|Round||Mushroom Division Semi Final|
|Match Date||Saturday, August 20th, 2005|
|Mario - 78.39%|
82 for - 0 against
|Mario - 88.74%|
For those of us who expected a mere doubling by Mario in today's match before the contest started, do keep in mind something important: CJ lost. Once Ness pulled the big board upset, everyone changed their minds and looked towards a huge SFF-spree by the King of Nintendo himself. Afterall, Bowser SFF'd Ness to a large degree in 2k3; what would keep somebody from thinking Mario couldn't do the same? Ness has only been in three games in all of his existence while Mario puts out, what, three Mario games a year? It doesn't hurt Mario that he's in the two most popular games Ness is in, either.
So the match begins...and Ness is obliterated early. In a time where Ness has a shot of holding the lead for a brief few seconds, he never stands a chance; in the quickest score-update caught by users in the Contest Stats and Discussion topics, Mario was already leading 13-5 (kudos, yoblazer). It only gets worse, too, as Ness finishes with 17.2%. Mario obviously SFF'd Ness, but even then, the SFF was very strong. If you were to compare Mario and Ness in 2k3, Ness would still be expected to get 20.22% (which is when he was SFF'd by Bowser). If you were to compare Mario and Ness in 2k4, Ness would still be expected to get 27.52% (which is when he was indirectly SFF'd by Auron/Sephiroth). Point being, Mario stomped Ness noticeably worse than two previously-SFF'd Ness's have predicted, so Mario came to impress. This goes to show that SFF and stats simply don't mix...though, by all means, we should know this after last year's bracket.
With a win like this for Mario, he's aimin' to please the majority of the casual bracket-makers (that is, if the Top Fifty's general consensus is a sign of anything). Ness, who made the GameFAQs 2005 Game of the Year's leading character look worse than Jak (and Ness had starmen.net linkin' to Ness/Jak, whereas he didn't in Ness/CJ), now looks worse than Joanna Dark and Servbot. To add to it, Mario SFF'd Ness more than Mario SFF'd Donkey Kong in 2k2 (DK had 18.03% against Mario). It's hard to gauge Mario just yet though; afterall, he faced one new-comer and SFF'd somebody who we have nothing but shaky readings on. Mario now moves on to face the winner of Zero/Lloyd next round, making it one round closer to the Mario match we've all been waiting for.