Ward, Hillis advance in 'Madden' tourney

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward and Cleveland Browns tailback Peyton Hillis are the two AFC North representatives remaining in the "Madden NFL 12" tournament to determine this year's cover athlete.

Ward, a No. 2 seed, thoroughly beat out Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap, a No. 10 seed, by getting 72 percent of the vote. Hillis (No. 10) also advanced by getting 62 percent of the vote against Ray Rice (No. 7) of the Baltimore Ravens.

This week fans can vote for the second round, where Hillis will go against a heavy favorite: Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, a No. 2 seed. Ward will face a No. 7 seed in San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.

The champion and "Madden NFL 12" cover athlete will be announced next month.