It is bracket-time. Here’s my second annual NCAA tournament picks based solely on which mascot would win in a fight. I have made some changes after commenters pointed out two mistakes I made. I entered this bracket into a yahoo public group along with an expert, picking all the favorites, my three-year-old daughter’s picks, President Barack Obama’s picks, and my own actual picks.
There are a few rules to follow:
- Inanimate objects, e.g. colors and plants, always lose to animate objects.
- Predators beat non-predators and unarmed humans.
- Humans beat non-predators.
- Humans with weapons beat predators.
- Humans with weapons beat humans without weapons.
- Humans with superior weapons win.
- Supernatural beings and weather systems beat almost anyone.
- Ties go to the high seed.
- Prepositions lose to everything (see Hoyas vs. Bearcats)
(1) Kansas Jayhawks def. (16) Lehigh Mountain Hawks. I’m calling this one a tie. They’re both hawks. The higher seed wins.
(8) UNLV Runnin Rebels def. (9) Northern Iowa Panthers. Human with weapon beats a predator. This looks like a clear Rule 4, but a Runnin Rebel has Civil War weaponry, and a Panther is a serious animal. I think the Black Panther would love to take a shot at a confederate soldier, but I’m sticking with my rules. If the Rebel could keep his distance (maybe by doing a lot of runnin), he could win.
(5) Michigan State Spartans def. (12) New Mexico State Aggies. An Aggie might have a gun, but not necessarily. Plus, have you seen 300? Their sparkling abs would shock the poor farmers into submission.
(13) Houston Cougars def. (4) Maryland Terrapins. The first upset of my bracket is not completely off-the-wall.
(6) Tennessee Volunteers def. (11) Sand Diego State Aztecs. The Aztecs were bad asses, but volunteers in the war of 1812 would have had muskets.
(14) Ohio Bobcats def. (3) Georgetown Hoyas. Another significant upset. You might be asking yourself, “What’s a Hoya?” Well, that is a question that Georgetown opponents have been chanting for decades. Wikipedia gives us the answer – it appears to have come from a chant, “Roxa Hoya,” which is loosely translated from Latin to “such rocks.” Hoya is basically Latin for “Such as.” So, if you’re using that – I think we finally found the only mascot that would lose to the Orange or the Buckeyes – a preposition. Yet, their mascot is a bulldog. A bobcat is a pretty mean cat, and I think it would beat even a bulldog.
(10) Oklahoma State Cowboys def. (7) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Cowboy wins unless he is allergic – but I cannot base this scientific endeavor on pure conjecture. The Cowboy would squish the yellow jacket.
(15) UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos def. (2) Ohio State Buckeyes. I thought that UC-Santa Barbara was known as the Banana Slugs, which would jeopardize their NCAA chances – unless they had the good fortune of going up against the Buckeyes. A reader informed me that they were never the Slugs – that is UC Santa Cruz. Even if they were the slugs, they would win over a plant. Since they are spanish-language Cowboys, it’s an easy upset pick.
Second Round: Rebels def. Jayhawks; Spartans def. Cougars; Volunteers def. Bobcats; Cowboys def. Gauchos, this is a tough one. I’m not sure how I pick between an English-speaking Cowboy and a Spanish-speaking cowboy without looking like some border-patrolling, xenophobic a-hole. I’ll take the higher seed.
Regional semifinals: Rebels def. Spartans, the glistening abs are no match a musket ball. Cowboys def. Volunteers, Cowboys have superior weapons to soldiers in the War of 1812.
Regional Final: Okalahoma State Cowboys def. UNLV Runnin Rebels.
(16) Vermont Catamounts def. (1) Syracuse Orange. Seriously, Syracuse kills me every year. I don’t even know what a Catamount is, but if they move, they would beat the Orange. I’ll have to do some research before the second round.
(9) Florida State Seminoles def. (8) Gonzaga Bulldogs. See Rule 4.
(12) UTEP Miners def. (5) Butler Bulldogs. Bad day for bulldogs. I’m counting the pick axe as a weapon.
(4) Vanderbilt Commodores def. (13) Murray State Racers. The logo for the racers is a racehorse. The Commodores gave us “Brick House,” which is a plus. They also gave us Nichole Richie, which is not such a plus. Killing them softly with their song, Commodores win. Commodores have swords. Jockeys have whips. This might be the excpetion to Rule 4, but I’m sticking with the human with a weapon over an animal.
(6) Xavier Musketeers def. (11) Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Musketeers have an um, musket. Gophers have buck teeth. Muskets win.
(3) Pittsburgh Panthers def. (14) Oakland Grizzlies. This is one of the best contests of the first round. I seriously am not sure who would win this fight. My first thought was the Grizzly, but have you seen how big a panther is? I’m really not sure, so I’m cheating, and going with the higher seed.
(10) Florida Gators def. (7) BYU Cougars def. This is another great contest of the first round. Again, I’m not sure who would win. The Cougar’s agility would come in handy, but I’m not sure it could do enough damage to the Gator, and one good bite is all it would take. Plus, if the Gator could draw the Cougar into the water, it would be over.
(2) Kansas State Wildcats def. (15) North Texas Mean Green. Even though North Texas uses a bird in their logo, they are still just a color. No matter how mean they claim to be, this is rule #1.
