NCAA Basketball

2018 March Madness East-South Regions Mascot Bracket

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Tired of the same old gasbags telling you which teams to pick for your NCAA tournament bracket? I mean, this is March Madness, not March We-Know-Everything-That-Is-Going-To-Happen-ness. I want to do my own brackets and I don’t care how little I know about college basketball outside of my Alma Mater. Which is very little, but still more than Charles Barkley.

Anyway, just the idea of creating my own unique bracket is what makes this time of year so much fun. You have your gut feelings on contenders and Cinderella’s. I don’t need others to tell me who to pick because who the hell knows anyway, right?

Although it’s fun to be serious, it’s just as important to be frivolous as well with some dummy brackets. I personally do several dummy brackets every year, including pretending it’s a football bracket and picking my favorite destinations. However, my favorite one to do every year is the ‘Mascot Melee’ bracket where I imagine the team mascots facing off in an epic fight.

While this certainly isn’t a successful way of selecting a bracket, it sparks wonderful debates among colleagues. And who doesn’t love that? Instead of faking your way through a basketball matchup, you get to have real discussions about hard-hitting topics.

So the rules for this bracket-selection theory is to not be limited by rules. Let your imagination flow free! Which is exactly what my fellow writer Kevin Huo did for the West/Midwest Regions and what I will do for the East/South Regions. Let’s get some imagining!

2018 March Madness East-South Regions

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East Region

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Round of 64

  • (1) Villanova over (16) Radford – While cooking up the Blackbirds from their play-in game, the Highlanders are ambushed by Wildcats at their camp.
  • (9) Alabama over (8) Virginia Tech – No matter which mascot you use for Bama, the Hokie is just not that intimidating. Sorry to like 50% of the Fantasy Six Pack writers, but come on!
  • (5) West Virginia over (12) Murray State – The Mountaineers are one of the few teams to acquire their opponent as transportation in the future rounds with a win versus the Racers. This is a developing story and certainly places them in the Final Four discussion.
  • (13) Marshall over (4) Wichita State – I’m not even sure that the Thundering Herd will recognize the existence of the Shockers as they trample upon the fields of grain. Now, if their mascot was something closer to ElectroBoy, we would be talking. But alas, we move on.
  • (6) Florida over (11) UCLA – The Bruins take a dip in the swamp to cool off after a tough battle with the Bona Wolves. The Gators strikes at their most vulnerable moment.
  • (3) Texas Tech over (14) Stephen F. Austin – The disparity between weaponry here for the Red Raiders and Lumberjacks makes this too simple. Next.
  • (7) Arkansas over (10) Butler – Razorbacks are an underrated attacker and, given a 1-to-1 ratio, should have no problem fending off Bulldogs.
  • (15) Cal State Fullerton over (2) Purdue – The Titans trample the dumbfounded Boilermakers, who (like this author) were not expecting random-ass elephants.

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Round of 32

  • (9) Alabama over (1) Villanova – The Crimson Tide rides their also random-ass elephants to victory just by walking menacingly through a pack of cowering Wildcats.
  • (5) West Virginia over (13) Marshall – The Mountaineers have been training for this day their whole lives. They use the Thundering Herd as food and clothing for their next quest. Again, looking like a real favorite here.
  • (6) Florida over (3) Texas Tech – Usually I will take man over animal, but how many Gators do you think a Red Raider has come across in his time paroling the desert? The element of surprise wins out here.
  • (15) Cal State Fullerton over (7) Arkansas – The Titans slow roast their victimized Razorbacks into a nice pulled pork. You know what they say: “The slower the cook, the better the taste.

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Sweet 16

  • (5) West Virginia over (9) Alabama – Keeping up their momentum, the fully rested and prepared Mountaineers hunt down the elephants, who gush a Crimson Tide of blood in their defeat. The Mountaineers now become drunk with power and overconfidence from their adventure to date.
  • (15) Cal State Fullerton over (6) Florida – Did you know that Gators are known to attack unsuspecting elephants trying to swig some water through their trunk? Well, this angers an elephant and the Titans will teach those hooligans a lesson.

