An Untraditional Bracket

So, this year, I have decided to make a bracket where I chose the winner solely on things that I find to be important to watching the games besides the actual athleticism. These categories are the mascots, the uniforms, fight songs of the schools, if I find the head coach attractive, interesting names of players, and finally on the actual skill of the team. For those play-in games, I’m making my sister to make picks because I am already making so many decisions and she likes doing silly things with me.

Bracket Rules:

  • Play in Games- I’m making my sister pick
  • Round of 64- Mascots
  • Round of 32- Uniforms
  • Sweet 16- Fight Song
  • Elite 8- Coach Hotness
  • Final 4- Interesting Player Names
  • Championship- Actual Skill


Play-in Games

My older sister picked these.

  • Mount St. Mary vs. New Orleans: “New Orleans baby! They know how to ball.”
  • UC Davis vs. North Carolina Central: “Pick UC Davis because there is nothing to do in North Carolina, especially in the central part.”
  • USC vs. Providence: “Hmm… I already gave it to one California team, maybe I should spread the love, plus I’m a big fan of things that start with P.” (Her name is Paula. Get your mind out of the gutter).
  • Kansas State vs. Wake Forest- “Duh, do you even have to ask? Sorry Wake Forest.” (She went to K-State and is very biased)

Round of 64- Mascots

  • East

    • Villanova vs. New Orleans: Will D. Cat vs. Bluebeard the Pirate- This is hard, but I’m partial to cats and puns, so it goes to Villanova
    • Wisconsin vs. Virginia Tech: Bucky the Badger vs. HokieBird the Hokie- A badger is more ferocious than a weird turkey.
    • UVA vs. UNC Wilmington: The Cavalier vs. Sammy the Seahawk- I’m giving this one to UVA because their mascot has a cape and looks a little less creepy. Generally, birds creep me out.
    • Florida vs. ETSU: Albert Gator vs. Bucky the Pirate- Obviously, the Gators because they have a girl and boy mascot. I am all about equal mascot opportunities.
    • SMU vs. Providence: Peruna vs. Friar Dom- SMU has a live miniature pony at their games. That will always beat out anything.
    • Baylor vs. New Mexico State: Bruiser the Bear vs. Pistol Pete- Although there is some confusion with Oklahoma State having the same mascot, New Mexico State has a live person with a sweet mustache. Sorry Baylor, facial hair rules.
    • South Carolina vs. Marquette: Cocky the Gamecock vs. The Golden Eagle- Cocky all the way. I would laugh every day knowing my mascot was named Cocky the Gamecock.
    • Duke vs. Troy: The Blue Devil vs. T-Roy the Trojan- Although T-Roy is such a good name, the Blue Devil is probably one of the classiest looking mascots and he has a cape.
  • West

    • Gonzaga vs. South Dakota State: Spike the Bulldog vs. Jack the Jackrabbit- Jack wears a hat and looks like Bugs Bunny, Spike looks like a weird imitation of a bulldog, go SDSU.
    • Northwestern vs. Vanderbilt: Willie the Wildcat vs. Mr. Commodore- Mr. Commodore is somewhat attractive and this Willie the Wildcat is creepy looking. I have no time for alternative Willie the Wildcat.
    • Notre Dame vs. Princeton: The Leprechaun vs. The Princeton Tiger- The Leprechaun wins, I must support my ginger brothers.
    • West Virginia vs. Bucknell: The Mountaineer vs. Bucky the Bison- Although the facial hair on the live action Mountaineer is impressive, a blue and orange bison sounds way more interesting
    • Maryland vs. Xavier: Testudo the Terrapin vs. D’Artagnan the Musketeer and the Blue Blob- Why does Xavier have two mascots? One of them is a blue blob so that beats everything because it confuses me so much.
    • FSU vs FGCU- Osceola and Renegade vs. Azul the Eagle- I’m going with Azul because that is such a pretty color.
    • Saint Mary’s vs. VCU: The Gaelic Warrior vs. Rodney the Ram- I vote for the ram, he looks nice.
    • Arizona vs. North Dakota: Wilbur the Wildcat vs. N/A- This automatically goes to Arizona because North Dakota does not have an actual mascot yet.
  • Midwest

