Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mascot Bracket 2014 - Round One - East Region

#1 Virginia Cavaliers vs. #16 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Every so often, a team makes it in as a #16 seed that I haven't seen before and absolutely astonishes me with their mascot. This year, it's the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. I admire a school that can look at the glut of bears and tigers and alligators and the rest and then settle on the rooster from The Nun's Priest's Tale.

Going back a bit for that reference Coastal Carolina. Well done.

As much as I really, really want to see the Chanticleers win this, CavMan has weapons and the only thing I've ever seen a blue chicken do is cheer up an NPC in Ocarina of Time.

Proving yet again that if you run enough errands, someone will eventually give you a giant sword.

Virginia advances.

#8 Memphis Tigers vs. #9 George Washington Colonials

I've got to try to reconcile my concept of tigers as leaping balls of death and claws with Memphis' logo. I know the Tiger is pouncing, but the positioning of his claws makes it seem like he just wants to give you a hug.

Maybe that's how tigers kill, though. They might hug you and then rip into you. My closest experience with anything tiger-like is my housecat, who follows up pouncing with running away and hiding.

In any case, George Washington presumably has some tactical advantage here, even if I can't verify by finding a historical reenactment group that uses tigers as the British.

George Washington advances.

#5 Cincinnati Bearcats vs. #12 Harvard Crimson

Oh man, the Fighting Binturongs. Cincinnati gets the standard "animal no-one else picked" bonus in this fight, while Harvard kind of hangs me out there with very little to grasp onto.

I can't really say the *color* crimson would win over a bearcat (and I can't find any source about the range of color vision of bearcats, so I'll presume they can see the Crimson to attack). Harvard's mascot, such as it is, is just John Harvard. I'm not sure his ministry education would have included how to deal with Southeast Asian wildlife.

No, it's fine. Don't get up.

Cincinnati advances.

#4 Michigan State Spartans vs. #13 Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens

Damn it, NCAA. You had a golden opportunity here to rig the seeding and have the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers face the Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens in the first ever Blue-Chicken-off. All it would have cost was any semblance of the idea that the seeding reflected regular season performance.

I could be writing about the relative merits of fictional vs. nonfictional blue chickens. Reynard the Fox could have refereed. Instead, I've got big dudes with swords and spears against a bird that can only sort of fly. Where's your sense of whimsy, NCAA?

He can strut, though. I'll give him that.

Michigan State advances.

#6 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. #11 Providence Friars     

You ever have that dream where realize it’s the end of the semester that you've got a final for a class you've never gone to in a subject you've never studied and it counts for 100% of the grade? And then, when you go to take it, you look up from your test and the world has been transformed into a nightmarish hellscape and you know, instinctively, that you'll be forced to wander the wasteland looking for a way to stop the Unyielding Horror?

That's how I feel when I look into Friar Dom's eyes.


I was going to give this to the Tar Heels, but my soul has been crushed and there's nothing that an anthropomorphic ram can do to fix things.

Providence advances.

#3 Iowa State Cyclones vs. #14 North Carolina Central Eagles

Finally, a proper bird-off. While Iowa State calls themselves the Cyclones, they're trotting out Cy the Malevolent and Tooth-Filled Cardinal.

So now we've got an actual bird of prey in the Eagles going up against a bird that has far exceeded the number of teeth birds should have and I'm not sure who comes out on top.

Cy's certainly more dangerous than an average cardinal, but the Eagles are probably more adept at quickly attacking and overwhelming their opponent. Cy could bite, sure, but I don't know how one bites an eagle. I'm pretty sure I couldn't bite an eagle.

North Carolina Central advances.

#7 Connecticut Huskies vs. #10 Saint Joseph’s Hawks

Hawks, I think, generally have the advantage over dogs that they can attack swiftly, fly away and repeat. here, though, I think we need to consider the choice-of-venue dictum. In this case, as huskies are sled-pulling dogs, I'm guessing that's somewhere in the far north.

This winter is relentless and brutal and will never end, and while I'm barely able to make it from the door to my car without my beard freezing over, huskies have just been running around. Attached to sleds. That's enough in my opinion to put them over the top.

Connecticut advances.

#2 Villanova Wildcats vs. #15 Milwaukee Panthers

I've been pretty consistent in being unimpressed with wildcats as they are, as near as I can tell, just cats. You could draw some tenuous connection to bobcats, but even then, it's probably not going to hold its own against Puma concolor.

Even with the melange-tinted eyes, there's no way Villanova comes out of this one cleanly.

As it turns out, Will D. Cat is the mind-killer.

Milwaukee advances.

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