Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lisa's 2010 Nature Bracket: Midwest and West Regions

Get excited, friends – it’s time for Lisa’s 2010 Nature Bracket picks!

For those of you who are new around here, here’s the scoop: for the past three or four years, I’ve dedicated one NCAA bracket to choices based upon which team’s mascot would win if the mascots were to actually fight in nature. Do I base my picks on solid, thorough research? Not really, though I do spend a good 30-40 minutes on Wikipedia looking up mascots of less famous schools. Most of my picks are based on gut feelings, but I have adopted a few rules:

1. If ever the teams playing have the same mascot, I go with the higher seed. If I hate the higher seed, I pick whom I want. My bracket, my rules. ; )
2. Bird mascots present a challenge for me in this endeavor. Generally speaking, I assume the bird is grounded, inevitably leading it to be the prey to the Wildcat, Cougar, etc. it’s playing. The more I think about this, though, it does not take into account a bird’s inborn advantage of flight. Oops. I never said it was a perfect system.
3. In particularly confusing cases, I refer to the team’s sideline mascot. (This will make more sense later.)
4. Does the mascot have a gun? Then just about always, it wins. (Not surprisingly, this bracket never fares well in group competitions unless teams like the Xavier Musketeers are wildly successful.)

Okey dokey. Away we go!

Midwest: I picked 16 Lehigh Mountainhawks over 1 Kansas Jayhawks, largely because I think Sherron Collins can suck it. Next, I chose 8 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels over 9 Northern Iowa Panthers, largely because I think the Panther would run into this guy’s menacing chin, pass out for a little bit, then the Rebel could shoot him.

Then, 5 Michigan State Spartans (SPARTA!) over 12 New Mexico State Aggies. The 13 Houston Cougars easily handle the 4 Maryland Terrapins (they’re turtles!), and the 11 San Diego State Aztec Warriors summarily crush the 6 Tennessee Volunteers, who were only prepared to paint some neighborhood fences for free or something and then – BAM! – warriored. 14 Ohio Bobcats take the 3 Georgetown Hoyas (who, after all, are just bulldogs. Not exactly lightning-fast reflexes). 7 Pistol Pete of Oklahoma State Cowboy fame shoots him some 10 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Lastly, the 15 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos take down the 2 Ohio State Buckeyes. (I’m not going to lie. I’ve never liked Ohio State. Can’t tell you why, but I hate them, so I don’t take the time to see what the heck a buckeye is. So OSU? Boom. Gauchoed. Yes, I’m making up new verbs.)

Round Two: UNLV over Lehigh. Michigan State (SPARTA!) over U of Houston. Aztec Warriors of SDSU take down Ohio. And, in my favorite matchup, the Oklahoma State Cowboys take down the Argentinean Cowboys of San Diego State. (Okie State is a higher seed, plus, as far as I can tell, Gauchos are just really sharp dressers. I think the rugged Oklahoma Cowboy wins easily.)

Sweet 16: Spartans take down the Runnin’ Rebs of UNLV. Because I’m going old school, I’ll take the Aztec Warriors over the OSU Cowboys.

Elite 8: Michigan State over SDSU. (Ultimately, they’re both “indigineous” warriors, and MSU is the higher seed.) SPARTA!!!!!

And now, we go West! I had to look up 16 Vermont Catamounts, but I found out they’re a kind of cougar. I still have no idea what-the-what 1 Syracuse Orange is, but a Catamount would devour an orange, I think. Next, 9 Florida State Seminoles take 8 Gonzaga Bulldogs. 12 UTEP Miners trump 5 Butler Bulldogs, largely because Miners are tough S-O-Bs, or at least they’re depicted that way in the movies and on TV. 4 Vanderbilt Commodores over the 13 Murray State Racers, primarily so I can insert this picture:
6 Xavier Musketeers over 11 Minnesota’s Golden Gophers. the 14 seed Golden Grizzlies of Oakland take the 3 Pitt Panthers. (Oooh, new rule: if a mascot is Golden, they often have an advantage… unless they face muskets and are a gopher. Note to self: the next time I establish a university, we will be the indestructible Golden AK-47s. Hell yeah!) 7 BYU Cougars over 10 Florida Gators, then 2 KSU (what team?*) Wildcats will defeat the 15 UNT Eagles.

(*High School Musical reference for the Zefron fans out there)

Round Two: Seminoles defeat Catamounts… they’ve been killing animals for centuries. The tougher UTEP Miners play defense like a “Brick House” and take out the Commodores in an ironic contest. Xavier shoots down the Golden Grizzlies, and the Wildcats take the BYU Cougars.

Sweet Sixteen: This was a tough call for me, but because I am politically correct, I select the Native Americans of Florida State to best the Miners. Because I am realistic, I select the musket-bearing Xavier to slaughter KSU’s wildcats.

Elite Eight: It’s that time of year again: reliving history’s sad injustices. Sorry Seminoles, but the evil white man strikes again, and it’s the Xavier Musketeers to the Final Four!

Here’s the thing about Nature Bracket posts: executed correctly, they just takes massive amounts of time. So, good night until tomorrow, when I’ll post my picks for the East and South! Here’s a hint: arrrrrrrrrgh you ready for some pirates? = )

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