Paganini Caprice. [Editor’s note: A caprice is a musical piece that is very fast, and Paganini is a famous violinist and composer.] But don’t worry, Calvin, now you’ve got a bit of trauma for next year!

Result: Patrice (71.3) beat Calvin (28.7)


Zoey vs. Roland

Zoey Samaras was up against Roland Banks in a bout between our first Guardians. While Roland spent his time trying to get a clue, Zoey showed us that she believes that a Federal cover-up is truly wicked, and so smote as she saw fit.

Result: Zoey (65.7) beat Roland (35.3)


Finn vs. Minh

Minh found Finn hard to pin, and Finn’s thin win over Minh dimmed the din of Minh fans everywhere, as they cried “what a sin!” and “#Justice4Minh!”. But Minh took it on the chin, and Finn, with a tin of gin tied around his shin, moved on through the division.

Result: Finn (58.5) beat Minh (41.5)

Commissioner’s Note: Finn vs. Minh was very close, roughly 50-50, until the final 6-ish hours of the round when Finn pulled ahead.


Southwest Division

Mateo vs. Luke

In the match between believer and dreamer, we saw Mateo seal his own fate. After using up his once-per-tournament ability, he wasn’t able to get the job done, and Luke started his Wondrous Journey through the tournament with his first victory.

Result: Luke (79.3) beat Mateo (20.7)

Commissioner’s Note: This was the third largest margin of victory in the tournament.


Silas vs. Rita

Rita gave it the old college try, but got bogged down by Mr. Marsh in the first round, as Silas faced nothing but calm waters and smooth sailing in our first round battle between Survivors.

Result: Silas (67.1) beat Rita (32.9)


Sefina vs. Marie

Marie tried her hardest against Sefina, but the only spell that happened for her was the spelling of her own doom. Her Mystifying Song couldn’t prevent her opponent from advancing with winning numbers so high that we almost thought Winifred was in this match!

Result: Sefina (79.7) beat Marie (20.3)

Commissioner’s Note: This was the second largest margin of victory in the tournament.


Mark vs. Akachi

The clash of the Carcosa colleagues promised a tight battle, and while Akachi tried to lead a strong charge, Mark clutched his photograph, remembered that he had Something Worth Fighting For, and came out on top.

Result: Mark (67.1) beat Akachi (32.9)


Northeast Division

Wendy vs. Tommy

Tommy and Wendy’s first round bout was marred by Tommy’s insistence on taking Wendy’s teddy bear, Mr. Pawterson, from her since it “makes more sense, it’s money and bullets for me,” Once both sides settled down, Wendy waylaid Tommy like the rookie he is.

Result: Wendy (71.8) beat Tommy (28.2)


Rex vs. Leo
Rex and Leo had a tight back and forth in their matchup, but Leo wasn’t able to scrounge up enough allies to push him to the finish line, allowing Rex to report a clean victory and move into the second round.

Result: Rex (52.5) beat Leo (47.5)

Commissioner’s Note: Rex vs. Leo was unexpectedly tight. They traded leads throughout the whole thing, and then Rex pulled ahead to win in the closing hours.


Jenny vs. Yorick

Yorick and Jenny went toe-to-toe in the swingiest matchup yet. In classic Rogue fashion, as Yorick was about to finally bury her, Jenny pulled out a by-the-skin-of-her-teeth victory in the final hour. Alas, Poor Yorick! We knew him, Jenny, a fellow of infinite assets, of most excellent fancy. [Editor’s note: C’mon, you KNEW we were going to make that joke if/when Yorick lost. Also, see Hamlet, Act 5 Scene 1.]

Result: Jenny (52.8) beat Yorick (47.2)

Commissioner’s Note: This match had multiple large lead swings. Jenny was trailing going into the final hours, and then charged into the lead for the win.


Agnes vs. Joe

Joe followed his hunches in this first round matchup against Agnes Baker, but, as usual, he just kind of completely forgot they were there and he ended up losing soundly to the original Mystic investigator.

