Tag Archives: mascot bracket

2015 Mascot Bracket: Final Four

Review all of the other Regions:

Midwest Region

East Region

South Region

West Region

West Virginia Mountaineers, Wyoming Cowboys, Oklahoma State Cowboys, and Duke Blue Devils.

The two cowboys prevail because of the superiority in a closed-quarters fight of a hand gun over a huge musket or a trident. We have a classic Cowboy versus Cowboy matchup. How can we choose? How can we pick orange or yellow?

The 2015 Mascot Bracket comes down to Orange Power Ranger versus Yellow Power Ranger. There's no way to choose.

The 2015 Mascot Bracket comes down to Orange Power Ranger versus Yellow Power Ranger. There’s no way to choose.

The only way to decide is to go to the tie breaker, which is higher seed. Oklahoma State is a 9 seed. Wyoming is a 12 seed. Neither is exactly a powerhouse, but the winner of the 2015 Mascot Bracket is: Oklahoma State.



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2015 Mascot Bracket: South Region

Mascot Bracket 2015 is a new game. We’re going “Battle Royal” style. Each site in the tournament will be a separate four-team battle. Throw them all in the ring, and see which mascot emerges. A couple ground rules, this year we’re going with pure Mascots. I gather as much information as I can about the mascot from their logo or the actual running-around guy in the costume. I’m taking everything that the mascot has on its person at face value. All weapons are allowed, but only if they are depicted with a weapon in official logos.

East Region

Midwest Region

West Region

South Region

Charlotte Battle: Duke Blue Devils, North Florida Ospreys, Robert Morris Colonials, San Diego State Aztecs, St. John’s Red Storm. A bird, a man armed with a flag, an ancient warrior, a mythical creature, and a weather system. This is the stuff that makes the Mascot Bracket great. In the past, the Blue Devil and the Red Storm would have been tough to beat. The Blue Devil, based on its origins in a World War I fighting squadron. The Red Storm, being a weather system, were also difficult to outlast. This year the rules are different, and this guy isn’t particularly intimidating. That being said, the Blue Devil sometimes carries a trident, which is the only weapon in the party. Duke moves on.


Portland Battle: Utah Utes, SF Austin Lumberjacks, Georgetown Hoyas, Eastern Washington Eagles. Another team gets a boost from this year’s rule changes. The Hoyas, being basically a Latin preposition, have never fared well. Now though, they’ve got a dog in the fight. The Ute mascot is a motorcycle-riding red-tailed hawk. I’m not allowing the motorcycle in the ring. The Lumberjack is carrying an axe, and that’s okay. It’s the only weapon in the ring.

Louisville Battle: SMU Mustangs, UCLA Bruins, Iowa State Cyclones, UAB Blazers. The Mustangs and Bruins, while formidable, don’t stand a chance here against a dragon and a hybrid tornado-Cardinal. Seriously, the UAB Dragon is one of the coolest and most unique logos in all of sports.

Seattle Battle: Iowa Hawkeyes, Davidson Wildcats, Gonzaga Bulldogs, North Dakota State Bison. This comes down to the Bulldog versus a Bison. While this seems like a one-sided matchup, I think the Bulldog can put up a good fight. In fact the breed of dog was bred to participate in a gruesome ‘sport’ that involved dogs fighting bulls. So while this might be a stretch, I’m going with it, and putting the Bulldogs through.

Houston Battle: For a berth into the Final Four, we see the Blue Devil, the Lumberjack, the Dragon and the Bulldog. If this is one-on-one, the Blazer prevails. But this is Battle Royal Mascot Bracket, so here’s how it goes down: the bulldog get singed. The Lumberjack and the Blue Devil realize their only hope is to team up on the Blazer, are able to bring it down together. Then the Blue Devil turns on the Lumberjack, and uses the extra reach of the trident to prevail.

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blue devil

That trident doesn’t seem super practical, but it would come in handy against a fire-breathing dragon.


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Mascot Bracket 2015: East Region

Mascot Bracket 2015 is a new game. We’re going “Battle Royal” style. Each site in the tournament will be a separate four-team battle. Throw them all in the ring, and see which mascot emerges. A couple ground rules, this year we’re going with pure Mascots. I gather as much information as I can about the mascot from their logo or the actual running-around guy in the costume. I’m taking everything that the mascot has on its person at face value. All weapons are allowed, but only if they are depicted with a weapon in official logos.

South Region

Midwest Region

West Region

The NC State Wolfpack is a tough out.

The NC State Wolfpack is a tough out.

East Region

Pittsburgh Battle: Villanova Wildcats, Lafayette Leopards, North Carolina State Wolfpack, LSU Tigers. Also known as the cats and dogs battle, this one doesn’t seem fair. If we were talking about a one man wolf pack, then the LSU Tigers would probably emerge. A wolf pack, on the other hand, is a dangerous thing.

Seattle Battle: North Iowa Panthers, Wyoming Cowboys, Louisville Cardinals, UC Irvine Anteaters. I so want the Anteaters to do well. I fear however, that while the anteaters could presumably defeat a cardinal, they could not stand up to a Cowboy. If we get to Wyoming versus Oklahoma State, we could have a problem. Which would win in a fight, yellow or orange?

Columbus Battle: Providence Friars, Boise State Broncos, Dayton Flyers, Oklahoma Sooners, Albany Great Danes While the Friars logo reveals a pretty cool mysterious character, there’s nothing to suggest he could do much damage here. The Flyer too seems to be an unarmed man. The Sooner always poses a problem for the Mascot. The history of the Sooner name suggests a rough-and-tumble pioneer character that would be willing to fight, and was probably packing heat. The logo is simply a wagon, which wouldn’t be much good in a fight. The mascot is a horse, which causes a problem in this battle since there is also a bronco in the mix. I love the Great Danes, but there just aren’t enough Scooby Snacks to power the doggies over a couple of horses. Neither unarmed man can beat a horse either, so this looks like the dreaded tie. Tie goes to the higher seed, and the Sooner Schooner rolls on.

Charlotte Battle: Michigan State Spartans, Georgia Bulldogs, Virginia Cavaliers, Belmont Bruins. Two armed men against two tough animals. This one boils down to the weaponry of the Spartans and Cavaliers. I take the Spartan over just about any gunpowderless human.

Syracuse Battle: In the battle for the Final Four, we have Wolf Pack, a Cowboy, a horse, and a Spartan. It’s hard to dismiss the Wolf Pack, even against a gun-carrying cowboy. I just think the pack would break up after one or two of their comrades fell. Wolves are tough, but they aren’t heartless. Any longtime reader of the Mascot Bracket knows that I love me some Spartans, I just don’t see them standing up to a bullet. Yellow Cowboys cut down the nets.

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Pistol Pete is going to be cutting down the nets.

Pistol Pete is going to be cutting down the nets.


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2014 Mascot Bracket

The sixth annual Mascot Bracket has a special interactive addition.  This year, you can submit your own picks.  Who do you think would win in a fight?   The First Annual Readers’ Choice bracket was also submitted into the Free Yahoo Tournament Pick ‘Em Contest.  The Readers have a lot of respect for the tenacity of the woleverine, and little respect for 19th century arms.  The Michigan Wolverines came out on top over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.

The rules

  1. When determining the winner, origins of the nickname are of primary importance (see Blue Devils and Jayhawks).  Current official logos are consulted to find out needed details, such as whether or not the mascot is armed; and for disambiguation, such as which type of Aggie?
  2. Inanimate objects, e.g. colors and plants, always lose to animate objects.
  3. Predators beat non-predators and unarmed humans.
  4. Humans beat non-predators.
  5. Humans with weapons beat predators. There can be exceptions if the weapon is non-gunpowder, and the animal is particularly big and/or fierce.
  6. Humans with weapons beat humans without weapons.
  7. Humans with superior technology/weapons/training win.
  8. Supernatural beings and killer weather systems defeat human warriors.
  9. Many animals, especially birds and fish, can survive devastating storms.
  10. If the schools have the same mascot, then the higher seed wins.
  11. Prepositions lose to everything. (See explanation of What’s a Hoya)
  12. Don’t turn your back on bears.

South Region

Round One

The play-in game has Scoobie up against the owner of the haunted lumber yard.

The play-in game has Scoobie up against the owner of the haunted lumber yard.

1 Florida Gators def. 16 Albany Great Danes or Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers.  This year, instead of treating the play-in games (and yes, NCAA, they are play-in games) as a separate round, I’m throwing all three mascots into the ring to see which one will emerge.  Before doing any research, I was very hopeful that the mountaineer didn’t have a gun.  It looks like the Mountaineer has two tickets to the gun show, but no actual gun.  Hoping that the gun show loop holes are closed, and feeling bad for the Fighting Scoobies, but the gators emerge. 8 Colorado Buffaloes def. 9 Pittsburgh Panthers.  The last time a we saw the Panthers versus Buffalo, Cam Newton was sacked six times and Buffalo won 24-23.  I’ll stick with that outcome.

The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack and WWE Superstar Razor Ramon

The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack and WWE Superstar Razor Ramon

5 Virginia Commonwealth Rams def. 12 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.  While the SF Austin Lumberjack would be a formidable foe against a human opponent, I’m not sure he would be able to do the Razor’s Edge on a Ram.  That huge axe might come in handy, but I’m not sure it would be enough.

