In case you’ve been wondering what all those darn teasers have been building up to, wonder no more! Seoulbeats March Madness is back and here’s how it works:

full-bracket-qualifier(click to enlarge)

The bracket above details the schedule of matchups to take place. Starting from the far left for the males and far right for the females, they will each be battling it out in individual matchups for the right to advance. The winner of each matchup will be solely determined by your vote so make sure to vote for your faves throughout the month of March.

20120731_seoulbeats_jyj_jaejoongWe’ve made several updates this year to promote greater competition and overall mayhem.

  • The field has been expanded to 96, which means 32 more competitors and an extra round of voting!
  • Each of the low seeds (#5 to #8) have two qualifying participants who will be facing one another in the Qualifying Round. The high seeds (#1 to #4) automatically qualify for the next round and await the winners of the Qualifying Round.
  • The Variety region has been discontinued and replaced by the Rap region.

But here’s the best part. We’re holding the March Madness Pick ’em Contest, and the winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to an online K-pop merchandise store (exact retailer to be determined)! In order to win, you must predict the March Madness Champion with the tie-breaker going to the one who predicts the Final Four and the Elite 8 results most accurately. Here’s how to enter the contest:

Send an email to madness[at] with the subject line: [Ultimate Winner] def. [Runner-up]

In the body of the email, predict the Elite 8 results in the following format:

[Winner of the Male Rap vs. Male Dance matchup] def. [loser] [Winner of the Male Vocals vs. Male Visual matchup] def. [loser] [Winner of the Female Rap vs. Female Dance matchup] def. [loser] [Winner of the Female Vocals vs. Female Visual matchup] def. [loser]

Below is an example of what an acceptable submission looks like:

Subject Line: Hyeri def. Ravi

Ravi def. N

Kai def. Chen

Miryo def. Ga-in

Hyeri def. Minah

We will be accepting contest submissions up until February 28th at 11:59 PM EST.

20120801_seoulbeats_sistar_hyorinContinue reading if you want to know about the painful process we underwent in selecting the participants.

Our goal this year was to make the selections more objective and inclusive. In doing so, we enacted strict guidelines on how the candidates would be selected and seeded.

  • The selected field is no longer limited to idols only, which means everyone in K-entertainment is considered.
  • Only one member per group is allowed per region; however, an exception can be made if two members of the same group battle it out for the same seed in the Qualifying Round.
  • Players who won their region last year are the automatic #1 seed in their respective bracket this year with the exception that the winners of last year’s Variety regions will receive no such favor.
  • The number of seeds filled per group should reflect the artist/group’s level of popularity relative to that of other artists/groups. We created a House of Representatives system to ensure that artists/groups are being represented in proportion to their relative levels of popularity. Those in the top seeds earn one point for occupying an entire seed while those in the qualifying seeds earn only .5 points for sharing the seed with another qualifier. Here’s how the numbers measure up.


# of Seeds


# of Seeds

Big Bang 3 SNSD 3
Infinite 2.5 2NE1 3
Shinee 2.5 Miss A 1.5
Exo 2 Sistar 1.5
JYJ 2 f(x) 1.5
Beast 2 Girl’s Day 1.5
BAP 1.5 A Pink 1.5
BTS 1.5 BEG 1
Block B 1.5 Secret 1
Super Junior 1 4Minute 1
VIXX 1 After School 1
Epik High 1 Ailee 1
Jay Park 1 AOA 1
TVXQ 1 Boa 1
2PM 1 Hyori 1
Winner 0.5 Yoon Mi-rae 1
Ikon 0.5 EXID 1
2AM 0.5 Wonder Girls 1
MBLAQ 0.5 Kara 0.5
FT Island 0.5 Spica 0.5
CN Blue 0.5 Bestie 0.5
Got7 0.5 Crayon Pop 0.5
Nu’est 0.5 T-ara 0.5
B1A4 0.5 Rainbow 0.5
BtoB 0.5 9Muses 0.5
Psy 0.5 IU 0.5
Tiger JK 0.5 Sunmi 0.5
Teen Top 0.5 Wassup 0.5
U-KISS 0.5 Hello Venus 0.5
ZE:A 0.5 Mamamoo 0.5
Total # of Seeds 32 Glam 0.5
Akdong Musician 0.5
Nicole 0.5
Total # of Seeds 32

Although we underwent a ton of effort to bring everyone a fair and competitive voting experience, we understand that our selections are far from perfect. With that said, do you agree with our selections? What can we do differently next year to make this an even better experience for everyone? And most importantly, which horse will you be placing your bet on?

Leave your questions and comments below!