So, for the last twenty years or so I have been filling out NCAA tournament brackets. When I was about 13 I came within a last second shot of winning, but settled for fourth place. That is the closest I have ever come to winning. I stopped doing brackets for money about three years ago – but still enter into free contests, and still get my ass handed to me. So instead of making predictions which have almost no credibility based on my track record, I decided to fill out this year’s bracket based on a system my brother and I came up with about 10 years ago. Put simply, the concept is, Which mascot would win in a fight?
There are a few basic tennets of this system:
- Predatory animals defeat non-predatory animals – its the food chain, right?
- Predatory animals defeat humans without weapons.
- Humans with weapons defeat all animals.
- Humans with weapons defeat humans without weapons.
- In battles between two humans with weapons, most advanced weapons win, e.g. gunpowder defeats iron.
- Battles betwee two predatory animals, the bigger, meaner one wins.
These are basic rules. It gets tricky when you start to consider the following:
- Supernatural entities – These things will typically defeat any animal and most humans, but godly humans will win.
- Weather systems – Depends on the severity. A hurricane? pretty tough. A green wave? not so much.
- Colors (how do you defeat the Orange? With an eraser? How do you even fight the color orange to begin with? New rule – Immobile inanimate objects lose to anything that moves. There might not be knockout, but when you go to the scorecards, the moving object would get some points for trying).
So, here it goes:
Play-in game: Morehead State EAGLES def. Alabama State HORNETS
16 EAGLES def. 1 Louisville CARDINALS (This is the first time in history that a No. 1 seed has gone down. I haven’t looked yet, but I’m not confident about the TAR HEELS either).
9. Siena SAINTS (depicted by a Saint Bernard) def. 8. Ohio State BUCKEYES
5. Utah UTES def. Arizona WILDCATS (see rule #3 – humans with weapons vs. animals)
13. Cleveland State VIKINGS def. Wake Forest DEAMON DEACONS (this is a tough call, because a deacon could presumably get a weapon, but there is nothing about a deacon that is inherently armed.)
15. Robert Morris COLONIALS def. 2. Michigan State SPARTANS (see rule #5 If you have seen the movie 300, you might disagree, but COLONIALS would have more firepower.)
10. USC TROJANS def. 7. Boston College EAGLES
3. Kansas JAYHAWKS def. 14. North Dakota State BISON (see rule #1. Very tough call, it is hard to imagine a hawk pecking a bison to death, there’d probably be no knockout, but Hawks would win on the cards).
6. West Virginia MOUNTAINEERS def. 11. Dayton FLYERS (see rule #4)
SECOND ROUND:Saints def. Eagles – similar to Jayhawk vs. Bison, but if the dog could get one good bite, it would be curtains for the Eagle)
Utes def. Vikings – rule #5
Colonials def. Trojans – rule #5
Mountaineer def. Jayhawk – rule #3
Utes defeat Saints – rule #3
Mountaineer def. Colonial – rule #5
Mountaineers def. Utes
16. East Tennessee State BUCCANEERS def. 1. Pittsburgh PANTHERS (A historical second No. 1 seed goes down)
8. Oklahoma State COWBOYS def. 9. Tennesee VOLUNTEERS – rule #5 (this took some research. It turns out the name Volunteers comes from the War of 1812, when Andrew Jackson got a bunch of volunteers to fight the British. Cowboys though, lasted well into the 1800’s, and presumably would have better weapons).
5. Florida State SEMINOLES def. 12. Wisconsin BADGERS – rule #3
4. Xavier MUSKATEERS def. 13 Portland State VIKINGS – rule #5
2. Duke BLUE DEVILS def. 15. Binghamton BEARCATS – miscellaneous rule. Duke used to be called the Methodists, which is kind of cool, but not very tough. Some think it could actually refer back to a French military unit from World War I, back when the French actually were tough.
7. Texas LONG HORNS def. 10. Minnesota GOLDEN GOPHERS – Neither are predatory, but if forced to fight, there is a clear favorite.