Tulsa University's Captain 'Cane

Tulsa University’s Captain ‘Cane

13 Tulsa Golden Hurricane  def. 4 UCLA Bruins.  Here I have to make the important distinction between being a mascot bracket or a nickname bracket.  I have to admit that this is really a nickname bracket.  I don’t usually go with the appearance of the guy running around on the sideline.  This is a good thing for Tulsa, because their mascot is this comic-book like character known as Captain ‘Cane.  He even has a complete Marvel-esque origin story.   If we’re pitting a bear with this blue static-electricity guy, I’m taking the bear.  The bear versus a hurricane though, does not favor the bear.  I’m not confident in the bear’s survivability in the face of a hurricane, and we have our first major upset, and our first early favorite to win the whole thing. 2 Kansas Jayhawks def. 15 Eastern Kentucky Colonels.  The Kansas Jayhawks are one of the more interesting origin stories for a college mascot.  While the current version looks a lot like Foghorn Leghorn, it has roots in the Civil War.  The Eastern Kentucky Colonel looks like Colonel Sanders’s cousin.  It would not be a very good fight. 7 New Mexico Lobos vs. 10 Stanford Cardinal. This is a clear example of rule #2.  Colors lose to everything.  By the way, so do hippie trees. 3 Syracuse Orange vs. 14 Western Michigan Broncos.   Again, colors lose. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. 11 Dayton Flyers.  It was kind of nice of the committee to put all the Mascot Bracket losers in the same quadrant.  One of these days we’ll have a Ohio State vs. Syracuse matchup, but this is not that day.

Round Two

Gators def. Buffaloes.  This is not a clear-cut choice, but I don’t think a Buffalo would be able to mount enough of an offense. Golden Hurricane def. Rams.  If a hurricane could take out a bear, a ram would not stand a chance. Broncos def. FlyersEven though this Bronco is just sort of chillin’, I don’t think an unarmed pilot would be able to beat a horse in a fight.  I know that this goes against my normal human vs. non-predator rule, but I think this is a proper exemption.

I say. I say, I say, what is a Jayhawk, boy?

I say. I say, I say, what is a Jayhawk, boy?

Jayhawks def. Lobos.  On the surface, it appears that a wolf would dismember a strange blue jay crossed with a sparrow hawk bird.  The Mascot Bracket though, goes deep.  The origin of the Jayhawk predates the Civil War.  When the future of the state of Kansas as either a free or slave state was in dispute, supporters of both sides waged an underground civil war on each other.  These vigilantes from both sides were known as Jayhawkers.  They stole horses, ransacked farms, vandalized homes, and there were even some casualties.  Eventually, the Jayhawk name became synonymous with the free-staters.  During the Civil War, a Union regiment from Kansas that was called the Independent Mounted Kansas Jayhawks.  So, that is a long way of explaining how the Jayhawk defeats the wolf.  It’s sort of like that sad part of Dances With Wolves.

Sweet 16

Gators def. Golden Hurricanes.  I actually think that a gator could wait out a hurricane.  I might be wrong about that, but it’s my bracket.  If you disagree, you should have voted in the Readers’ Choice Mascot Bracket. Jayhawks def. Broncos.  Do they still, or did they ever really, take dead horses to the glue factory? Answer: Yes, they did; and no, they don’t.

Regional Champion: Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas Jayhawks are able to topple the Florida Gators.  Given the Jayhawk history, this boils down to a simple case of armed human defeating a powerful wild animal.

West Region

Round One

Arizona Wildcats def. 16 Weber State Wildcats. In the first of two Wildcat battles in this tournament, I have to go with the higher seed.

9 Oklahoma State Cowboys def. 8 Gonzaga Bulldogs.  This is a clear case of armed human defeating an animal.

12 North Dakota State Bison def. 5 Oklahoma Sooners.  This one has some historical significance.  At first glance, I’m thinking that in the battle between settler and bison, the settler came out on top.  According to this site, the bison numbered 30-60 million at the time of Columbus, but by 1888 there were 541 known bison in the United States.   The good news is that at that time there was more of an effort to preserve the bison, and by 1907 there were over a thousand living bison.  Today there are 250,000.  That year, 1888, is important.  That is the year before the Sooner was born.  April 22, 1889 was one of the most unique days in American history, when settlers were allowed to claim 160 acre plots of land.  There was a great race to claim the land, and those that left before the predetermined starting time were called “sooners.”  Anyway, the idea here is that by the time that the sooners were on the scene, the bison population actually improved.

This might be the greatest picture I've ever created.

This might be the greatest picture I’ve ever created.

13 New Mexico State Aggies  def. 4 San Diego State Aztecs.  An Aggie is an infuriatingly ambiguous mascot.  Even the New Mexico State Aggie has two versions.  In one version, the mustachioed aggie is wielding a lasso.  In another, he is pointing two six shooters.  The Aztec takes out the mustache and the rope, but cannot stand up to the firearm.  The current NMSt website has the guy packing heat.  I’m going with the Fighting Ron Swansons.

American Eagle outfitters

American Eagle outfitters

15 American Eagles def. 2 Wisconsin Badgers.  If the American Eagle is one of these clowns, I’m picking the badger. Unfortunately for Bucky though, one of the badger’s natural predators in the wild is an eagle.

10 Brigham Young Cougars def. 7 Oregon Ducks.  Pretty terrible fight, really.  It wouldn’t even be sporting.

14 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns  def. 3 Creighton Blue Jays.  Even if the Cajun isn’t armed, I’m pretty sure he could take a blue jay.

6 Baylor Bears def. 11 Nebraska Cornhuskers.  This one comes down to whether or not the Cornhusker is armed.  That’s an ear of corn in his pocket, and I’m thinking that won’t do much good against a bear.

Second Round

Cowboys def. Wildcats. He shot a bulldog last round.  This time it’s a wildcat.

Aggie def. Bison. We unfortunately know the outcome of armed farmer vs bison.

Top: Chili's. Bottom: Ragin' Cajun

Top: Chili’s Bottom: Ragin’ Cajun

Bears def. Ragin’ Cajuns. I’ll let you guess which of these is the mascot of the Cajuns, and which is the mascot of a delicious restaurant.  Baylor goes to TGI Fridays to celebrate after the game.

Cougars def. Eagles.  In doing research, I came across a website that had actual footage of an eagle fighting a cougar.  The cougar wins.

Sweet 16

Cowboys def. Aggies. This exact matchup came up in last year’s Mascot Bracket.  The Aggie and the Cowboy seem identical, so I’m just going with the higher seed this year.

Bears def. Cougars. This video is not at all graphic.  The bear and the cougar basically stare each other down.  The narration is great, and for some reason it ends with techno music, and the video declares the bear the winner.

Regional Champion: Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Oklahoma State Cowboys take out the Baylor Bears.

Midwest Region

First Round

These two look like cousins to me.

These two look like cousins to me.

1 Texas Southern Tigers def. Wichita State Shockers and Cal Poly Mustangs.  It is clear that the tiger would take out the mustang, so the only question is: Is Lady Elaine armed?  The actual mascot is a bundle of wheat.  Not sure it would muster much offense against a ferocious beast.  So let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?  Well, it turns out that the Wheat Shocker name came from a common summer job of many of the students.  Shocking wheat might take a sickle, but really there’s nothing here to make me think that a wheat shocker could survive a tiger attack.

8 Kentucky Wildcats def. 9 Kansas State Wildcats. Top seed wins.

billiken12 Xavier Musketeers def and 5 Saint Louis Billikens.  Were you thinking that the Billiken was some kind of supernatural entity that would be a tough out?  If so, you were wrong.  The Billiken is basically a troll doll.  It is a tchotchke.  Seriously, it is a made up good luck charm that became a fad about a 100 years ago.  Next, we have the Musketeers and the Wolf Pack.  This looks like another exception to the armed human versus a predator rule.  A wolf pack would not be fun to face, but I think that once one wolf was shot down, the rest would be pretty intimidated, and would retreat.  If it were a closed arena, where retreat was impossible, the musketeer might have some trouble, but I imagine these battles coming in natural environment.

Brother Jasper

Brother Jasper

13 Manhattan Jaspers  def. 4 Louisville Cardinals.  The Jaspers have no discernable mascot.  All I could find was an M with a star.  It turns out that the Jaspers are named after Brother Jasper, a priest at the college who introduced intercollegiate sports to the college.  He was their first athletic director and first baseball coach.  So, the Jaspers are just some old guy, but even some old priest can beat a cardinal.

2 Michigan Wolverines vs.  15 Wofford Terriers.  If these were the bull terriers, things could get interesting.  The Wofford Terrier though, is a Boston terrier.  The wolverine is one of the most terrifying wild animals out there.

10 Arizona State Sun Devils  def. 7 Texas Longhorns.  Supernatural entities are tough.  There’s really no way to gauge the toughness of a completely fictional character.  The origin of the Sun Devil doesn’t help either.  Apparently, the student body didn’t want to be called the bulldogs anymore.

3 Duke Blue Devils def. 14 Mercer Bears.  As has been long established by The Mascot Bracket, the Duke Blue Devil is not supernatural, but was the name of an elite French army unit from World War I.  This is a clear rule #5.

11 Tennessee Volunteers  def. 6 Massachusetts Minutemen and 11 Iowa Hawkeyes.  This is a very tough one.  The Minutemen and the Volunteers are a pretty even matchup.  The Minutemen were from the Revolutionary War.  The Volunteers were from the war of 1812.  Even the Hawkeyes are making this one tough.  They are actually named after a fictional character – a white man who was a companion, hunter, and scout in the book The Last of the Mohicans.  I’m going with Tennessee because of rule #7, I’m guessing that there must have been some advances in weapon technology between 1776 and 1812.  I’m no expert though, almost all I know about guns I learned on Pawn Stars.

Second Round

Tigers def. Wildcats.  A tiger is the king of the wild cats.

Musketeers def. Jaspers. Brother Jasper would, presumably, not be armed.

Blue Devils def. Volunteers.  This is basic timeline stuff.  World War I soldier defeats a War of 1812 soldier.

Sun Devils def. Wolverines.  Seriously, I don’t know what to do with a Sun Devil.  I don’t even know what it is. I suppose the trident helps against the Wolverine.

Sweet 16

Musketeers def. Tigers. Rule #5.

Blue Devil def. Sun Devils.  I really don’t have a good reason for this.  I don’t see the Sun Devil having any extraordinary power.  Do they give the Blue Devils a bad sun burn?  I guess that trident is useful, but not against World War I fire power.

