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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mascot Madness 2013

Everyone's brackets are turned in, and the games are underway.  So, it's too late to offer any meaningful breakdown of the match-ups on the court.  But, it's never too late to breakdown the March Madness mascots.

WKU's Big Red
When the tournament started in Dayton on Tuesday night there were 68 teams.  Out of those 68 teams, 57 different mascots were represented.  That is the same as last year.  And, once again, the Wildcat was the most popular mascot with four representatives.  Tigers were the second most popular mascot with three entries.  Five other mascots had multiple entries.  One of them is the Bulldogs and another is Rams.  Those are not surprising.  But, the other multiple mascots were a little unusual.  There were multiple Bruins, multiple Aggies, and multiple Rebels (Runnin' and regular kind).  And, for the second year in a row, there were multiple Gaels.  Breaking it down by category, animals were far and away the most popular.  Twenty-nine of the 57 different mascots were animals.  There were 19 mascots based on human beings.  Next were birds with eight entries.  There were two supernatural mascots (Demons and Blue Devils), two natural disasters (Hurricanes and Cyclones) and two mascots that are colors (Orange and Crimson).  Some other mascots fell into the miscellaneous/unknown category.  Those included: Billikens, Buckeyes, Flames and Hoyas.

Time for a bracket breakdown.

St. Louis University Billiken
Midwest:  The Midwest region has a few extra entries since two of the Dayton play-in games funnel into this region.  Both Aggie entries are in this bracket (North Carolina A&T and New Mexico State).  The Cincinnati Bearcats are in this region.  The Albany Great Danes would normally be the best mascot in any bracket.  Unfortunately for the Great Danes, the St. Louis Billikens are in the Midwest region.  I'm not sure why a Catholic school would have a weird little charm doll as a mascot, but it's still cool.

Wichita State Shocker

West:  The West region has three good human being mascots.  The Iona Gaels and the La Salle Explorers are both interesting and unusual human mascots.  But, the Wichita State Shockers have the best mascot in this region.  And lest any of you out there have a dirty mind, in this context, a Shocker is a person who harvests wheat.  Appropriate for a team from Kansas.

Zippy the Akron Zip
South:  In the South region, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers present a conundrum.  Hilltopper is certainly an unusual nickname.  But, for some reason, the thing that WKU dresses up and has dancing around on the sidelines is just too dopey for me to give the school any love.  The South Dakota State Jackrabbits are back for a second consecutive year.  But the best mascot this year in the South region is the Akron Zips.  No one seems to know exactly what a "zip" is, but I like kangaroo that they dress up.

Bucknell Bison
East:  The play-in game in the East region featured two great mascots.  On Wednesday night, the James Madison Dukes defeated the LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds.  But my favorite mascot in the region are the Bucknell Bison.  The fact that there aren't a lot of buffalo roaming the plains of central Pennsylvania gets them extra points for creativity.

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