3. Villanova WILDCATS def. American U. EAGLES – rule #6
6. UCLA BRUINS def. Virginia Commonwealth RAMS – rule #6
Cowboys def. Buccaneers – rule #5
Muskateers def. Seminoles – rule #5
Blue Devils def. Long Horns
Bruins def. Wildcats – rule #6
Cowboys def. Muskateers
Blue Devils def. Bruins
Blue Devils def. Cowboys
1. North Carolina TAR HEELS def. 16. Radord HIGHLANDERS – rule #5 (A highlander is a Scottish warrior from the middle ages. The term Tar Heel came from soldiers in the Civil War, who presumably had something more deadly than a Claymore).
8. LSU TIGERS def. 9. Butler BULLDOGS – rule #6
5. Illinois FIGHTING ILLINI def. Western Kentucky HILLTOPPERS – rule #4 (the Illini were native Americans that presumably had weapons. The Hilltoppers are just a bunch of guys that moved the school up to the top of a hill).
4. Gonzaga BULLDOGS def. Akron ZIPS. – (This will be the Zips vs. the Zags, but Gonzaga’s official nickname is the Bulldogs. The Zips are actually named after the zipper, which was invented in Akron, OH. The mascot is a kangaroo, which would probably crush a Bulldog, but we’re going with nicknames – and a zipper would not defeat anything, unless a school became known as the Ben Stiller’s Franks and Beans)
2. Oklahoma SOONERS def. 15. Morgan State BEARS – A Sooner would have a shotgun.
7. Clemson TIGERS def. 10. Michigan WOLVERINES – This would be an awesome fight, but I’ll take the Tiger.
14. Stephen F. Austin LUMBERJACKS def. Syracuse ORANGE – anything beats a color, except maybe a zipper.
6. Arizona State SUN DEVILS def. 11. Temple OWLS – ASU might be tough to beat.
Tar Heels def. Tigers
Fighting Illini def. Bulldogs
Sooners def. Tigers
Sun Devils def. Lumberjacks
Tar Heels def. Fighting Illini
Sun Devils def. Sooners
Tar Heels def. Sun Devils (this is not exact science, but the Sun Devil looks like a guy with a douchy mustache in a Noid costume, carrying a pitchfork. A Tar Heel would shoot him).
1. UConn HUSKIES def UT Chattanooga MOCS (I am still not sure what a Moc is, but from the logo, it looks like a bird. Some logos show a bird driving a train, which is just weird.
8. BYU COUGARS def. 9. Texas A&M AGGIES – An Aggie is a farmer, which is not intrinsically armed. A cougar would maul an unarmed farmer.
5. Purdue BOILERMAKERS def. 12. Northern Iowa PANTHERS – This is a close call, but the Boilermaker has a huge hammer, and could connect on one good swing.
4. Washington HUSKIES def. Mississippi State BULLDOG – Another close one, but a huskie is a little bigger and more agile.
2. Memphis TIGERS def. 15. Cal State Northridge MATADORS – A Matador is a human with a weapon, but he is used to fighting impaled bulls, not full strength Tigers. Think Siegfried and Roy. Tigers win.
7. California BEARS def. Maryland TERRAPINS – A Bear would have a hard time getting the knockout, but he would win on the scorecards.
3. Missouri TIGERS def. Cornell BIG RED – Again, colors always lose.
6. Marquette GOLDEN EAGLES def. Utah St. AGGIES – Again, unarmed farmer is defeated by predatory animal.
Cougars def. Huskies
Boilermakers def. Huskies
A classic battle pits Tiger vs. Bear. I really do not know who would win.
Tiger def. Golden Eagle
Boilermaker def. Cougar (if he beat a Panther, he could beat a Cougar)
Tiger vs. Tiger or Bear (this is a real conundrum)
Boilermaker would be defeated by either a Tiger or a Bear, the hammer would not be enough. But which? I’ll go with the highest seed, and take the Mizzou Tiger.
West Virginia Mountaineers defeat Missouri Tigers
Duke Blue Devils defeat North Carolina Tar Heels
Duke defeats West Virginia.