Regional Champion: Duke Blue Devils

The Blue Devil is a more advanced soldier than a Musketeer.

East Region

First Round

1 Virginia Cavaliers def.  16 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. The Chanticleer (SHON ti Clear) are not a fancy light hanging in your Grandma’s dining room.  The school website has a pretty pompous explanation that alludes to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.  It’s a rooster.  A rooster would be run down easily by a Cavalier.

colonial8 Memphis Tigers def. 9 George Washington Colonials.  So, is the Colonial armed?  It looks from this logo like the only thing ol’ George has to defend himself is a flag.  That might work for a little while, but I don’t think it’s going to be enough to fight off a tiger.

5 Cincinnati Bearcats vs. 12 Harvard Crimson. Colors lose. Always.

4 Michigan State Spartans vs. 13 Delaware Blue Hens.  Perhaps the most lopsided of all battles, the Spartan versus a hen is not a pleasant site.

wildcat vs panther15 UW Milwaukee Panthers def. 2 Villanova Wildcats.  It looks like this matchup has already been taken care of in the DC universie, but I don’t have the book, so I don’t know how it ends.  A real Panther has about 100 pounds on a wildcat, so I’m going that direction.

7 Connecticut Huskies def. 10 St. Joseph’s Hawks.  The kid in the St. Joseph’s Hawks outfit never stops flapping his arm, but apparently he only flaps one arm during the anthem out of, um, respect?  I’m not sure how to pick between a bird of prey and a dog.  A husky’s fur is pretty thick, and its jaws are pretty powerful.  I’m going with the Husky.

14 North Carolina Central Eagles def. 3 Iowa State Cyclones. Usually the Cyclone is a formidable foe, but I think the eagle soar over it, avoid it, and wait it out.

6 North Carolina Tar Heels def. 11 Providence Friars.  I don’t think it really matters what a Tar Heel is, the friar isn’t going to put up much of a fight.

Second Round

Cavaliers def. Tigers.  Human with weapon.  This could be an exception to that rule, since the sword is a non-gunpowder weapon, but I’m sticking with the Cavaliers.

Spartans def. Bearcats. Human with weapon.  No exceptions here, despite the lack of gunpowder.

Tar Heels def. Eagles.  We’ll get to whether or not the Tar Heels have a weapon a little later, but for now, I’m sticking with the Heels.

Panters def. Huskies.  I don’t like to think of dogs fighting, so I won’t have much explanation.

Sweet 16

Spartans def. Cavaliers.  Ken Burns recently made a sequel to his groundbreaking documentary, 300.  It reminded us all of how badass Spartans were.

Panthers def. Tar Heels.  This breaks with history as far as the Mascot Bracket is concerned.  I’ve uncovered an origin to the name Tar Heel that goes farther back than the Civil War.  Instead, it appears to go back farther than the Civil War, connecting instead to a laborious, and dirty process of making tar that was an important part of the area economy and development.  That is much less cool than the story about the soldiers.  There’s no inherent weapon here, so the panther has lunch.


Regional Champion: Michigan State Spartans

The Spartans take out the Panther in a clear case of Rule #5

Final Four

final fourWe’ve come to a point where we three armed men with similar firepower and training, and one ancient warrior that was the product of a an entire society aimed at war.  Throw the four of these in a Hunger Games-like arena, and I’m putting my money on the Spartan.  So, does a cowboy defeat a World War I soldier?  The Cowboy is a quintessentially American icon.  I feel like I would be accused of hating America if I pick against the Cowboy against a French soldier.  In the other semi, we have a Civil War soldier versus a Spartan.  When it comes down to it, the gun would just be too much.

Oklahoma State Cowboys def. Duke Blue Devils

Kansas Jayhawks def. Michigan State Spartans

In the championship, it’s the Cowboy versus the Union soldier.  I’m going with the training, and the cause.

National Champion: Kansas Jayhawks def. Oklahoma State Cowboys

You don’t like my picks?  That’s okay.  

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2013 Mascot Bracket

The 2014 Mascot Bracket is out.

Welcome to the Fifth Annual Mascot Bracket.  This has become one of my favorite posts of the year.  It has also become one of my most popular.  If you don’t know what the Mascot Bracket is, then you’ve been missing out on the greatest formula for picking the winner of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.  Instead of picking the winner of each game based on silly things like the talent of the players, experience of the coaches, or the complexities of match-ups  the Mascot Bracket picks the winners based on this:  Which mascot would win in a fight?

There are some important rules to follow.  The rules seem cut-and-dry, but like the Levitical code, the interpretation of these rules can get messy.

If you want to compete with the Mascot Bracket, join this free yahoo group.

The rules

  1. When determining the winner, origins of the nickname are of primary importance (see Blue Devils and Jayhawks).  Current official mascots are used to find out needed details, such as whether or not the mascot is armed, and for disambiguation, such as which type of Aggie?
  2. Inanimate objects, e.g. colors and plants, always lose to animate objects.
  3. Predators beat non-predators and unarmed humans.
  4. Humans beat non-predators.
  5. Humans with weapons beat predators.
  6. Humans with weapons beat humans without weapons.
  7. Humans with superior technology/weapons/training win.
  8. Supernatural beings and killer weather systems defeat human warriors.
  9. Many animals, especially birds and fish, can survive devastating storms.
  10. If the schools have the same mascot, then the higher seed wins.
  11. Prepositions lose to everything. (See explanation of What’s a Hoya)
  12. Don’t turn your back on bears.

Midwest Region

First Round

16 North Carolina A&T Aggies def. 16 Liberty Flames. Right off the bat, there is a tough one.  Aggies are always one of the hardest mascots to pin down.  On the most basic level, an Aggie is simply someone involved in agriculture.  The problem is the “Aggie” is one of the most inconsistent mascots there is.  There are seven schools that are Aggies. Delaware Valley College uses a ram.  New Mexico State uses a guy with a lasso or gun, depending on which logo you use.  Oklahoma Panhandle State uses a slick-looking guy riding a horse. Texas A&M uses Lassie.  UC Davis uses a horse.  Utah State has a anthropomorphised bull.  North Carolina A&T’s Aggie is a bulldog.  So, do I use a farmer, or a bulldog?  Liberty doesn’t make it any eaiser.  A flame is pretty non-descript.  A flame could be a raging fire or a match stick.  Their mascot though, is an Eagle (a flaming Eagle?).  In Bulldog vs Eagle, I pick the bulldog.   This might be disputable, but bulldogs are tough SOBs.  They were bred to fight wild boars and bears.  BEARS.

11 St. Mary’s Gaels def. 11 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders.  If you watch this little video, you learn that at one time the mascot for the MTSU was some guy dressed up as Nathan Bedford Forrest.  This is the same man who is largely identified as the founding father of the Ku Klux Klan.  The video says this practice stopped in the 1960s, and that the blue winged horse named “Lightning” was adopted in the 1990s to update the school’s brand.  According to wikipedia, Lightning was the name of Forrest’s horse, but several other sites identify his horse as “King Phillip.”

The St. Mary’s Gael on the other hand, is a tough one.  In its purest sense, a Gael is simply someone from Ireland or Scotland.  The Gael is not inherently armed, nor particularly fierce.  In some sense, I am a Gael, and I would stand no chance in fighting against a pegasus without (or probably with) a weapon.  St. Mary’s though, uses an armored, mounted, knight as their mascot.  This means we are dealing with a fight between an unmanned pegasus and a mounted knight with lance.  This is a clear, if somewhat fantastic, example of rule #5.

Second round

16 North Carolina A&T Aggies def. 1 Louisville Cardinals.  If the bulldog could take out an eagle, a cardinal wouldn’t have  a chance.  A 16 has never beaten a 1.  Earlier in the year, I predicted this is the year that it would happen.

9 Missouri Tigers def 8 Colorado State Rams.  A ram is pretty tough, but the tiger is one of the most fearsome predators on the planet.

Did someone say Movember Madness?

Did someone say Movember Madness?

5 Oklahoma State Cowboys def 12 Oregon Ducks.  The ducks are going to need more than supplemental health insurance after squaring off against a gun-toting Cowboy.  Plus, the Ok State Cowboy features one of the great mascot mustaches of all-time.  This is one of the biggest blowouts of the first round.

13 New Mexico State Aggies def. 4 Saint Louis Billikens.  I swear, the Aggies need their own rule.  As I said before, New Mexico State  features a farmer with either two six-shooters or a lasso.  The Aggies’ mustache could create quite a second-round match up, if they can get by the Billikens.  Which, of course, brings us to one of the most mysterious mascots in all of college sports.   The story behind the billiken involves a sports writer, a Drug store owner, a student artist, a popular lucky charm from the early 20th century and a basketball coach look alike.  While at first glance, the Billiken looks like it might have some magical powers, beyond luck, it seems defenseless.  So Billiken, you’ve got to ask yourself one question.  Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

The Fighting Scooby Doos are up against the perennial power Blue Devils

The Fighting Scooby Doos are up against the perennial power Blue Devils

2 Duke Blue Devils def. 15 Albany Great Danes.  Albany has a unique mascot.  According to Slackcat.com, they are the only Great Danes in college sports.  Going into the tournament, I was pulling for the Fighting Scoobies.  Unfortunately, they don’t have much of a chance against the Blue Devils.  Fans of the Mascot Bracket should know by now that the Blue Devils are named for an elite World War I unit that were renowned for their courage.  Before Duke was named after the Blue Devils, they were known by some as “The Methodists,” whose biggest rivals were the Wake Forest “Baptists.”  So, sorry Scooby,  that Blue Devil  is not Old Man Withers from the haunted amusement park.  He’s a well-trained soldier.

10 Cincinatti Bearcats def. 7 Creighton Blue Jays.  While a blue jay is considered a pretty mean bird, it would not stand a chance against the binturong.

