Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mascot Madness: Round of 64 (West)

One of the great things about March Madness is that there are so many small-name teams that you have never heard of playing on the big stage. What makes this so great is that with 314 possible contestants, we are bound to have a handful of interesting nickname/mascot combinations in the tournament year in and year out.

After all, isn't that what you look forward to the most? Spending Thursday afternoon watching The same old plain-Jane blue-and-white Kentucky Wildcats battle The silver-green-and-red Highlanders of East Western Poly Tech State?

It is common knowledge that we here at BIAH are the leaders in unnecessary college basketball information. Since we have this 64-team bracket in-front of us, we decided to try and determine the best mascot in March Madness.

Each day we will reveal a new portion of our bracket, leading up to the Championship game on April 5th, when we determine the best mascot in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

Round of 64 (West)

#1 Syracuse Orange vs. #16 Vermont Catamounts

This should be listed as the Orangemen vs. the Mountain Lions, but political correctness and animal conservation obviously got in the way. I mean, the Orange? Orange what? Just, the Orange? It's not even "the Big Orange", "the Mean Orange", or "the Fightin' Orange"? It's not even "the Orange Crush", or "the Orange Terror"? That is so lame. I'll give Vermont the pass just because Syracuse' effort is so poor.

Winner - #16 Vermont Catamounts

#8 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. #9 Florida State Seminoles

This matchup does not bode well for Gonzaga on any front. Boring name, boring color combo, recycled logo, old jerseys, you get the picture. FSU has a great color combination, cool uniforms, a kick-ass logo, and an awesome mascot. It's a shame that a Seminole can't ride onto the basketball court before home games and throw a flaming spear at the center circle. That would be sweeeeeet!

Winner - #9 Florida State Seminoles

#5 Butler Bulldogs vs. #12 UTEP Miners

Here is what I know: Miners dig holes, and Bulldogs are not blessed with the proper physical tools or brains to get out of holes. Texas Western advances.

Winner - #12 UTEP Miners

#4 Vanderbilt Commodores vs. #13 Murray State Racers

This is another great match-up. The gold-and-black snobby, old, rich people against the blue-and-yellow jockeys. I've always been a fan of mascots/nicknames involving the racing industry: Greyhounds (Loyola-MD), Thoroughbreads (Skidmore College). Nonetheless, the oil tycoons take this one by purchasing all the jockeys and building a glue factory for the horses.

Winner - #4 Vanderbilt Commodores

#6 Xavier Musketeers vs. #11 Minnesota Golden Gophers

It's a shame the selection committee put this one together so early in the tournament because both have Final Four caliber mascots. Musketeers are usually seen as macho, suave, cutlass-wielding heroes, which is um ... pretty awesome. But they are up against Golden Gophers. It's like a combination of Caddyshack and Mighty Mouse. But I mean this could really go either way. The X-men versus golden puffy-cheeked idols. Xavier wins because of that cool swash-buckling poncho he wears. I remember Mike Tyson wore one like that during fighter entrances. The only thing the Gopher wears is that stupid sweatshirt. Who do you think you are? One of the Chipmunks?

Winner - #6 Xavier Musketeers

#3 Pittsburgh Panthers vs. #14 Oakland Golden Grizzlies

The Panthers play home games at a place called "the Zoo". We all know that zoo animals are mostly lazy and domesticated. Their opponents hail from Rochester, Michigan. But their jerseys say "Oakland", and it's a proven fact that Oakland is a bad, bad city. Domesticated animals don't stand a chance against the Golden Grizzles when they wear their black jerseys. A Golden Grizzly from Oakland might just be the baddest mascot on the planet.

Winner - #14 Oakland Golden Grizzlies

#7 BYU Cougars vs. #10 Florida Gators

Have you even seen a Gator in real life? I got chased off a pond in South Carolina by one back in the day. I must have biked damn near 5 miles before I looked back. Gators will eat anything. They are nasty, nasty creatures. I always sorta thought that Joakim Noah looked like an alligator. I dunno. Anyways, a Cougar wouldn't stand a chance. Not even a good mormon Cougar would.

Winner - #10 Florida Gators

#2 Kansas State Wildcats vs. #15 North Texas Eagles

This is another curious match-up. Wildcats are the most boring mascot animal. Plus no school can actually house a live Wildcat for games, because that would not be safe at all. Plus, can't they be more specific. Aren't most breeds of cat considered wild? Even the "Kansas State Barncats" sounds better than what they have now. But then again KSU's color combo of purple and black is rather awesome. Their opponents, the North Texas Eagles, prefer to go by the nickname "The Mean Green". I'm not really sure if it is official or not. I didn't think it was, but they have it listed on their website, so I'll allow it. If this is some sort of mean, green, bird of prey, then North Texas totally takes it. Plus, I am a big fan of their uniforms.

Winner - #15 North Texas "Mean Green" Eagles

Round of 32 (West)
#9 Florida State Seminoles vs. #16 Vermont Catamounts
#4 Vanderbilt Commodores vs. #12 UTEP Miners
#6 Xavier Muskateers vs. #14 Oakland Golden Grizzlies
#10 Florida Gators vs. #15 North Texas Mean Green

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