io9 March Madness Sweet 16: Star Wars vs. Dune! Buffy vs. Cthulhu!

We've reached the Sweet Sixteen in our hunt to find the greatest work of science fiction and fantasy ever. Just four competitors are left from each of our regionals, which means you've got some tough choices ahead: Doctor Who or Blade Runner? Harry Potter or Hellboy? Terminator or X-Men? Vote now!

Top image: Theamat.

All the polls are now open and are ready for your votes. You can find them at the bottom of the post, and they will remain open until midnight Pacific Time tonight. So VOTE NOW, because nobody stops the madness!

If you're only just finding out about our little tournament, fear not: It's never too late to get involved! For a complete explanation of the rules and thinking behind the bracket, go here. Today, we're looking to see which of our final 16 competitors will have a chance to proceed to the finals for each of our loosely organized regionals: Space Opera, Dystopia & Mad Science, Epic Fantasy, and Magic & Monsters. You'll be voting on the winners of each regional next Monday, and then it's onto the Final Four and the Championship Game! But first, let's check out the updated bracket. You can click here for a really big version of it.

io9 March Madness Sweet 16: Star Wars vs. Dune! Buffy vs. Cthulhu!

As for last Wednesday's results, well... We had some madness, no question about it. Firefly rallied late to just beat out Star Trek, 50.3 to 49.7, but that somehow wasn't the closest match of the Second Round, as Highlander squeaked by The Chronicles of Narnia with just 50.1% of the vote; we were this close to having to go to the hundredths place to decide that one. The third closest match saw top seed Nineteen Eighty-Four fall to the Terminator with a very creditable 53-47 performance. Indeed, the Dystopia & Mad Science Regional is almost completely busted, considering 2-seed Doctor Who is the only high seed still standing, and the match-up between 9-seed Terminator and 13-seed X-Men assures we'll have an underdog in the regional final.

The Magic & Monsters regional is probably holding up the best so far, as three of the four top seeds remain in contention, but it's also home to the biggest underdog of the tournament, as 14-seed Hellboy is looking to keep its miracle run alive after winning a close 55-45 game over The Wizard of Oz. The biggest routs of the Second Round were all found in the Epic Fantasy regional, as Lord of the Rings, The Princess Bride, and Game of Thrones all garnered between 77% and 80% of the vote.

So then, what does today hold? After its convincing 72-28 win over Ender's Game, can Dune spring the upset on Star Wars in a match that we're calling the battle of the sand planets? Blade Runner already took down one sentimental favorite with its victory over Back to the Future, so can it now do the same to Doctor Who? Lord of the Rings has yet to be tested so far, but that could change in a hurry as it faces off against The Princess Bride, the other top vote-getter of the second round. Buffy the Vampire Slayer notched a surprisingly easy victory over Sandman, but can the Dread Lord Cthulhu put up more of a fight?

The only ones who can decide these burning issues are YOU, so VOTE NOW. Our polls remain open until midnight Pacific time tonight! And be sure to come back on Monday for the Elite Eight, and check out the complete upcoming schedule at the bottom of this post.

The Space Opera Regional

The Dystopia & Mad Science Regional

The Epic Fantasy Regional

The Magic & Monsters Regional

Upcoming Schedule:

Monday, March 24: Elite Eight

Wednesday, March 26: Final Four

Friday, March 28: Championship