Ken Burns' "The Spartans"

Ken Burns’ “The Spartans”

3 Michigan State Spartans vs 14 Valparaiso Crusaders.  This is another tough match-up.  Sparta was a city-state devoted to building soldiers.  Everything in the society contributed to one goal: creating shining, almost chromatic abs (as  seen in Ken Burns’ documentary 300*).  The Crusaders are knights in shining armor.  So here we have the question: Abs of Steel or actual steel?  It is really hard to bet against a Spartan against any human without gunpowder.

11 St. Mary’s Gaels def. 6 Memphis Tigers.  While this would be an interesting match, I have to invoke rule 5 again.

Third Round

8 Missouri Tigers def 16 NC A&T Aggies.  I’m still in awe of the bear-fighting bulldogs, but Tigers are pretty intense.  I mean, clearly Tigers are no match for an Indian kid on a boat with a stick, but still.  I’m going with the Tigers.

13 New Mexico State Aggies def. 5 Oklahoma State Cowboys.  The Aggies and the Cowboys are virtually identical.  This looks like a Rule 10 match.  The only discernible difference lies in the quality of their mustache.  While the Oklahoma State Cowboy is unkempt and bushy, the NMSU Aggie could be played by Ron Swanson.

This might be the greatest picture I've ever created.

This might be the greatest picture I’ve ever created.

2 Duke Blue Devils def. 10 Cincinatti Bearcats.  Rule #5

3 Michigan State Spartans def. 11 St. Mary’s Gaels.  For almost the exact same reasons as Michigan State’s second round win.

Regional Semifinals 

13 The Fighting Ron Swansons def. 8 Missouri Tigers.  Afterwards, Ron has tiger meat for dinner.

2 Duke Blue Devils def. 3 Michigan State Spartans.  The abs are glorious, but they cannot stop bullets.

Regional Final: Duke Blue Devils def. New Mexico State Fighting Ron Swansons. “Capitalism is what makes America great, England ok, and France terrible” (Ron Swanson, in Parks and Rec).  The Blue Devils were a French unit in World War I, and while the French now have a terrible military reputation, for centuries the French were the most respected army in the world.  This is a tough call to make, but I have mad respect for the French army in World War I.

South Region

Second Round

The result is the Western Kentucky Hilltopper

The result is the Western Kentucky Hilltopper

1 Kansas Jayhawks def. 16 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.  The Western Kentucky Hilltopper looks like the love child of the Red M&M and Ronald McDonald’s best friend.  If I had to guess the origin of the WKU Hilltoppers, I would have thought it had something to do with a Civil War battle or group of soldiers.  Nope.  According to this article, the Hilltoppers got their name from moving the campus, yes, up a hill.  This means that a Hilltopper is simply a college student carrying a box.  This does not paint the picture of a fierce fighter, but neither does a Jayhawk, which bears a striking resemblance to Foghorn Leghorn.

I say. I say, I say, what is a Jayhawk, boy?

I say. I say, I say, what is a Jayhawk, boy?

The story behind the Jayhawk though, reveals that it is much tougher than that.  The term Jayhawk comes from one of the most tumultuous eras in our nation’s history.  As Kansas approached statehood, there was a great debate over whether it would be a slave or free state.  It was decided that it would be decided by a vote of its citizens.  This resulted in a whole slew of shenanigans from both free-state and slave-state supporters.  Those engaging in the shenanigans became known as Jayhawkers.  No one is quite sure where that term came from.  Eventually though, it became identified with the free-staters.  All of this means that a Jayhawk is someone willing to steal a horse, burn down a house, damage crops, or possibly turn violent.  A Hilltopper is suck-up student carrying some books.

8 North Carolina Tar Heels def. 9 Villanova Wildcats.  There are two stories about where the term Tar Heel came from.  The cooler one is that Robert E. Lee used it to describe a group of North Carolinan soldiers who were so unlikely to retreat that the only explanation was that their heels were stuck to the ground with tar.  This means a Tar Heel is a Civil War soldier, which can shoot a wildcat.

5 Virginia Commonwealth Rams def. 12 Akron Zips. While the Zips use a Kangaroo as their mascot, the origin of the name Zips is actually a shoe.  Zip is short for Zipper, which was the name of a popular shoe from the early 1900s that was made of rubber.  Akron is the rubber capital of the world.  You see the logic? A kangaroo versus a ram would have been a very interesting fight.  A ram against a shoe?

sdsujackrabbits4 Michigan Wolverines vs 13 South Dakota State Jackrabbits.  This is one of the few battles in his bracket that could actually happen in nature.  It would not turn out well for the Jackrabbits.

2 Georgetown Hoyas vs. 15 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles.  What’s a hoya? The very question could  be translated as “What’s a what?”  Let’s just say Georgetown’s only hope for advancing in this bracket is to play Ohio State, Harvard, or Syracuse.

10 Oklahoma Sooners def. 7 San Diego State Aztecs.  This one really puts the rules to the test.  Neither the Aztec nor the Sooner is inherently armed.  Neither mascot is depicted with a weapon.  If they could get their hands on some arms, an Aztec would be caught holding a spear while looking down the barrel of a rifle.

14 Northwestern State Demons def. 3 Florida Gators.  An early favorite emerges as the Demon is going to be tough to beat.  There is no origin or explanation to the demon beyond the supernatural.

6 UCLA Bruins vs 11 Minnesota Golden Gophers.  If the gopher is solid gold, it is an inanimate object.  If it just a golden-colored gopher, it gets eaten by the bruin.

Third Round

1 Kansas Jayhawks def. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels.  The Jayhawks eventually became the name of a regiment of Union soldiers in the Civil War.  Not sure if the Union Jayhawks or the Confederate  Tar Heels would win?  I think history tells us this answer.

4 Michigan Wolverines def 5 VCU Rams.  This, to me, feels like a fight between a trained fencer and a MMA brawler.  The ram is incredibly powerful with what he does, but if faced with an angry wolverine, I don’t see it having much of a chance.

10 Oklahoma Sooners def. Florida GC Eagles.  I might be stretching the rules here, but I think a sooner has a weapon.

14 Northwestern State Demons def. UCLA Bruins.  I’m not even sure how this works.  Perhaps the Demon actually possesses the Bruin, takes over its body, and becomes  some sort of super-evil-Bear.

Regional Semifinals

1 Kansas Jayhawks def. 4 Michigan Wolverine. That is assuming that the Jayhawk makes the first shot count.  If he needs two, things could get interesting.

14 Northwestern State Demons def. Oklahoma Sooners.  Even the Sooner’s rifle can’t stop the possessed bear.

Regional Final: Northwestern State Demons defeat Kansas Jayhawks.  This is an unlikely pick, but I have to go with Northwestern STate to make the Final Four.  I’m not sure how a Demon is going to get beaten.

East Region

First Round

Duke of Crowborough. Not sure if he's a fighter.

Duke of Crowborough. Not sure if he’s a fighter.

16 James Madison Dukes def. 16 LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds.  I don’t know much about Dukes (maybe I need to watch more Downton Abbey), but I’m thinking this guy could handle a blackbird.

1 Indiana Hoosiers def. 16 James Madison Dukes.  The origin of the Hoosiers is clouded in mystery.  There are many theories, but it seems like a Hoosier is simply someone from Indiana.  A Duke, no matter their crown-wearing bulldog mascot, is a level of British royalty.  Neither a Hoosier nor a Duke is inherently armed.  I don’t know any Dukes.  I do know a couple of Hoosiers.  They are good guys, so I’m betting on them, with a touch of rule #10.

8 North Carolina State Wolfpack def. 9 Temple Owls.  The Wolf Pack has a number advantage.  A pack of wolves is an intimidating force. A lone owl would not stand a chance

5 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels def. 12 California Golden Bears.  Despite Rule 17, I’m going with the Rebels.  That is a mighty big shotgun he’s toting.  And it is an even mightier mustache.

13 Montana Grizzlies def. 4 Syracuse Orange.  Syracuse is an early-round exit every year.  Montana is a perennial Cinderella pick.

2 Miami Hurricanes def. 15 Pacific Tigers.  A Tiger is tough, but I don’t think it can stand up to the winds of a hurricane.

7 Illinois Fighting Illini def. 10 Colorado Buffaloes.  This matchup has some historic roots.  The Native American versus the Tatonka.  The Illini win this battle, but they do so with the utmost respect.  They are good stewards of the gifts the buffalo provides, and they do not put the species at risk by wasteful over-hunting.

Do you want to mess with this guy?

Do you want to mess with this guy?

3 Marquette Golden Eagles def. 14 Davidson Wildcats.  A wildcat is not a very big animal.  An Eagle would have to take more than one swipe, but I think it would wear out the wildcat.

6 Butler Bulldogs def. 11 Bucknell Bison.  A Bison is 2000 pound animal with huge horns on its head.  But it is usually pretty docile.  A Bulldog was bred, as I said before, to hunt wild boars and bears.  In the wild, a Bison doesn’t have many predators, though in my reading I found that a wolf pack could prey on one, and a single wolf has been known to take down a bison.  Bison vs bulldog is a fascinating match.  This cute video of bulldog puppies doesn’t paint a fierce picture of the breed, but I’m still leaning toward the bulldog.

Third Round

Even Harry Hoosier would  lose to a wolf pack

Even Harry Hoosier would lose to a wolf pack

8 North Carolina State Wolfpack def. 1 Indiana Hoosiers.  Really, the hoosier doesn’t have a lot of hope in the Mascot Bracket.  One student is trying to change that.  This Facebook group is lobbying to change Indiana’s mascot to a Buffalo-looking creature called Howie Hoosier.  It is an uphill battle.  They have 19 members.  Even if Indiana was this strange boxing buffalo, we have already learned that a wolf pack is a natural predator of the Buffalo.