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Elite Eight

  • (15) Cal State Fullerton over (5) West Virginia – As the Mountaineers celebrate their win with jugs simply labeled ‘X’, the Titan elephant family stumbles upon the carnage of their brotherine. As the old adage goes, ‘an elephant never forgets’. The Titans stampede the camp of drunken Mountaineers to avenge their lost family and move on to the Final Four.

Concerns for Cal State Fullerton in their Final Four quest…

The Titans/Elephants are still in decent shape going into the championship weekend. However, they didn’t come out entirely unscathed. They had some gnawed Achilles from the Razorbacks in the second round. Additionally, their trunks are slightly bruised due to the Gator incident.

South Region

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Round of 64

  • (1) Virginia over (16) UMBC – Every Retriever has his day, but the Cavaliers aren’t here for idioms and wise tales. As the only human presence in the region, they seem to be an early favorite to make the Final Four.
  • (9) Kansas State over (8) Creighton – I mean, c’mon, what’s a Blue Jay going to do to a Wildcat?
  • (5) Kentucky over (12) Davidson – The abundance of Wildcats in this region were troublesome. One mascot just looked a little more menacing than the other, that’s all!
  • (13) Buffalo over (4) Arizona – In order to grab a Bull by its horns, you need opposable thumbs. The Wildcat species loses one of its (almost) nine lives in this region.
  • (11) Loyola-Chicago over (6) Miami – You can only imagine the turn of events for the Ramblers when they sensed a Hurricane coming and found only a random-ass duck. Way too many random-ass mascots out here, people!
  • (14) Wright State over (3) Tennessee – I’m so glad that we had Volunteers for an early exit. (Ducks.) The Raiders are moving on.
  • (10) Texas over (7) Nevada – Since the Wolfpack was condensed down to a lone wolf here, the Longhorn demonstrates a strong presence to steer him away. There’s not much actual fight here.
  • (15) Georgia State over (2) Cincinnati – You know, the Bearcat is way more adorable than the name suggests. They are more of a self-defense species, which plays into the hands of the aggressive Panther.

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Round of 32

  • (9) Kansas State over (1) Virginia – Remember that bit about being the only humans? The Wildcat here is actual half-cat and half-human like a character straight out of Bojack Horseman. The cat-men claw their way to victory over the boldly sword-less Cavaliers.
  • (13) Buffalo over (5) Kentucky – Once again, the effort of the Wildcat against the Bull is futile. Another life down for the cats and the Bulls are looking like a title contender. If only it were the mid-1990’s.
  • (14) Wright State over (11) Loyola-Chicago – This was the toughest battle of the South Region. After the wolves beat each other up, it came down to a sudden death backup mascot battle. The Raiders, akin to Vikings, utterly destroyed the Ramblers, akin to hobos. Since the wolf is now gone, the Raider will now resume the tournament in its place.
  • (15) Georgia State over (10) Texas – The Longhorn tries to look all tough again after the success of the strategy in the first round. However, the Panther is unafraid and has a nice steak dinner.

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Sweet 16

  • (13) Buffalo over (9) Kansas State – Despite having the opposable thumbs necessary for this matchup, there is one thing still missing for the Wildcats – a human brain. Did the author forget that when writing up their previous matchup? Possibly, but he will make up for it here. The running of the Bulls continues to the Regional Final.
  • (15) Georgia State over (14) Wright State – After a SNAFU in mascotry, the Panther now faces a Raider in a free-for-all. When the Raider started to sing a terribly choreographed and performed ‘hype’ song, the Panther lost any calmness harnessed and hell was unleashed.

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Elite Eight

  • (15) Georgia State over (13) Buffalo – In another stellar matchup, the two finalists went tooth-and-nail to the bitter end. Finally, the Panther threw a right paw and hit the Bull’s eye.

Concerns for Georgia State in their Final Four quest…

The Panthers really didn’t experience much outward physical harm. They may be a bit fatigued from the lengthy battle with the tough Longhorns and Bulls, but nothing they can’t bounce back from endurance-wise. What I would be most worried about would be the potential of Mad Cow Disease contracted from devouring their foes.

About Tyler Thompson

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