32 of the most important metal bands in music history, including Metallica, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and many more, are being thrust into NCAA-style competition against each other via Loudwire's March Metal Madness.

Songs from each of these bands, as well as younger whipper-snappers like Tool and Mastodon, have been paired off into 16 battles -- four for each of the absolutely adorable region names our brothers in editing came up with: "Devil Horn," "Moshpit," "Headbanger" and "Stage Dive."

Reader votes will be tallied at the end of each week, with the winner moving on to the sweet sixteen, elite eight, final four and so on.  (Sure hope those terms aren't trademarked!) The final two contestants will compete for the 2012 March Metal Madness Championship on April 2.

Be sure to invade and fully overrun these brackets, and make sure that a classic rocker takes home this prestigious honor. You can also sign up for a newsletter revealing each round's winners and which new battles they face.

Vote in Loudwire's March Metal Madness 2012