5 UNLV Runnin Rebels def. 13 Montana Grizzlies.  This Rebel better be a good shot.  He took out the Cal Bear in his first game.  He would have to take out the Grizzly to advance to the Sweet 16.

2 Miami Hurricanes def. 7 Illinois Fighting Illini.  Severe weather systems are tough to beat.  The Illini could  wait it out, but it is a pretty formidable foe.

6 Butler Bulldogs def. 3 Marquette Golden Eagles.  If Marquette were still the Warriors (as the CBS announcer incorrectly called them during the Selection Show), they would stand a chance, but Bulldog vs. Eagle was already decided in the Midwest Region.

Regional Semifinals

8 North Carolina State Wolfpack def. 5 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels.  The Rebel isn’t going to be able to reload fast enough to take down a whole pack.

2 Miami Hurricanes def. 6 Butler Bulldogs.  Again, it is hard to stand up to a hurricane.

Regional Final: Miami Hurricanes def. North Carolina State Wolfpack.  In the last five years, 187 people in the US have been killed by hurricanes.  20 people have been killed by wolf attacks in the world since 2000.  The Hurricane is clearly more dangerous to humans.  While it is possible to imagine that a couple of wolves could somehow survive a hurricane, thus allowing the pack to survive, I think it’s a long shot.

West Region

First Round

Somebody brought a knife to a gun fight.

Somebody brought a knife to a gun fight.

13 Boise State Broncos def. 13 La Salle Explorers.  The Explorer would be able to see the bronco coming from a distance, so it would not be a surprise attack.  Being prepared probably wouldn’t help him much as the Bronco trampled his jaunty hat.

Second Round

16 Southern Jaguars def. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs.  According to Bleacher Report, the bulldog is the most frequently used mascot in division one sports.  By now, my admiration for the toughness if a bulldog is clear, but a jaguar can weigh up to 300 pounds.  I just don’t see the bulldog standing much of a chance.  My biggest wish though, is that the amazing Human Juke Box would play at halftime and form the score of the game.  That would be sweet.

The Human Juke Box

8 Pittsburgh Panthers def. 9 Wichita State Shockers. The Shocker mascot is a bundle of wheat that looks like the merry-go-round operator in Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.  A panther is a huge predatory cat that is looking ahead to an epci battle with the jaguar.

5 Wisconsin Badgers def. 12 Ole Miss Rebels.  At first I thought this was a clear case of Rule 5.  Then a closer look reveals that the Ole Miss Rebels is really, um, Old.  He’s an old guy with a cane, not a soldier toting a rifle.  The badger is a nasty little animal that clearly don’t give a care.  I don’t think the cane is going to help.

13 Boise State Broncos def. 4 Kansas State Wildcats.  A wild cat is really not an impressive animal.  If it was a wildcat versus my garbage can lid, I’d pick the cat. I’m going with the bronco on this one.

15 Iona Gaels def. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes.  I hate The Ohio State University.

10 Iowa State Cyclones def. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  The end result of this match might be the origin story for how the munchkins came to live in Oz.

3 New Mexico Lobos def. 14 Harvard Crimson.  Colors always lose.

11 Belmont Bruins def. 6 Arizona Wildcats.  Not even a close fight.

Third Round

8 Pittsburgh Panthers def. 16 Southern Jaguars.  Jaguars and panthers are pretty much the same animal.  The difference lies in location, habitat, and color.  Ties go to the higher seed.

13 Boise State Broncos def. 5 Wisconsin Badgers.  I just don’t see how a little badger could take down a huge horse.  I think eventually the little crazy honey badger would get trampled.

10 Iowa State Cyclones def 15 Iona Gaels.  The cyclones are sticking with the Celts in the first two rounds.  The Gael won’t do any better than the Fighting Irish.


Probably a photo shop image, but still intriguing.

11 Belmont Bruin def. New Mexico Lobos.  This National Geographic video depicts a stand off between a wolf and a bear in the wild.  The narrator says, the bear “can break a wolf’s back with a single swipe of her paw.”  In the end, the wolves are chased off by the bear.

Regional Semifinals

8 Pittsburgh Panthers def. 13 Boise State Broncos. I just don’t see the horse having enough offense to combat the ferocity of a 300 pound panther.

10 Iowa State Cyclones def. 11 Belmont Bruins.  In meteorological terms, a cyclone is simple a low-pressure weather pattern of swirling clouds.  In common usage though, it is used synonymously with tornado.  A tornado can reach wind speeds of 300 mph, and could toss a brown bear miles in the air.

Regional Final: Iowa State Cyclone def. Pittsburgh Panthers. While survival is possible, I just don’t give the panther a real good shot of making it.

Final Four

final four

Iowa State Cyclones defeat Duke Blue Devils. Again, survival is possible if there is adequate shelter, but in the Mascot Bracket Arena, I don’t see it happening.

Miami Hurricanes defeat Northwestern State Devils. I honestly have no idea how to argue this.  A weather system versus the supernatural entity is the hardest type of Mascot fight to pick.  I think Rule #10 applies here as much as anything.

Miami Hurricanes defeat Iowa State Cyclones.  I’m going with total destructive path on this one.  A cyclone packs a higher top speed, but inflicts damage in a more precise manner.  Hurricanes bring not only wind, but flood waters and affect regions with a much broader stroke.  If we’re looking at the actual mascot, the angry Pelican or the strange whirling Cardinal are not going to win any intimidation contests, but that’s not what I’m looking at.  I guess you could argue that this isn’t really a Mascot bracket so much as it is a nickname contest.  Feel free to comment below.  Just remember, in 2010 the Mascot Bracket won my yahoo group – beating picking all the favorites, Joe Lunardi, my actual picks, and President Obama.  Happy March!

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2012 Mascot Bracket

2011 Mascot Bracket

2010 Mascot Bracket

2009 Mascot Bracket

Also of interest – The Best College Basketball Program Without a National Championship

*Ken Burns did not actually produce the movie 300.


Filed under Sports

The 2012 Mascot Bracket

Iowa State Cyclones have a pretty formidable mascot. It is really hard to beat a weather system, even if it is some strange tornado-bird hybrid.

The 2013 Mascot Bracket

Filling out the bracket is one of my favorite annual events.  I’ve been filling out brackets for over 25 years.  In all my years of filling out brackets, I’ve only won a group once.  I stopped doing pay-for-play brackets many years ago, but I did finish in the money once when I was a kid.  The only time I’ve ever won a group was in 2010, when my Mascot Bracket beat about 30 other submissions in my free yahoo group.  Among the submissions were President Obama’s and Joe Lunardi, the man who coined the term “bracketology.”

What is the Mascot Bracket?  It is simple: pick the winners of the entire NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament based solely on which mascot would win in a fight.  To accomplish this task, I have come up with some rules.  The 2012 bracket has the first major rule change.  In the past, I used a simple food-chain style set of rules which placed weather systems at the top.  I’ve decided to make a change, so that the rules form more of a rocks-paper-scissors format.

Do you think you can do better than The Mascot Bracket?  Then join this free yahoo group.

Click here for a pdf version of the Mascot Bracket.

The rules

      1. Inanimate objects, e.g. colors and plants, always lose to animate objects.
      2. Predators beat non-predators and unarmed humans.
      3. Humans beat non-predators.
      4. Humans with weapons beat predators.
      5. Humans with weapons beat humans without weapons.
      6. Humans with superior weapons/training win.
      7. Supernatural beings and killer weather systems defeat human warriors.
      8. Many animals, especially birds and fish, can survive devastating storms.
      9. Ties go to the high seed.
      10. Prepositions lose to everything. (See explanation of What’s a Hoya)

17.  Don’t turn your back on bears.

South Region (Atlanta)

First Round

Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils def. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.  We start right off the bat with two unique mascots.  The Hilltopper’s Big Red is perhaps the most mysterious mascot of them all.  He looks like the love-child of the Red M&M and Ronald McDonald’s best friend. At first, I thought a hilltopper was going to be some sort of military guy – someone like Teddy Roosevelt reaching the top of San Juan Hill.  I was wrong. The only explanation I can come up with for the name “Hilltopper” is that the school, in Bowling Green, is a beautiful hilltop campus.     A Delta Devil is some sort of demonic creature that I presume comes from the Mississippi Valley.  The school’s website doesn’t give a lot of help.  Western Kentucky’s Big Red really defies all the rules. I suppose the only category it can fall into is the non-predatory animal.  The Delta Devil looks like it will be pretty tough to beat, even in that fancy green cape.

Second Round

(16) Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils def. (1) Kentucky Wildcats.  A game like this just makes me shake my head and consider instituting a No. 1 seed exemption.  Seriously, No. 16 seeds are 0-108 in the history of the tournament, and I already know I’m picking at least two to win this year.  This Delta Devil is going to be tough to beat.

(8) Iowa State Cyclones def. (9) Connecticut Huskies.  This is kind of sad to think about, but I just don’t see how a Huskie stands up to a Cyclone.

These two look like cousins to me.

(12) Virginia Commonwealth Rams def. (5) Wichita State Shockers.  A Shocker is basically a walking shock of wheat that has a Lady Elaine-like profile.  When you get down to it, a Shocker is just a pile of grass.  Even if you go back to the mascot’s roots, which paid homage to the fact that many Wichita State students shocked wheat as a summer job, I don’t think their heads would be hard enough to take out  a ram.

(12) New Mexico State Aggies def. (5) Indiana Hoosiers.  A few years ago New Mexico State really hurt its own chances in the mascot bracket by giving the guy in their logo a lasso instead of a six-shooter.  Fortunately for the Aggies, a Hoosier is just a person from Indiana.  While I found this pretty interesting explanation for the etymology of the word Hoosier, it really doesn’t help their cause.