Result: Agnes (70.7) beat Joe (29.3)


Southeast Division

Mandy vs. Skids

“Skids” O’Toole tried his hand in this early round match against Mandy Thompson. Despite Skids’ ace in the hole and what he thought was a sure gamble, it was ultimately Mandy who had three aces of her own and cashed in to the next round.

Result: Mandy (81.7) beat Skids (18.3)

Commissioner’s Note: This was the largest margin of victory in the entire tournament.


Diana vs. Preston

In our Silver Twilight match up we saw our reformed cultist, Diana Stanley, take on wealthy patron, Preston Fairmont. And thus another rich white man got taken down by cancel culture.

Result: Diana (70.7) beat Preston (29.3)


Tony vs. Ashcan

Tony and Pete duked it out in a not-so-bountiful bout for Mr. Morgan when Pete’s loyal hound proved to be a better hunter than the greenest green ‘gator in the tournament.

Result: Ashcan (69.3) beat Tony (30.7)


Daisy vs. Norman

Daisy took on Norman in this early Miskatonic matchup, and this was one result Norman couldn’t foresee. Daisy had this one in the (tote)bag from the beginning and left our disgraced professor seeing stars.

Result: Daisy (74.1) beat Norman (25.9)


Round Two

Northwest Division

Ursula vs. Patrice

Feeling cornered in this second round, Patrice played a tune for her fans on her violin, which turned out to be the world’s smallest, as she made her final bow to Ursula’s bow. Ursula claimed an easy victory and moved onto the Elite Eight!

Result: Ursula (61.1) beat Patrice (38.9)


Zoey vs. Finn

In the most contentious match-up yet, fans clamoring for #Justice4Minh got it served cold by the Chef, Zoey Samaras, as she carved up Finn Edwards. In what seemed like a coin-toss victory, our slippery criminal got caught red-handed trying to even up the odds, but was handed the loss he had tried to smuggle into the next round.

Result: Zoey (50.3) beat Finn (49.7)

Commissioner’s Note: Zoey and Finn seemingly ended up tied, and Zoey won the tiebreaker. Further post-round examination showed irregularities in the voting and Finn actually lost by one vote (as shown above). It all worked out in the end, but it fits that Finn tried to have his fans use nefarious means to cook the books. We also made sure to go through all previous matches to make sure the results weren’t affected by similar shenanigans, and we found no evidence that the outcomes of other matches were modified by these roguish efforts.

With the real results in place, this was the second closest match up of the tournament.


Southwest Division

Luke vs. Silas

In the Southwest, the waters were clear as Silas was continuing his smooth sailing to victory, but alas, a Sea Change spelled catastrophe as Luke pulled from behind in the final hours to claim victory “as if” there were no trouble at all.

Result: Luke (52.5) beat Silas (47.5)

Commissioner’s Note: Luke trailed Silas for the entire round, and pulled out a win in the final two hours.


Sefina vs. Mark

In one of the bigger upsets of the tournament, Sefina’s huge momentum from the last round allowed her to cheat death against our veteran, Mark Harrigan, leaving him utterly Shell-Shocked and crying “it was all my fault”.

Result: Sefina (55.2) beat Mark (44.8)

Commissioner’s Note: Informal polling named this match as the biggest upset of the tournament.


Northeast Division

Wendy vs. Rex

Rex’s cursed lack of fortune became his downfall in this second round matchup against Wendy, who, adding insult to injury, ended up throwing his newspaper away to pass this test.

Result: Wendy (65.7) beat Rex (34.3)


Jenny vs. Agnes

Waitress Agnes Baker was able to serve up a disastrous defeat to our dilettante drifter, Jenny Barnes, whose flat stat line caused her to flatline in their second round match. 

Result: Agnes (62.0) beat Jenny (38.0)


Southeast Division

Mandy vs. Diana

In this marquee matchup, Mandy had two Rooks, but failed to castle and was taken out by the queen, Diana. Oh, Mandy. You came and you gave without taking, but Di sent you away. [Editor’s note: See Mandy by Manilow, Barry.]

