March Madness 2021 was a virtual March Madness tournament held on the Blank Check twitter account. The event provided the yearly opportunity for Blankies to vote on a director to be covered. The tournament was riddled with controversy, but John Carpenter—number 1 seed of the Ben Hosley region—was eventually declared the winner.

Summary[edit | edit source]

It's the 2021 March Madness event!

In the tweet announcing the bracket, the bracket was summarized as "Griffin vs David vs Ben vs Karen Han vs Emily Yoshida vs Emily VanDerWerff vs Richard Lawson vs Alex Ross Perry vs JD Amato vs Jamelle Bouie vs Katey Rich vs Ecks vs Sever." [1] The left side of the bracket was chosen by Griffin (yellow) and Ben (purple), with the right side by David (red) and the long list of beloved guests (green). This is also the first year voting will not proceed in alternating left right, top to bottom fashion. The bracket voting order will be Griffin, David, Ben, Guests and top to bottom within each bracket. [2]

The 2021 bracket is seeded, determined by the perceived popularity among Blankies, how fun the series would be, and the personal preferences of the hosts. [3]

Concurrently in March, Blank Check: Special Features will run a corresponding tournament to determine an upcoming franchise to cover on the Patreon. There are also daily discussions of the matchups on twitter and on the blankies subreddit. [4]

March Madness Rules[edit | edit source]

  • polls post on Twitter @blankcheckpod at or around 10am Eastern/ 7am Pacific/ 3pm Greenwich Mean Time (shoutout 🇬🇧)
  • polls are open for 24 hours, new poll daily through 3/31/2021
  • winner = covered in autumn 2021
  • Don't @ blankcheckpod about missing directors. These are the choices this year!
  • PLAY NICE!

Milestones and Ephemera[edit | edit source]

  • This will likely be the last March Madness tournament held on twitter!

Tournament[edit | edit source]

Full Blank bracket (click to enlarge)

First Round Matchups[edit | edit source]

1 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
1 Martin Brest 55.7%
8 Lynne Ramsay 44.3%

twitter poll -- 8,727 votes -- reddit thread

2 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
1 Peter Weir 48.6%
8 Karyn Kusama 51.4%

twitter -- 14,827 total votes -- reddit

3 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
1 John Carpenter 82.1%
8 David S. Ward 17.9%

twitter -- 9375 total votes -- reddit

4 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
1 Gore Verbinski
(Karen Han) [5]
50.5%
8 Joe Johnston
(Emily VanDerWerff) [6]
49.5%

twitter -- 48,597 total votes -- reddit

5 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
4 Buster Keaton 47.5%
5 Terrence Malick 52.5%

twitter -- 9,734 total votes -- reddit

6 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
4 Jane Campion 55.7%
5 The Archers (Powell & Pressburger) 44.3%

twitter -- 7,898 total votes -- reddit

7 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
4 Mike Judge 34.9%
5 Danny Devito 65.1%

twitter -- 8,454 total votes -- reddit

8 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
4 Jacques Tati
(JD Amato) [7][8]
41.0%
5 Wolfgang Peterson
(Richard Lawson) [9]
59.0%

twitter -- 7,790 total votes -- reddit

9 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
3 Robert Altman (1970s) 68.1%
6 John Cassavetes 31.9%

twitter -- 8,304 total votes -- reddit

10 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
3 Wong Kar Wai 55.1%
6 Steve McQueen 44.9%

twitter -- 9,052 total votes -- reddit

11 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
3 Harmony Korine 48.7%
6 Ernest Dickerson 51.3%

twitter -- 9,354 total votes -- reddit

12 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
3 Oliver Stone
(Alex Ross Perry) [10] [11]
42.7%
6 Jackie Chan
(Jamelle Bouie) [12]
57.3%

twitter -- 10,053 total votes -- reddit

13 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
2 Joe Dante 68.5%
7 Preston Sturges 31.5%


twitter -- 7,638 total votes -- reddit

14 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
2 Danny Boyle 59.5%
7 Mike Leigh 40.5%

twitter -- 11,247 total votes -- reddit

15 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
2 Spike Jonze 57.5%
7 Penelope Spheeris 42.5%

twitter -- 9,340 total votes -- reddit

16 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
2 Alfonso Cuaron
(Emily Yoshida) [13]
64.3%
7 Kelly Reichardt
(Katey Rich) [14]
35.7%

twitter -- 9,856 total votes -- reddit

Sweet Sixteen[edit | edit source]

17 March 2021

Seed Subject Total[15] Vote %
1 Martin Brest 6910 votes 49.9%
5 Terrence Malick 6948 votes 50.1%

twitter -- 13,858 total votes -- reddit

18 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
8 Karyn Kusama 48.4%
4 Jane Campion 51.6%

twitter -- 11,428 total votes -- reddit

19 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
1 John Carpenter 57.7%
5 Danny Devito 42.3%

twitter -- 9,318 total votes -- reddit

20 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
1 Gore Verbinski
(Karen Han)
66.9%
5 Wolfgang Peterson
(Richard Lawson)
33.1%

twitter -- 11,162 total votes -- reddit

21 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
3 Robert Altman (1970s) 50.5%
2 Joe Dante 49.5%

twitter -- 9,094 total votes -- reddit

22 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
3 Wong Kar-Wai 53.8%
2 Danny Boyle 46.2%

twitter -- 12,006 total votes -- reddit

23 March 2021 [16][17]

Seed Subject Vote %
6 Ernest Dickerson 50.9%
2 Spike Jonze 49.1%

twitter -- 11,490 total votes -- reddit

24 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
6 Jackie Chan
(Jamelle Bouie)
35.7%
2 Alfonso Cuaron
(Emily Yoshida)
64.3%

twitter -- 7,826 total votes -- reddit

Quarterfinals[edit | edit source]

25 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
5 Terrence Malick 40.5%
3 Robert Altman (1970s) 59.5%

twitter -- 9,336 total votes -- reddit

26 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
4 Jane Campion 42.3%
3 Wong Kar-Wai 57.7%

twitter -- 8,231 total votes -- reddit

27 March 2021 [16][17]

Seed Subject Vote %
1 John Carpenter 58.6%
6 Ernest Dickerson 14.2%
2 Spike Jonze 27.2%

twitter -- 8,369 total votes -- reddit

28 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
1 Gore Verbinski
(Karen Han)
55.9%
2 Alfonso Cuaron
(Emily Yoshida)
44.1%

twitter -- total votes -- reddit

Semifinals[edit | edit source]

29 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
3 Robert Altman (1970s) 46.5%
1 John Carpenter 53.5%

twitter -- 12,986 total votes -- reddit

30 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
3 Wong Kar-Wai 31.5%
1 Gore Verbinski
(Karen Han)
68.5%

twitter -- 40,483 total votes -- reddit

Championship[edit | edit source]

31 March 2021

Seed Subject Vote %
1 John Carpenter * [18] 48.7%
1 Gore Verbinski
(Karen Han)
51.3%

twitter -- 35,221 total votes -- reddit

Controversy[edit | edit source]

There was a fair amount of controversy in the 2021 tournament, particularly the use of bots to skew the polls. The use of bots was suspected as early as the first match-up in the David region, Weir v. Kusama. There was no conclusive evidence in that case, as the Kusama hive was more prominent than Weir-heads. In the Jonze v. Dickerson match, there was compelling evidence brought forward by blankies on the reddit that bots were used to throw the poll in Dickerson's favor. [19] In the last minutes of the final match, over 3000 votes for Verbinski without any prominent retweets or other traffic. [20][21]

The podcast ultimately decided to crown John Carpenter the winner. [18] It was a very hard-fought campaign for Karen Han, who has been campaigning for Verbinski since the inception of the tournament. Perhaps the boys will pause from considering coconuts to consider Gore.

On the March Madness 2021 Recap - Round 3 episode, ChipBot claimed responsibility for all the bot shenanigans. However as a result of all the controversy, the 2022 March Madness tournament will likely not take place on twitter dot com.

Featured Episodes[edit | edit source]

The March Madness 2021 recap episodes appeared on Blank Check: Special Features.

# Title Audio Guest(s) Length Date
SF90 March Madness 2021 Recap - Round 1 🔊 Unlisted:
Chip Smith
Ben Hosley
Marie Bardi
1:23 3/10/2021
SF92 March Madness 2021 Recap - Round 2 🔊 Unlisted:
Ben Hosley
Marie Bardi
0:54 3/17/2021
SF94 March Madness 2021 Recap - Round 3 🔊 Unlisted:
Ben Hosley
Marie Bardi
ChipBot
0:50 3/29/2021

References[edit | edit source]

  1. @blankcheckpod on Twitter: "🚨 IT'S OUR 2021 MARCH MADNESS BRACKET 🚨: It's @GriffLightning vs @davidlsims vs @benhosley vs @karenyhan vs @emilyyoshida vs @emilyvdw vs @rilaws vs #AlexRossPerry vs #JDAmato vs @jbouie vs @kateyrich vs Ecks vs Sever. It's a BALLISTIC BATTLE ROYALE OF BLANKIE FAVORITES:". Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  2. @blankcheckpod on Twitter: "Mocked up this schedule: We'll generally be going GRIFF > DAVID > BEN > GUESTS". Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  3. @blankcheckpod on Twitter: "Our seeding positions were picked based on: 1) The perceived strength of the filmmakers' fan bases among the BC community 2) The potential for a fun series 3) Personal preference! You know @davidlsims would put thee Master and Commander himself as seed #1". Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  4. u/mi-16evil, 2021 Blank Check March Madness Archive, reddit. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  5. @blankcheckpod, A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM @karenyhan. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  6. @blankcheckpod, A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM @emilyvdw. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  7. @blankcheckpod, With a gracious nod to his competitor, a note from JD. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  8. @blankcheckpod, For Tati hive - a final message from JD Amato. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  9. @blankcheckpod, A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM Trolls impresario @rilaws. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  10. @blankcheckpod, A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM ALEX ROSS PERRY. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  11. u/AlexRossPerry, STUMPING FOR STONE! BY ME, ALEX., reddit. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  12. @blankcheckpod, A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM @jbouie. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  13. @blankcheckpod, A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM @emilyyoshida. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  14. @blankcheckpod, A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM @kateyrich. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  15. @blankcheckpod, 38 votes gave Malick the win. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  16. 16.0 16.1 @blankcheckpod, Hey Blankies, we had some very compelling evidence of bots being used in this matchup. Not cool. In the spirit of *fun* - because this thing is supposed to be FUN - we’re not picking a winner here. Both will go on to face John Carpenter in a three-way battle for Ben Supremacy. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  17. 17.0 17.1 u/Dankmemehater, Hey Blankies, we had some very compelling evidence..., reddit. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  18. 18.0 18.1 @blankcheckpod, Sorry to the Gore Hive, but this is our podcast, and ultimately it's our decision. We're declaring John Carpenter the winner. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  19. u/throwaway7777777793, March Madness just got botted again, reddit. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  20. @blankcheckpod, GUYS - the vote got botted with like 5 minutes to go. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  21. @blankcheckpod, There's a chrome extension that allows you to see exact vote totals in twitter polls. In the last minutes of the match, Gore gained 3000+ votes without any retweets of the poll from significant accounts. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
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