(2) Duke Blue Devils def. (15) Lehigh Mountain Hawks.  The Blue Devils are a perennial power in the Mascot Bracket (see 2010).  At first glance, they seem to be a supernatural entity, bound for an epic clash against the Delta Devil in later rounds.  After doing some research a couple of years ago though, I found that the Blue Devils are named for a squadron of French military made famous in World War I.  A soldier shoots any kind of hawk, even a  mountain one.

(10) Xavier Musketeers def. (7) Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  This is actually a fight that I could imagine happening.  Couldn’t you just imagine a hard-nosed Irishmen’s reaction if this guy walked into a pub.  He would certainly pick a fight.  Unfortunately for Patty though, the Musketeer would have a musket (or he would be known as something else).  Unless the Fighting Irish start the fight with a sucker punch (which isn’t beyond the realm of imagination), the Musketeer wins.

(3) Baylor Bears def. (14) South Dakota State Jackrabbits.  This one wouldn’t really be a fight.  It would just be a snack.

(6) UNLV Runnin’ Rebels def. (11) Colorado Buffaloes.  A man out west with a gun versus a buffalo.  I think history has taught us how this one ends up.

Third Round

Iowa State Cyclones def. Mississippi Valley Delta Devils.  This is an epic match-up.  A super-natural entity against a killer weather system.  I’m going with the Cyclone because it is a real thing and they are the higher seed.

New Mexico State Aggies def. VCU Rams.  A look at the Aggies official site reveals that farmer is still packin’ steal.  That means Ram stew.

Duke Blue Devils def. Xavier Musketeers.  Rule 6 – Superior weapons.

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels def. Baylor Bears.  Rule 5 – Human with weapon.

Regional Semis and Finals

Iowa State Cyclones def. New Mexico State Aggies.  Duke Blue Devils def. Runnin’ Rebels.  Iowa State punches their ticket to New Orleans by blowing past the Blue Devils.

West Region (Phoenix)

First Round

The Iona Gaels have a mascot that is “spunky” and “is consistent with the school motto ‘fight the good fight'” (from the official website)

Iona Gaels def. BYU Cougars.  In my real bracket, I’m picking Iona to be this year’s VCU.  That probably means they’ll get beat by the Jimmerless Cougars.  In the mascot bracket, that little club is enough to fight off the cougar (okay, maybe its a little Scotch-Irish bias, but I’m a McCoy!).

Second Round

(1)Michigan State Spartans def. (16) LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds.  This time the No. 1 seed cruises.

This statue sits on the campus of Saint Louis University. Reminds me of that old SNL skit, “You put your… in there”

(8) Memphis Tigers def. (9) Saint Louis Billikens.  A Billiken is basically a chochtky (sp?).  It’s a made-up good luck charm that some lady dreamed of 100 years ago.  Weird, right?  Picture a tiger – a huge, ferocious tiger – fighting the old troll key chain you had in high school.  Not much of a fight, is it?

(12) Long Beach State 49ers def. (5) New Mexico Lobos.  First of all, I love the fact that Long Beach State’s uniforms read simply “The Beach” across their chest.  That doesn’t help them much in this fight against a wolf.  What does help them is the giant pick ax this dude is carrying.

(13) Davidson Wildcats def. (4) Louisville Cardinals.  I’m not really sure how this fight would go down, but I don’t see a Cardinal being able to mount much of an offense.  Does Steph Curry have any eligibility left?

(15) Norfolk State Spartans def. (2) Missouri Tigers.  I would really like to make the case for the Tigers here, but if this Mascot Bracket is going to have any integrity, I have to go with the armed and well-trained Spartan (plus, Michigan State vs. Memphis is coming in the next round of this region, and I assume your memory is long enough to notice if I am inconsistent here).

(10) Virginia Cavaliers def. (7) Florida Gators.  I’m not sure if a sword is enough to take on a Gator, but if Swamp People has taught me anything, it has taught me that Gators can be manhandled by anybody (BTW, Swamp People hasn’t taught me anything).

(14) Iona Gaels def. (3) Marquette Golden Eagles.  Rule 4 – human with a weapon.

(6) Murray State Racers def. (11) Colorado State Rams.  This is a genuinely difficult one to judge, but the Murray State Racer is a thoroughbred horse.  I could probably be swayed, but I think a horse is just too powerful.

Third Round

Michigan State Spartans def. Memphis Tigers.  See the previous round – Norfolk State over Missouri.

Long Beach State 49ers def. Davidson Wildcats. Again, the man with the pick axe takes out the overgrown cat.

Norfolk State Spartans def. Virginia Cavaliers.

Murray State Racers def. Iona Gaels.  This is an exception to rule 4.  I just don’t see that shillelagh being enough against the thousand pound horse.

Regional Semis and Finals

Michigan State Spartans def. Long Beach State 49ers.  The Spartans were some of the greatest warriors in history.  The 49ers were some guys hoping to score a gold nugget.  It would be a massacre.  The Norfolk State Spartans def. the Murray State Racers.  Again, Spartans are bad-asses.  Finally, Michigan State Spartans def. the Norfolk State Spartans because ties go to the higher seed.

East Region (Boston)

Second Round

(16) UNC Asheville Bulldogs def. (1) Syracuse Orange.  At least when Syracuse was the Orange Men, they had a fighting chance.  Now that they’re just a color, they kill my mascot bracket every year.

(9) Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles def. (8) Kansas State Wildcats.  Air-ground battles are the hardest to decide.  It’s hard to imagine how this fight would even work, but I’m not sure how the wildcat would be able to mount an offense.  Eagles are pretty powerful birds, and wildcats are not very big.  A couple of good strikes at 80 mph would probably do it.

(5) Vanderbilt Commodores def. (12) Harvard Crimson.  People love picking the Ivy League upset, but I don’t see it happening.  This has already been established.  Colors lose to everything.

(13) Montana Grizzlies def. (4) Wisconsin Badgers.  Badgers are mean, but one would not stand a chance against an 800 pound grizzly bear.

(15) Loyola (MD) Greyhounds def. (2) Ohio State Buckeye.  Remember when I said that colors lose to everything?  So do plants.  This region is killing me.

(10) West Virginia Mountaineers def. (7) Gonzaga Bulldogs.  Mountaineers usually go pretty far in this bracket, largely due to the large beard, I mean shotgun, this guy is sporting.

(3) Florida State Seminoles def. (13) St. Bonaventure Bonnies.  The Bonnies have gone through several different mascots over the years.  They have settled on the Bona-Wolf.   A Seminole could kill a wolf.

(11) Texas Longhorn def. (6) Cincinnati Bearcats.  Bearcats are also known as Binturongs, which I think is a much cooler mascot name.  They are tough little creatures, and a match against a Badger would be interesting.  A match against a Longhorn would just be cruel.

Third Round

Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles def. UNC Asheville Bulldogs.  If an eagle can beat a wildcat, it could beat a poor bulldog too.

Vanderbilt Commodores def. Montana Grizzlies.  While a matchup between a Grizzly and The Commodores would be brutal, but I don’t think that is the kind of Commodore we’re talking about.

West Virginia Mountaineers def. Loyola (MD)Greyhounds.  Rule 4 – human with weapon.

Florida State Seminoles def. Texas Longhorns.  Again, rule 4.

Regional Semis and Finals

Vanderbilt Commodores def. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.  Florida State Seminoles def. West Virginia Mountaineers.  I feel like I might be getting into hostile and abusive territory here, so I’ll forgo more explanation, and just put Vanderbilt into the Final Four.

Midwest Region (Saint Louis)

First Round

Vermont Catamounts def. Lamar Cardinals.  In case you were wondering, a cardinal is a little red bird that is quite popular in the midwest.  I’m pretty sure the big wild cat would eat it.

California Golden Bears def. South Florida Bulls.  This would be a devastatingly violent affair.  This is all about rule 17.

Second Round

(1) North Carolina Tar Heels def. (16) Vermont Catamounts.  The Tar Heel name is the stuff of legend, but according to the UNC website, it started during the Civil War and refers either to the North Carolina soldiers’ stubborn ability to stand and fight, as if they had tar on their heels; or was a slur used to make fun of the poor and dirty soldiers that made tar.  For the purposes of the Mascot Bracket, I’m going with civil war soldier.

(9) Alabama Crimson Tide def. (8) Creighton Blue Jays.  The Crimson Tide pose an interesting problem.  Are they a weather-like mascot – like the tide rolling in?  Are they just a color?  Or are they elephants?  If they are the tide rolling in, a blue jay could wait that out easily.  If they are a color, then the animate bird wins.  I’m going with elephant.  Roll Tide.

(12) California Golden Bears def. (5) Temple Owls.  Do I really need to explain this?

(4) Michigan Wolverine def. (13) Ohio Bobcats. My gut is with Hugh Jackman.  This website concurs.

(15) Detroit Titans def. (2) Kansas Jayhawks.  The Titans ruled the world before the Greek gods defeated them.  They are also guys that look a lot like Spartans when turned into mascots.  Jayhawks, besides looking a lot like a Foghorn Leg-horn, actually have a pretty interesting history.   According to the school website, the Jayhawk refered to pioneers in Kansas that bugged other pioneers, notably from Nebraska.  As Kansas moved toward statehood, there was quite a public debate over whether Kansas would be a free or a slave state.  Ruffians on both sides of this battle were dubbed “Jayhawkers” and were known to rob, vandalize, sack, set fire to, and steal horses from the other side.  In time, the Jayhawks referred mainly to the free-staters.  So, that is a very long-winded way to determine that the true meaning of Jayhawk is not a stupid little bird, but a 1850s thug that was against slavery. Pretty cool, yes.  Able to defeat a Greek god?  I don’t think so.

This Gael is significantly different and more formidable than the Iona Gael.

(7) St. Mary’s Gaels def. (10) Purdue Boilermakers.  The Boilermaker has a big hammer, but this version of the Gael is in full armor.

(14) Belmont Bruin def. (3) Georgetown Hoyas.  And now, my annual explanation of Rule 10.  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 bulldog could be tough, but not against a Bruin (Rule 17).