Result: Diana (55.5) beat Mandy (45.5)


Ashcan vs. Daisy

In this tight race to the Elite Eight, Daisy almost successfully shushed Pete and Duke for good, but Pete’s guitar tone won over Daisy’s tomes, and Duke fetched a second victory for our hardy survivor duo.

Result: Ashcan (57.5) beat Daisy (42.5)


Elite Eight

West Division

For the Elite Eight we had a very diverse set of match-ups in the West – four distinct classes fighting for the top spot. 

Ursula vs. Zoey

Zoey vs Ursula was the clash of the class titans – and what a story! The “Get Over Here” Guardian and the “Try and Catch Me” Seeker. Zoey turned out be the hunter that Ursula was able to outrun for good.

Result: Ursula (62.9) beat Zoey (37.1)


Luke vs. Sefina

Luke vs Sefina was the battle of the event mystics, and Luke started strong before becoming oddly detached and deciding it was all pointless, while Sefina’s green palette proved more palatable to the rogue voting bloc.

Result: Sefina (52.4) beat Luke (47.6)

Commissioner’s Note: Luke led Sefina for the first half of day one, then Sefina’s fans started voting and she never looked back.


East Division

In the East we had two survivor/mystic match ups, one of which was a bitter rivalry from the core set days. 

Wendy vs. Agnes

Wendy’s will to survive allowed her to narrowly put everyone’s favorite waitress to rest, but while reeling from the horror of coming so close but still losing, Agnes delivered one last cheap shot to Wendy after the match. Would it affect her ability to challenge for the championship?

Result: Wendy (50.6) beat Agnes (49.4)

Commissioner’s Note: This was the fourth closest match of the tournament. That point is highlighted to show that 4 out of the 33 matches had margins of victory that were 1.2% or slimmer.


Diana vs. Ashcan

Two forlorn individuals looking for their place in the world and at the top of their division, Diana and Pete faced off in this epic battle of wills, where the score seemed even up to the very end. When faced with a coin flip to determine the winner, Pete got lucky, and Diana couldn’t deny her loss this time.

Result: Ashcan (50.5) and Diana (50.0) tied. Ashcan won the virtual tiebreaker to advance.

Commissioner’s Note: The tiebreaker was an automated coin flip. This method was chosen so that no one on the Mythos Busters team *cough* Sean *cough* could influence the outcome.

Due to ending in a tie, this was the closest match up of the tournament.


Final Four

And the Final Four! By the time the tournament reached this point, we were left with three investigators who were expected (or at least semi-expected to do well) and Sefina, who continued her dark horse run for the championship.

West Division

Ursula vs. Sefina

In the West we had Sefina and Ursula. Sefina tried her hardest to forge another victory, but our Explorer can spot a fake when she sees one, and managed to get this rogue’s gallery shut down!

Result: Ursula (54.3) beat Sefina (45.7)


East Division

Wendy vs. Ashcan

In the East it was the original Survivors going toe-to-toe-to-paw – the Upstart Urchin versus the Drifter-Doggo Duo. Wendy tried to use her track shoes to move one more time without even engaging, but our good boy Duke tracked her down easily for the win.

Result: Ashcan (57.6) beat Wendy (42.4)


Championship Round

Ursula vs. Ashcan

The final championship bout was incredibly tight, but Ursula proved that Duke’s bark is worse than his bite, as she left Pete wracked by nightmares on the runner-up podium. And Ursula finally added one more piece to her growing collection of relics – The Championship Trophy!

Result: Ursula (50.5) beat Ashcan (49.5) to be crowned Champion of the first March to Madness Tournament.

Commissioner’s Note: With Ursula and Ashcan separated by just one percentage point (only two votes!) in the final results, this was officially the third closest match up of the tournament.


Thanks again to everyone who participated in the tournament – we can’t wait to see everyone back here for next year’s tournament!

And, if you need something to tide you over until then, remember to check out the following tournament-related link: