Monday, March 14, 2016

Mascot Fight Bracket

Selection Sunday was yesterday, and the field for this year's NCAA Tournament has been announced.  No one is safe.  Tomorrow, I will give you my thoughts on the teams to help you win your pool, but today, it's all about the mascots.

As I've done in years past, today I'm going to post the mascot fight bracket.  Inspired by the 6- or 7-year-old son of a former co-worker, who filled out his bracket one year based solely on which mascot would win in a fight and ended up with an unwinnable NC State vs. Nevada –- Wolfpack vs. Wolf Pack -– matchup, every year I fill out a bracket on ESPN (not for money, of course) entitled "Mascot Fight."  Here is what it looks like this year, with explanations of my brilliant and sometimes contradictory reasoning.  (For the record, last year, my Mascot Fight bracket did correctly predict that Duke would win it all.)

South Region
Play-in game:
(11) Vanderbilt Commodores vs. (11) Wichita State Shockers.  A guy who can drive a boat against two in the pink and one in the stink?  Winner:  Vanderbilt

Round of 64:
(1) Kansas Jayhawks vs. (16) Austin Peay Governors.  A governor doesn't get to be where he or she is without some bird-murdering skills.  Winner:  Austin Peay
(8) Colorado Buffaloes vs. (9) Connecticut Huskies.  Buffaloes trample dogs, for the most part.  Winner:  Colorado
(5) Maryland Terrapins vs. (12) South Dakota State Jackrabbits.  This is your classic tortoise versus hare scenario.  Winner:  Maryland
(4) California Golden Bears vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.  A scantily clad guy meets a bear with blond hair.  And dies.  Winner:  Cal
(6)  Arizona Wildcats vs. Vanderbilt Commodores.  Cats hate water.  Winner:  Vanderbilt
(3) Miami Hurricanes vs. (14) Buffalo Bulls.  I think multiple hurricanes would have no problem disposing of any amount of bovines.  Winner:  Miami
(7)  Iowa Hawkeyes vs. (10) Temple Owls.  One is the eye of a bird, and the other is an entire bird.  Winner:  Temple
(2)  Villanova Wildcats vs. (15) UNC Asheville Bulldogs.  Bulldogs often have back problems, and they snore, so a wildcat should have no problems taking one down.  Winner:  Villanova

Round of 32:
(8) Colorado Buffaloes vs. (16) Austin Peay Governors.  No governor –- not even Blago with his helmet of hair –- can withstand a buffalo stampede.  Winner:  Colorado
(4) California Golden Bears vs. (5) Maryland Terrapins.  No matter how hard he tries, the bear just can't crack the turtle's shell, and he eventually stops trying.  Winner:  Maryland
(3) Miami Hurricanes vs. (11) Vanderbilt Commodores.  Not even the most seasoned commodore can maneuver out of a hurricane.  Winner:  Miami
(2) Villanova Wildcats vs. (10) Temple Owls.  Cats eat birds.  Winner:  Villanova

Sweet 16:
(5) Maryland Terrapins vs. (8) Colorado Buffaloes.  This is a tough one, but again, I think the strength of the turtle's shell cannot be overlooked.  Winner:  Maryland
(2) Villanova Wildcats vs. (3) Miami Hurricanes.  Again, cats hate water.  Combine 100-mph winds with rain and cats, and what you end up with is a fuckton of dead cats.  Winner:  Miami

Elite 8:
(3) Miami Hurricanes vs. (5) Maryland Terrapins.  There's only so much from which a turtle's shell can protect it.  Getting thrown hundreds of feet against palm trees and beach houses is not one of those things.  Winner:  Miami

West Region
Play-in game:
(16) Holy Cross Crusaders vs. (16) Southern Jaguars.  "Jesus Christ, what's tha--," says the crusader, right before he's mauled to death by a jaguar.  Winner:  Southern

