We are down to our final eight characters! Each region’s winner will be decided below, with heavy favorites and surprising underdogs going toe-to-toe. Find out who we think moves on to the final four, and get ready for the final two rounds on Monday.
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(2) Luke Skywalker vs. (5) Kevin McCallister
Chandler: Surprisingly, there’s quite a few similarities between these two iconic characters. Both are self-reliant, have family issues, complain about almost everything, and are incredibly resourceful in challenging situations. But this is a basketball game, not a character study. Who’s going harder in the paint?
Enter Kevin McCallister—creative, quick, and mischievous. This little hellraiser yearns for the independence of adulthood, and when left to his own devices will relish at the opportunity to act out his own ambitions. On the court, he’s going to bring all the hijinks and assemble a wide array of elaborate defense mechanisms. For Kevin, everything is about entrapping his opponents and forcing them to make mistakes. The 8 year old’s game is perfectly catered to a 3v3 or 5v5 match where you need that stopper or disrupter on defense. However in 1v1, Kevin is going to be forced to play two-way basketball on every single play. Unfortunately generating some solid offense will be incredibly challenging for him given his lack of size and maturity.
Against a grown adult with the force as his ally, I simply don’t see how Kevin closes this match out. This is also Luke Skywalker we’re talking about. The Tatooine farmboy who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the greatest Jedi the galaxy has ever known. If he can float a bunch of boulders upside down with his eyes closed, he’s going to have no problem getting one circular-shaped ball through a rim. He is seasoned, strong and adaptable. Luke is going to be an offensive force in this game, shooting a barrage of shots from all over the perimeter so don’t expect him to be falling for any one of Kevin’s tricks. Luke has the ability to see things before they happen and he is going to be sending Kevin screaming all the way back to his Mommy.
I just have one word for the outcome of this game: “woof”.
My Winner: Luke Skywalker
(1) Chuck vs. (2) Buffy
Andy: A goofy, lovable super-spy versus a badass, moody vampire slayer? We must be nearing the finals, because this is going to be a tough matchup. Let’s start with the things they both have: Good physiques, freakish athleticism, charm, wit, courage, technical skills, and a cult-like fan following. I honestly had to google Buffy’s powers, and I was surprised that they were pretty top-tier: “dramatically increased physical strength, endurance, agility, accelerated healing, intuition, and a limited degree of clairvoyance, usually in the form of prophetic dreams.” The clairvoyance part might be useful in a game of basketball, but will it be enough?
With Chuck, you get someone who might bumble through the opening minutes, but all he has to do is reference that brain of his to turn up the jam and welcome himself to the slam. For those of you who haven’t seen the show, Chuck’s brain is like a computer, and he can ‘download’ skills. He’s downloaded things like: kung fu, judo, aerobatics, dancing, knife combat, and the ultimate skill of parkour. Let’s assume, for the sake of this matchup, that we are facing final season Chuck, and he didn’t specifically go download abilities for basketball. I still think with the multiple downloads of athletic-enhancing powers he would be able to win a game of 1v1 basketball. That being said, that whole clairvoyance part could allow Buffy to see three steps ahead, so it would be a very close fight. If it’s anything like the show, however, in the final minute of the game, somehow Chuck would download ‘Basketball 101’ and miraculously pull out the W.
My Winner: Chuck
Video Game Region
(2) Master Chief vs. (8) Yoshi
Austin: After the audacity Andy had to put Master Chief through over Donkey Kong, my thicc Shaq-like monster, I was devastated. Though probably not as devastated as Yoshi, a Nintendo brother to DK. While we may look at this lop-seeded matchup and think, “psh, RIP Yosh” due to the reputation of Master Chief, we cannot forget the emotions in play.
Yoshi has been the underdog throughout this tournament. He took down the 1-seed Mario, a much more famous name in the VG world; then he beat the speedy Sonic, another more famous, actual-movie-getting VG character. Now, he’s onto a highly-respected foe in Mr. Chief. After the disrespect he has gotten so far, always assumed to be the loser until reigning victorious, he comes in as an extreme underdog, and doesn’t even get to face another Nintendo friend he so clearly was hoping to take on in his path to being crowned the Nintendo king. Yoshi, thought to be adorable and goofy, is going to come out with a different personality here.
Yoshi is going to be fierce, no-nonsense, fully competitive like we haven’t seen outside of maybe Dennis Reynolds so far this tourney. He’s going to be whipping that tongue around, snatching the ball from Senor Chief, floating around him masterfully despite the high-tech abilities of the Halo star. I don’t care what anyone says, when you are as thought to be out and as looked over as Yoshi, you bring a fire to your game that others can’t muster. Our cinderella continues his run in a hard-fought, potential GAME OF THE TOURNAMENT match.
My winner: Yoshi
Best of the Rest Region
(2) Mega Man vs. (4) Shrek
Austin: Shrek has sped by his first two matchups in relative ease, facing much lesser opponents who didn’t really stand a chance. He took the cakewalk and ate the cake as he scooted on by. He can’t do that anymore.
Sure, he’s probably built up some confidence with his easy wins, but that just means he’s going to underestimate someone who matches up formidably. Shrek is built like a tank; while many liken his co-star Donkey to Draymond Green, I think Shrek is very representative of Draymond’s on-court ability. Grit-minded and strong, but like, maybe also fat. Clearly gross, doesn’t shoot well, isn’t fast, toughness oozing out of every follicle.
Mega Man is the opposite. He is tactical-minded, precise with his movements and shots. Swift and quick on defense, and able to recover in no time when fooled, thanks to his ability to shoot wind out of his blaster hand. While Shrek doesn’t shoot much outside jumpers, he’s prone to loose ballhandling and a lack of ball control, leaving himself open to the wind attack. I think this is close, as Shrek dominates down low, maintaining a strong lead up until the final few buckets, when Mega Man storms back, taking advantage of Shrek’s poor conditioning and opening of opportunity for agile moves.
These last two matchups have been two of the best of the tourney, a great reflection of the real-world Elite Eight last weekend.
My winner: Mega Man