Second Round: Seminoles def. Catamounts, a Catamount is a wild cat; Commodores def. Miners, sword over pick axe; Musketeers def. Panthers, This seems like a textbook Rule 4. A musketeer whould beat a panther, but muskets are not the most powerful and dependable of weapons. This depends on the size ring we have. If the Musketeer could keep his distance, he might win. If this is close quarters, the panther would tear him apart. That all being said, the musketeer would also have a sword, so I’m going with Musketeer; Gators def. Wildcats, the Gator just beat a Cougar.
Regional Semifinals: Commodores def. Seminoles, according to wikipedia, a Commodore was the highest rank in the US Navy until the Civil War, and today is the highest rank below Admiral. Plus, the Seminoles lose points for racial insensitivity. The NCAA shouldn’t even allow them in the tournament if they followed their own rules; Musketeers defeat Gators.
Regional Finals: Vanderbilt Commodores defeat Xavier Musketeers.
(16) E. Tennessee St. Buccaneers def. (1) Kentucky Wildcats. I’m not happy about this, but Rule #4 strikes again.
(8) Texas Longhorns def. (9) Wake Forrest Demon Deacons. I do not think Deacons – even Demon ones – generally pack weapons. Longhorns, on the other hand are really big and strong and mean.
(5) Temple Owls def. (12) Cornell Big Red. Rule #1.
(4) Wisconsin Badgers def. (13) Wooford Terriers. This sort of depends on what kind of terrier you are using. A rat terrier would be a snack for badger. A bull terrier, on the other hand, would prove more interesting. Unfortunately for Wofford, their mascot looks more like a Boston terrier. Game, set, match for Wisconsin.
(6) Marquette Golden Eagles def. (11) Washington Huskies. Unless of course, the Golden Eagles are eagles made of gold, which would make them an inanimate object. But in a fight between a gold-colored eagle and a huskie, I’ll take the eagle. I just don’t see the Huskie being able to mount much of an offensive.
(14) Montana Grizzlies def. (3) New Mexico Lobos. Another tough call, but I don’t think that the fact that the wolf is Spanish would help.
(7) Clemson Tigers def. (10) Missouri Tigers. I’m picking the Tigers. Rule #8.
(2) West Virginia Mountaineers def. (15) Morgan State Bears. The third bear-type mascot in the field, and they go 1-2. This time because of Rule #4.
Second Round: Buccaneers def. Longhorns, I’m really starting to not like this rule, according to this system, 16 seeded East Tennessee State is going to make a historic run; Badgers def. Owls; Grizzlies def. Eagles; Mountaineers def. Tigers.
Regional semifinals: Bucs def. Badgers; Mountaineers def. Grizzlies.
Regional Final: West Virginia Mountaineers def. East Tennessee State Buccaneers.
(1) Duke Blue Devils def. (16) Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions. The Blue Devil name came from a squadron fighting in France during World War I. If the lion is made out of gold, it might be tough, but it might also be inanimate. If it is just a gold-colored lion, it would be a dead-colored lion after that bulls-eye shooting Blue Devil on the left was done with it.
(8) California Bears def. (9) Louisville Cardinals. This is one of the most one-sided contests of the first round.
(5) Texas AM Aggies def. (12) Utah St. Aggies. This will be a popular 12 over 5 pick on many brackets – but not mine. Rule #8 applies.
(4) Purdue Boilermakers def. (13) Siena Saints. A Boilermaker has a great big hammer. A saint has a Bible. While the Bible can be a pretty destructive weapon in the wrong hands, I’m going with the Boilers.
(6) Notre Dame Fighting Irish def. (11) Old Dominion Monarchs. Monarchs are not inherently armed, and they are generally not used to fighting for themselves. Irish, on the other hand, are a people known for their large cans of whoop-ass.
(3) Baylor Bears def. (14) Sam Houston State Bearkats. A bearcat is also known as a binturong, which actually looks like a cross between a bear and a cat, and it looks like a badass. I would like to pick the binturong, but Bearkats lose on general principle for spelling Cat with a K. Bears and Grizzlies finish 3-2 in the first round.
(10) St. Mary’s Gaels def. (7) Richmond Spiders. A Gael is someone that is Gaelic, or Irish. They step on the spider – even if it is a big bad one.
(2) Villanova Wildcats def. (15) Robert Morris Colonials. Colonials are not inherently armed. Their logo shows them armed only with a flag. Plus, Robert Morris was just a big fat banker that helped finance the Revolution. He would be a nice meal for a wildcat.
Second Round: Blue Devils def. Bears; Boilermakers def. Aggies, this comes down to a hammer versus a shovel. In actuality, both the Utah State Aggies and the Texas A&M Aggies use a dog for mascot, so Boilermaker advances either way. Bears def. Irish, It would be great to see a drunken Irishman wrestle a bear. Great in the same way it is great to see a traffic accident. Gaels def. Wildcats, the Gaels win because they are depicted as some pretty fierce knight-like warriors with swords and armor.Regional semifinals: Devils def. Boilermakers, Gaels def. Bears.
Regional Final: Duke Blue Devils def. St Mary’s Gaels.
Vandebilt Commodores def. Oklahoma State Cowboys and Duke Blue Devils defeat West Virginia Mountaineers.
Championship: Vanderbilt over Duke
A Commodore, as previously stated, is a high-ranking officer in the US Navy. The Blue Devils were named for a French military unit in World War I. I’m going with the Commodores because I love America.
NOTE: This year I’m going to enter this bracket into a few free online contests to see how I fare.