Round of 64:
(1) Oregon Ducks vs. (16) Southern Jaguars.  Not even close.  Winner:  Southern
(8) St. Joseph's Hawks vs. (9) Cincinnati Bearcats.  Hawks are usually pretty fierce, but a bearcat is an animal that combines the speed and agility of a cat with the strength and tenacity of a bear.  Winner:  Cincinnati
(5) Baylor Bears vs. (12) Yale Bulldogs.  It would be difficult to imagine a scenario in which the bulldog didn't end up in about fifty bloodied chunks of flesh and bone.  Winner:  Baylor
(4) Duke Blue Devils vs. UNC-Wilmington Seahawks.  You ever wonder why birds always seem to shit right on your freshly washed car?  That's because they are controlled by the devil.  Winner:  Duke
(6) Texas Longhorns vs. (11) Northern Iowa Panthers.  Pretty much the entire job of a rancher is to keep panthers away from cattle.  Winner:  Northern Iowa
(3) Texas A&M Aggies vs. (14) Green Bay Phoenix.  I will always go with a mythical bird that rises from its own ashes than a guy who put a screen door on a submarine.  At least that's what I was told growing up in Texas.  Winner:  Green Bay
(7) Oregon State Beavers vs. (10) VCU Rams.  Dams are no match for rams.  Winner:  VCU
(2) Oklahoma Sooners vs. (15) Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners.  The Road Runner was my favorite cartoon as a kid.  Thankfully, there weren't hungry settlers with guns in the show.  Winner:  Oklahoma

Round of 32:
(9) Cincinnati Bearcats vs. (16) Southern Jaguars.  Since a bearcat is basically a bear and a jaguar combined, you have to go with the bearcat.  Winner:  Cincinnati
(4)  Duke Blue Devils vs. (5) Baylor Bears.  A bears vs. bearcats matchup is thwarted by that mischievous Prince of Darkness.  Winner:  Duke
(11)  Northern Iowa Panthers vs. (14) Green Bay Phoenix.  Big cats eat birds, even those with the ability to reincarnate.  Winner:  Northern Iowa
(2) Oklahoma Sooners vs. (10) VCU Rams.  "Martha, good news.  We're having ram for dinner tonight," says the Sooner.  Winner:  Oklahoma

Sweet 16:
(4) Duke Blue Devils vs. (9) Cincinnati Bearcats.  The devil finally meets his match.  Winner:  Cincinnati
(2) Oklahoma Sooners vs. (11) Northern Iowa Panthers.  "Martha, good news.  We're having panther for dinner tonight," says the Sooner  Winner:  Oklahoma

Elite 8:
(2) Oklahoma Sooners vs. (9) Cincinnati Bearcats.  "Martha, good news.  We're having an entire family of Sooners for dinner tonight," says the bearcat.  Winner:  Cincinnati

East Region
Play-in games:
(16) Fairleigh Dickinson Knights vs. (16) Florida Gulf Coast Eagles.  Knights train eagles, or so I assume.  Winner:  Fairleigh Dickinson
(11) Michigan Wolverines vs. (11) Tulsa Golden Hurricane.  Wolverines are tenacious, but gilded hurricanes can sweep up wolverines  Winner:  Tulsa

Round of 64:
(1) North Carolina Tarheels vs. (16) Fairleigh Dickinson Knights.  "Dadgumit, I just stepped in tar," says the tarheel just before being run through by a lance.
(8) USC Trojans vs. (9) Providence Friars.  Men of the cloth are far too trusting, so they let a giant wooden horse into their monastery.  Their nighttime slaughter will be written about for generations.  Winner:  USC
(5) Indiana Hoosiers vs. (12) Chattanooga Mocs.  Whatever a Hoosier is, it's not afraid of a pair of cozy slippers.  Winner:  Indiana
(4)  Kentucky Wildcats vs. (13) Stony Brook Seawolves.  A puma is no match for a wolf that can swim really well.  Winner:  Stony Brook
(6)  Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. (11) Tulsa Golden Hurricane.  Already too drunk to stand, the Irishman is tossed effortlessly into the sea.  Winner:  Tulsa
(3)  West Virginia Mountaineers vs. (14) Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.  A mountaineer is basically a lumberjack that can also traverse rugged terrain and shoot raccoons.  Winner:  West Virginia
(7)  Wisconsin Badgers vs. Pittsburgh Panthers.  This would be a hell of a fight, but the slight edge goes to the panther, only because fuck Bo Ryan.  Nevermind, it sounds like someone already did.  Zing!  Winner:  Pittsburgh
(2)  Xavier Musketeers vs. (15) Weber State Wildcats.  So many wildcats to shoot with a musket.  Winner:  Xavier

Round of 32:
(8) USC Trojans vs. (16) Fairleigh Dickinson Knights.  Warriors on horses versus the Trojan Horse.  I'm going to give the edge to the Trojans, based on their cunning.  And they probably cheat.  Winner:  USC
(5) Indiana Hoosiers vs. (13) Stony Brook Seawolves.  Hoosiers are generally more comfortable inland, so I think encountering a wolf that can swim –- and murder -– would be a challenge.  Winner:  Stony Brook
(3) West Virginia Mountaineer vs. (11) Tulsa Golden Hurricane.  The mountaineer just runs to the top of the mountain, where he can't be harmed by the waves and floods below.  Winner:  West Virginia
(2) Xavier Musketeers vs. (10) Pittsburgh Panthers.  Guns don't kill panthers.  Oh wait, that's not true.  Guns absolutely kill panthers.  Winner:  Xavier

