Political March Madness moves to the second round, as dark horse Jeffrey Toobin jacks up the energy to advance in the contest.

The tournament is an NCAA-style battle offering members of the mainstream media competing against each other to become the supreme media hack. The matchups are run on Twitter by conservative online personality “Ruthless” and his co-host Comfortably Smug.

FNC: CNN’s chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin pulled off a stunning upset on Saturday in the first round of the ‘Liberal Hack Tournament,’ hoping to potentially launch a career comeback following his Zoom masturbation scandal last fall. Toobin, a No. 16 seed, has been benched for several months ever since his firing from the New Yorker magazine after he was caught pleasuring himself on a work Zoom call with colleagues. And he has been taking ‘time off’ from CNN since the controversy emerged. The CNN star was up against heavyweight Matthew Dowd, the former ABC News political analyst and No. 1 seed in the ‘Establishment’ division of the tournament. But despite all odds, Toobin won over the hearts of voters, picking up 56% of the over 7,200 Twitter ballots. Perhaps Toobin will use further success in the viral contest as an entry back into public life and be welcomed back on his employer CNN’s airwaves, which could become the tournament’s biggest redemption story of the year.

“Toobin is among a whopping 13 CNN stars who are advancing into the second round. In a CNN primetime cage match, Chris Cuomo won in a blowout against Anderson Cooper with over 92% of the vote, aided by the scandals plaguing his brother Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which he now says he ‘obviously’ cannot cover after hosting the ‘Luv Guv’ on his show for nearly a dozen chummy interviews last year…CNN’s Oliver Darcy and Chris Cillizza also secured their spots in the ‘Way-Too-Online’ division of the tournament after their network colleagues swept the ‘Liberal Activists’ and ‘Fake News’ divisions on Friday.

“No contestant ever offered a more unforgettable spectacle than Jeff Toobin, who not only uncaged his inner lion but really let it roar. He was down at the start, but refused to quit until he finished the job. It was the sort of winning performance that now has handicappers predicting he’ll beat out another high-ranked seed in the second round,” a tournament analyst told media.

Can Toobin hold up his end in the ensuing rounds? Will Chris Cuomo rain on his parade? The competition is tough, as CNN colleagues round out many of the other categories. Said one pundit, “I don’t know. For years watching CNN has been anticlimactic, as there was an inevitability of journalistic impotence. But then Toobin comes out of nowhere and sets the field on fire by shooting for the big win.”