(11) North Carolina State Wolfpack def. (6) San Diego State Aztecs.  I am so tempted to insert a clip from The Hangover here, but it is kind of vulgar, so I won’t.  Just google “one man wolfpack” for a laugh.  The truth is, if NC State were a one-man wolfpack, the Aztecs could win.  I’m assuming its an actual pack, and  this statue confirms this.

Third Round

North Carolina Tar Heels def. Alabama Crimson Tide.  This is a tough call, but I’m invoking rule 4.

California Golden Bears def. Michigan Wolverines.  Sorry Red Dawn, Rule 17 strikes again.

St. Mary’s Gaels def. Detroit Titans. This is the mascot the Titans use.  Have you seen Full Metal Jousting?  That stuff is insane.  I’m going with the guy in full armor.

NC State Wolfpack def. Belmont Bruins.  Bears are tough, but a whole pack of wolves would never have to turn its back.

Regional Semis and Finals

North Carolina Tar Heels def. California Golden Bears.  Rule 4. St Mary’s Gaels def. NC State Wolfpack.  Rule 4, plus the armor would go a long way in fighting off wolf bites.  North Carolina Tar Heels def. St. Mary’s Gaels.  I don’t think the armor would stop the bullet.

Final Four (New Orleans)

Iowa State Cyclones def. Michigan State Spartans.

North Carolina Tar Heels def. Vanderbilt Commodores.  This is a tough one.  The Commodore outranks the Tar Heel, but that doesn’t mean he’s tougher.  I’ll take the hardened Civil War vet in a fight.

Iowa State Cyclones def. North Carolina Tar Heel.  The Tar Heel might stick in the mud, but it wouldn’t be enough to stand against a cyclone.

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2011 Mascot Bracket

2010 Mascot Bracket

2009 Mascot Bracket

Also of interest – The Best College Basketball Program Without a National Championship


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The 2011 Mascot Bracket

The 2013 Mascot Bracket

It is now time for the third annual mascot bracket.  Tired of losing every year with my own basketball knowledge, I decided to divise a very scientific method of picking the NCAA tournament.  It all revolves around this question:

Which mascot would win in a fight?  For schools that have different nicknames than mascots, I defer to the meaning of the nickname.  For example, last year I determined that a Blue Devil is not a supernatural being.  The Blue Devils were a fighting squadron from World War I.  With nicknames that are ambiguous – especially about whether or not they are armed, I might defer to the logo or mascot.

Last year, I entered the Mascot Bracket into a yahoo public group.  There were about 30 entries, including the picks of Joe Lunardi, President Barack Obama, My three-year-old daughter, all the top seeds, and me.  The Mascot Bracket won, and finished in the 84th percentile.  Also, all mascots are treated as individuals unless they are specifically plural.

The rules:

There are a few rules to follow:

  1. Inanimate objects, e.g. colors and plants, always lose to animate objects.
  2. Predators beat non-predators and unarmed humans.
  3. Humans beat non-predators.
  4. Humans with weapons beat predators.
  5. Humans with weapons beat humans without weapons.
  6. Humans with superior weapons/fighter training win.
  7. Supernatural beings and killer weather systems are tough to beat.
  8. Ties go to the high seed.
  9. Prepositions lose to everything.


Alabama State Hornets def. UT San Antonio Road Runners.  The hornet can sting multiple times.  The road runner has no discernable offense.  It might take awhile, but the hornet wins.  Things are looking good for the Hornets, who have the luck of taking on a plant next.

Alabama-Birmingham Blazers def. Clemson Tigers.  I thought this would be tougher, expecting that, like the former Portland basketball team, the blazers was short for trailblazers.  I was wrong.  Apparantly, the Blazers are a bad-ass dragon with blazing fire out its mouth.  They are going to be tough to beat.Southern California Trojans def. Virginia Commonwealth Rams.  Armed human over animal (Rule 4).

Arkansas Little Rock Trojans def. North Carolina Ashville Bulldogs. A Trojan will beat a bulldog even easier than he would beat a Ram.


(16) Alabama State Hornets def. (1) Ohio State Buckeyes.  The Ohio State University kills me every year.  The 16-seed hornet takes out the buckeye, as per Rule #1.

(8) George Mason Patriots def. Villanova Wildcats.  Armed human shoots the wildcat.

(12) UAB Blazers def. (5) West Virginia Mountaineers.  Usually the armed man defeats the predatory animal.  But usually the predatory animal isn’t a GIANT FIRE BREATHING DRAGON!!! I’ve seen Harry Potter, and no hillbilly with a shotgun is going to take out an Hungarian Horntail.

(13) Princeton Tigers def. Kentucky Wildcats.  A big mean, predatory cat devours the much smaller, mean, predatory cat.

(3) Syracuse Orange def. Indiana State Sycamores.  Seriously, when I saw this draw I laughed out loud.  Every year Syracuse is an early exit from the Mascot Bracket.  They finally found a matchup they could win.  The color versus the tree would undoubtedly be the least entertaining of all of these matchups.  This has to defer to RULE #8 – ties go to the higher seed.

(6) Xavier Musketeers def. (11) Marquette Golden Eagles.  Muskets aren’t the most accurate gun ever invented, but all it would take is one shot, unless of course the Golden Eagle is made of actual gold.  But then it wouldn’t really be able to mount much of an offense

(7) Washington Huskies def. (10) Georgia Bulldogs.  In a (excuse the pun) dog-eat-dog matchup, I’d have to go with the Husky.  And this youtube video proves it.  It is of an actual bulldog and a husky pit against each other in fierce competition.  In the end, the Husky clearly comes out on top (just watch it).

(2) North Carolina Tar Heels def. (15) Long Island Blackbirds. The Tar Heel name is the stuff of legend, but according to the UNC website, it started during the Civil War and refers either to the North Carolina soldiers’ stubborn ability to stand and fight, as if they had tar on their heels; or was a slur used to make fun of the poor and dirty soldiers that made tar.  For the purposes of the Mascot Bracket, I’m going with civil war soldier.


(8) George Mason Patriots def. Alabama State Hornets.  No weapon needed, just a hand or rolled up copy of “Common Sense”

(12) UAB Blazers def. Princeton Tigers.  “Princeton yells for Tigers, and Wisonsin for Varsity,” but the Blazers would eat roast cat.(6) Xavier Musketeers def. Syracuse Orange.  RULE #1

(2) North Carolina Tar Heels def. Huskies. RULE #4


Blazers def. Patriots

Tar Heels def. Musketeers RULE #6

Tar Heels def. Blazers.  Okay, so you might be asking, would a civil war soldier be able to beat a dragon?  Would a Tar Heel be able to do what a Mountaineer, Tiger, and Patriot failed to do?  Well, the Tar Heel just shot a Musketeer and a Huskie without a challenge.  The Dragon has been shot at by two different people and taken some nasty tiger bites.  I’m saying the dragon is more weakened by the previous three rounds than the tar heel.  If you think I’m wrong, make your own mascot bracket.  Besides, its RULE #4.


I say. I say, I say, what is a Jayhawk, boy?

(1) Kansas Jayhawks def. (16) Boston Terriers.  The Jayhawks present quite a problem.  The mascot itself resembles foghorn leghorn.  According to some research, it is actually supposed to be a cross between a Blue Jay (because its annoying) and a Sparrow Hawk (because it is a stealthy hunter).  If you go by this, then it is not particularly intimidating.  Granted, neither is a boston terrier, but I’d still pick the terrier over an annoying bird.  However, I have a tradition of going back to the meaning of the mascot.  According to the school website, the Jayhawk refered to pioneers in Kansas that bugged other pioneers, notably from Nebraska.  As Kansas moved toward statehood, there was quite a public debate over whether Kansas would be a free or a slave state.  Ruffians on both sides of this battle were dubbed “Jayhawkers” and were known to rob, vandalize, sack, set fire to, and steal horses from the other side.  In time, the Jayhawks referred mainly to the free-staters.  So, that is a very long-winded way to determine that the true meaning of Jayhawk is not a stupid little bird, but a 1850s thug that was against slavery.  In other words, RULE #4.

(8) Illinois Fighting Illini def. (9) UNLV Runnin’ Rebels .  This is another tough one.  Neither the Rebel nor the Illini is intrinsically armed. the Rebel seems to be a Civil War era rebel, but the school was really called the rebels because they rebelled against the University of Nevada. I’m going with the Illini because of the adjective.  In the Mascot Bracket, it helps to fight instead of run.

(5) Vanderbilt Commodores def. (12) Richmond Spiders.  Unless the Commodore has a severe case of arachnophobia.

(13) Morehead State Eagles def. (4) Louisville Cardinals.  RULE #2

(3) Purdue Boilermakers def. (14) St. Peter’s Peacocks.  Seriously, its a big dude with a hammer against a non-flight bird.  It’s a pretty gruesome image.

(11) USC Trojans def. (6) Georgetown Hoyas.  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.”  Long story short:  Prepositions lose.

(10) Florida State Seminoles def. (7) Texas A&M Aggies.  You would think an Aggie is someone involved in agriculture.  Look up Texas A & M Aggie.  Apparantly their mascot is a collie.  Lassie doesn’t stand a chance against the guy with the flaming spear riding a horse.

(2) Notre Dame Fighting Irish def. (15) Akron Zips.  For some reason the Zips use a kangaroo as their mascot.  This boxing kangaroo notwithstanding, I think a good drunken Irishman would whip a kangaroo.


(1) Kansas Jayhawks def. (9) Illinois Fighting Illini

(5) Vanderbilt Commodores def. (13) Morehead St. Eagles

(11) USC Trojans def. (3) Purdue Boilermakers.  The Trojans have swords and armor and stuff.  The Boilermaker has a hammer.


Commodores def. Jayhawks.  A Commodore is a naval officer, a jayhawk is some rabble rouser with a pitchfork.