Sweet 16:
(8) USC Trojans vs. (13) Stony Brook Seawolves.  Troy was a seaside town, so they knew how to dispose of aquatic lupines.  Winner:  USC
(2) Xavier Musketeers vs. (3) West Virginia Mountaineers.  This is a tough one, but you have to go with the marksmanship of a musketeer over the wile of a mountaineer.  Winner:  Xavier

Elite 8:
(2) Xavier Musketeers vs. (8) USC Trojans.  One thing the Trojans didn't have was guns.  Winner:  Xavier

Midwest Region
Round of 64:
(1) Virginia Cavaliers vs. (16) Hampton Pirates.  A grizzled veteran of the high seas beats a guy with a floppy hat, floppy sword, and pencil thin mustache any day.  Winner:  Hampton
(8) Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. (9) Butler Bulldogs.  While attempting a raid, the raider is bitten in the ankle by a bulldog and retreats.  Winner:  Butler
(5) Purdue Boilermakers vs. (12) Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans.  Someone who makes boilers and can't read is no match for a Trojan.  Winner:  Arkansas-Little Rock
(4) Iowa State Cyclones vs. (13) Iona Gaels.  There's a "gael-force winds" joke in here somewhere.  But seriously, people from Scotland and Ireland are not used to tornadoes.  Welcome to the Midwest, Hamish.  Winner:  Iowa State
(6) Seton Hall Pirates vs. (11) Gonzaga Bulldogs.  What did the bulldog say to the pirate?  Nothing because the pirate had already killed it.  That's the kind of joke my kids would make up. Just because it's not funny doesn't mean it's not true.  Winner:  Seton Hall
(3) Utah Utes vs. (14) Fresno State Bulldogs.  It's a rough time to be a bulldog, but boy, doesn't a bulldog pelt sound comfortable?  Winner:  Utah
(7) Dayton Flyers vs. (10) Syracuse Orange.  Syracuse has no business being in this matchup for a variety of reasons, one of which is that orange is a color, and colors will always lose to pilots.  Winner:  Dayton
(2) Michigan State Spartans vs. (15) Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders.  I'm not sure what a blue raider is, but I am sure a Spartan would gut one from crotch to throat.  Winner:  Michigan State

Round of 32:
(9) Butler Bulldogs vs. (16) Hampton Pirates.  See Seton Hall vs. Gonzaga above.  Winner:  Hampton
(4) Iowa State Cyclones vs. (12) Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans.  Not even a giant wooden horse is a match for a tornado.  Winner:  Iowa State
(3) Utah Utes vs. (6) Seton Hall Pirates.  I give the slight edge to the pirates here because I assume they are willing to do some pretty shady things in a fight.  Winner:  Seton Hall
(2) Michigan State Spartans vs. (7) Dayton Flyers.  Not even Spartans are a match for a tailgunner.  Winner:  Dayton

Round of 16:
(4) Iowa State Cyclones vs. (16) Hampton Pirates.  They never should have come onto land.  Had they just stayed on their boat, they wouldn't have been thrown a half mile into a ditch.  Winner:  Iowa State
(6) Seton Hall Pirates vs. (7) Dayton Flyers.  Your classic sea vs. air matchup.  The fighter plane has a decided advantage over a pirate ship, though.  Winner:  Dayton

Elite 8:
(4) Iowa State Cyclones vs. (7) Dayton Flyers.  Planes and tornados don't mix.  Winner:  Iowa State

Final Four
(3) Miami Hurricanes vs. (9) Cincinnati Bearcats.  Even an animal with all of the greatest characteristics of a bear and a big cat cannot put up with the power of a hurricane.  Winner:  Miami
(2) Xavier Musketeers vs. (4) Iowa State Cyclones.  As gifted marksmen as they may be, you can't shoot a tornado, unless you want it to whip those bullets right back at you.  Winner:  Iowa State

Championship Game
(3) Miami Hurricanes vs. (4) Iowa State Cyclones.  Two of Mother Nature's biggest assholes square off, but only one can be king.  Ask New Orleans if it would have rather been hit by a tornado.  Winner:  Miami

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