Seminoles def. Trojans.  I really didn’t know who would win this one, so I did a little more searching.  The first google image of a seminole is a guy with a huge shotgun.  Screw the flaming spear, Seminoles win big.

Seminoles def. Commodores.  Again, this is a really tough one.  I think the Seminole would be able to beat the naval officer, because most officers are older and have seen their battles in years past.


(16) Arkansas Little Rock Trojans def. (1) Pittsburgh Panthers.  Here’s another big upset.  I was expecting the Buckeyes to go down in the first round.  I’m not too crazy about losing the Panthers.

(9) Old Dominion Monarchs def. (8) Butler Bulldogs.  I’m assuming that a monarch would have some access to a weapon of some kind, but if you go by the mascot they use, a lion, that wins too.

The Utah State Aggie is apparanrly a bull. The Texas A & M Aggie is a collie.

(12) Utah State Aggies def. (5) Kansas State Wildcats.  Whether the Utah State Aggie is a farmer or the bull on the left, it would beat a wildcat.  Wildcats are really not that big.

(13) Belmont Bruins def. (4) Wisconsin Badgers.  A badger is a mean little bastard, but a bruin is a bear.  A bear.  This little part of the bracket is all upsets.

(3) BYU Cougars def. (14) Wofford Terriers.  If Wofford were the pit bull terriers, it might be interesting.  They’re not.  They are boston terriers.  A nice snack for a cougar.

(6) St. John’s Red Storm def. (11) Gonzaga Bulldogs.  Another dog goes down.  I suppose by drowning, or maybe lightning strike.  The fact that the Storm is red doesn’t add to its ferocity, but most dogs are total cowards in storms.  I know mine is.

(10) Michigan State Spartans def. (7) UCLA Bruins.  This is something right out of a Charlton Heston movie.  It would be a great fight, but according to RULE #4, Sparty wins.

(15) UC Santa Barbara Gauchos def. (2) Florida Gators.  Much like the last matchup, this might be fun to watch, that is, until the Gaucho pulls out his six-shooter.


(16) Ark-LR Trojans def. ODU Monarchs.  The ODU Monarch is a lion.  The Trojan against the Lion would be an intersting fight, but I’m going with RULE #4. (I’m not expecting many points out of this part of the bracket).

(13) Belmont Bruins def. (12) Utah State Aggies.  That bull looks pretty tough, but not up against a bear.

(6) St. John’s Red Storm def. (3) BYU Cougars.  RULE #7.


Trojans def. Bruins

Red Storm def. Bruins (tough day for Bruins)

Red Storm def. Trojans.


The Blue Devil on the left if the historic root of the mascot – a French fighting force in WWI. The Blue Devil on the right is lame.

(1) Duke Blue Devils def. (16) Hampton Pirates.  Duke was named for a French squadron in World War I, and if you are thinking, “How tough can they be if they were French?” then you are betraying your ignorance about world history.  The French were long known as one of the greatest armies of the world – and they were especially tough during World War I.

(9) Tennessee Volunteers def. (9) Michigan Wolverines.  RULE #4/

(12) Memphis Tigers def. (5) Arizona Wildcat. The second matchup between a Tiger and a Wildcat.  Again, the tigers win.

(13) Oakland Grizzlies def. (4) Texas Longhorns.  Again, Grizzlies are big, bad bears.  Not sure many land mammals could take out a Grizzlie, except Baxter from Anhorman.

(14) Bucknell Bison def. (3) UConn Huskies.  A bison would trample a huskie.

(11) Missouri Tiger def. (6) Cininnati Bearcat.  A bearcat vs a badger would be a tough call.  A bearcat vs a tiger is not.

(7) Temple Owls def. (10) Penn State Nittany Lions.  A Nittany Lion is really just a wildcat from Pennsylvannia.  It isn’t real big or vicious, and I think an owl would wear it down.

(2) San Diego State Aztecs def. (15) Northern Colorado Bears.  The armed human defeats the bear.


(1) Duke Blue Devils def. (9) Tennessee Volunteers.  Volunteers were named after fighters in the war of 1812.  This is RULE #6.

(13) Oakland Grizzlies def. (12) Memphis Tigers.  This might the best matchup of the entire tournament.  My first instinct is to go with the bear, but a tiger is a bad dude.  Not sure who to pick, I went to the “expert” at Wild Animal Fight Club.  The writer seemed to know more about animals than me, and he picked the Tiger.  I’ll go with Memphis.

(11) Missouri Tigers def. (14) Bucknell Bisons.  The Bison has no offense.  The tiger naturally takes down animals like yaks and elk.

(2) San Diego State Aztecs def. (7) Temple Owls.  RULE #4.


Blue Devils shoot the Tigers

Tigers def. Aztecs.  This looks like a RULE #4, but the Aztec weapons were almost all hand held.  I don’t like the chances of any man versus a Tiger unless he has gun powder, or at least a projectile of some kind.

Blue Devils shoot Tigers.


Duke Blue Devils def. UNC Tar Heels

St. John’s Red Storm def. Florida State Seminoles

St. John’s def. Duke

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Mascot Bracket claims top spot

Every year on Selection Sunday, I fill out a bracket based on my broad knowledge of college basketball.  I carefully select a few underdogs I feel like have a good change at making a run.  I pick one or two favorites that I think are ripe for an early exit.  I read some of the experts, and fill out my bracket in pencil.  I shape it carefully, with all of my skill and knowledge.

Then I fill out “The Mascot Bracket,” based solely on which mascot (or more accurately, which nickname) would win in a fight.  I have a pretty strict set of rules, and sometimes have to make some tough decisions.  This year I got some heat for picking a panther over a grizzlie, and admit I probably had that one wrong (grizzlies are flippin’ huge!).  This year the mascot bracket had the Vanderbilt Commodores winning it all.  It also had the Oklahoma State Cowboys advancing to the final four.  Both the Commodores and Cowboys lost in the first round.  It didn’t look good.

But now the dust has settled, and it turns out that the Mascot Bracket nailed the other side of the final four: Duke over West Virginia, and with only the national championship to be played, the Mascot Bracket has emerged victorious.

In a group of 30 participants in my yahoo public group, the Mascot Bracket finished first!  Ahead of Joe Lunardi, ahead of picking only the favorites, ahead of my own picks, ahead of Barack Obama, ahead of my three-year-old daughter, and ahead of all the other amatuer experts that filled out brackets in my group.

Final score:
1. Mascots 72 (84th percentile before the championship game)
2. Chalk 62
3. Obama 59
4. My daughter 58
5. Me and Joe Lunardi 53


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Mascot Bracket: Final Four Update

The Mascot Bracket has come roaring back to life on the strength of Duke and West Virginia.  In my yahoo public group with 30 submissions, the Mascot Bracket is one of three that had two Final Four teams correct. Of the six brackets in this little contest, here are the standings:

1. Chalk, 62 points (62 possible)
2. Barack Obama, 59 (59 possible)
3. Mascot Bracket, 56 (72 possible)
4. My 3-year-old, 58 (74 possible)
5. Joe Lunardi, 53 (69 possible)
6. Fat Pastor, 53 (53 possible)

Possible scenarios:
Michigan St. beats Butler (Spartan would definately beat a bulldog), then my daughter will win with 74 points despite picking Montana to win the national championship

West Virginia beats Duke, Joe Lunardi will move up to either No. 1 or 2.

If Duke and Butler win, then the Mascot Bracket will be victorious, not only in this small pool, but in my whole yahoo group.

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Mascot Bracket Sweet 16 Update

To make a long story short, the Mascot Bracket has not done well – but it has had a few shining moments.

After Round One:

1. Barack Obama, 25 points
2. Chalk, 22
3. Joe Lunardi, 21
4. Fat Pastor, 19
5. My 3-year-old, 18
6. Mascots, 17

What made matters worse were the devastating losses of the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the first round. The Mascots should have done better. I had the Cowboys winning the Midwest Region, but they lost to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. ATLSpartan told me on the comments section that I should have gone with the Yellow Jackets because they are plural, and a swarm of yellow jackets would likely do a Cowboy in. I probably should have gone with the Ramblin’ Wreck, which would have little trouble running over the Cowboy.

I should have known that the Racer would trample the old Naval officer. All he has is a sword, and Vandy doesn't even use this logo anymore. Now it's just a V inside a star.

But what really hurt was Vanderbilt. I had the Commodores going all the way to the championship, but they fell to the Murray State Racers. I should have known that someone ranking that high in the Navy probably would not have seen combat in quite a few years. Plus, the logo shows that they only have a sword. A thuroughbred, with jockey, trampled the old sailor.

In the second round the Mascot Bracket had some redemption.  Of course a Jayhawk would lose to a panther.  It was also obvious that a Gael would dismember a Wildcat, especially this peekaboo wildcat.  After round two:

1. Obama, 43 points (Like his presidency, Obama’s picks started off fast, but are now going to suffer a slow demise.  He had Kansas going all the way, but Northern Iowa was his big Glenn Beck Tea-Bagging party).
2. Chalk, 38 points (102 possible)
3. The Fat Pastor, 37 points (145 possible – The Ohio State pick in the Final Four is looking good, and I’m kicking myself for changing my mind at the last minute with ‘Nova. I had Duke in the Final Four because I thought everybody hates Duke, so no one picks them, but I chickened out at the last minute).
4. Joe Lunardi, 33 points (89 possible. The inventor of the term Bracketology is going down, and he is going down hard. He had Wisconsin over Kentucky and Kansas winning it all).
5. Mascots, 32 points (80 possible. Having two teams in the final four go out in the first round makes it hard to win).

These five brackets are all in a free yahoo group that has 30 picks.  The Mascot Bracket is tied for 28th.  The only bracket below the mascots was filled out by my three-year-old, who picked Montana to win it all.  I should add that the leader of the group is my nephew.  He is two.

P.S. How overrated is the Big East?

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