    • KU vs. UC- Davis: Big Jay vs. Gunrock the Mustang- I was partial to Big Jay when I was little, my parents have proof.
    • Miami vs. Michigan State: Sebastian the Ibis vs. Sparty the Spartan- Sebastian has a cool name but Sparty has a cool hat, let’s give it to Michigan State.
    • Iowa State vs. Nevada: Cy the Cardinal vs. Alphie the Wolf- Alphie looks more like a bear than a wolf. Cy at least looks like a cardinal.
    • Purdue vs. Vermont: Purdue Pete vs. Rally the Catamount- Rally the Catamount is a cat and Pete’s eyes creep me out. I love cats.
    • Creighton vs. URI: Billy the Bluejay vs. Rhody the Ram- Rhody wins because his name makes me giggle.
    • Oregon vs. Iona: The Oregon Duck vs. Killian the Gael- This one goes to the Oregon Duck because his hat is much better looking than Killian’s.
    • Michigan vs. Oklahoma State: N/A vs. Pistol Pete- The University of Michigan, although nicknamed the Wolverines, does not have a mascot. This goes to Oklahoma State.
    • Louisville vs. Jacksonville State: Cardinal Bird vs. Cocky the Gamecock- Again, the name Cocky makes me giggle. This goes to Jacksonville State.
  • South

    • UNC vs. Texas Southern: Rameses vs. Tigers- You can’t pick against a mascot who wears the same colors as Michael Jordan.
    • Arkansas vs. Seton Hall- Big Red vs. The Pirate- The facial hair on the Pirate is amazing, it is perfectly kept with a nice blue color.
    • Minnesota vs. Middle Tennessee: Goldy Gopher vs. Lightning- Lightning is literally a blue version of Pegasus. Mythical creatures beat out gophers with a Twitter account.
    • Butler vs. Winthrop: Butler Blue and Hink vs. Big Stuff- I must give it to Winthrop, their mascot is named Big Stuff.
    • Cincinnati vs. Kansas State: The Bearcat vs. Willie the Wildcat- WILLIE THE WILDCAT WILL ALWAYS HAVE MY HEART. His legs are nice too.
    • UCLA vs. Kent State: Joe Bruin vs. Flash the Golden Eagle- Flash wins because there is a song with a similar name by Queen. “Flash, a-ha.”
    • Dayton vs. Wichita State: Rudy Flyer vs. WuShock- Wushock is a thing of nightmares. Rudy looks less scary.
    • Kentucky vs. Northern Kentucky: Scratch the Wildcat vs. Victor E. Viking- Victor has a sweet beard but my love of cats always wins out.

Round of 32- Uniforms

  • East

    • Villanova vs. Wisconsin- It’s a classic looking uniform versus another classic looking uniform. Villanova wins it with the cool v-shaped designs on their shorts
    • UVA vs. Florida- It’s a Nike matchup, UVA with a more classic basketball uniform and Florida with a flashier uniform due to their bright blue colors. It goes to Florida.
    • SMU vs. New Mexico State- SMU, although they have Nike Uniforms, look very plain. New Mexico State’s uniforms have designs and I like the color combination a bit better.
    • South Carolina vs. Duke- Duke’s black uniforms always look so nice on TV but South Carolina has a sweet design on their shorts and the side panel on their jersey is interesting.
  • West

    • South Dakota State vs. Vanderbilt- Vandy has boring colors and so are their uniforms. South Dakota State wins.
    • Notre Dame vs. Bucknell- I love Notre Dame’s green uniforms with the blue and gold outlined text that says Irish. It looks so classy. Bucknell’s uniforms look like they have been the same since the early 2000’s.
    • Xavier vs. FGCU- FGCU has more interesting uniforms. They have a fun font and their colors are prettier. Xavier’s uniform is classic but I want flash and pizazz.
    • VCU vs. Arizona- Arizona wins. Hands down. They have a gradient effect going on their uniforms.
  • Midwest

    • KU vs. Michigan State- This is hard. Adidas gives KU some cool uniforms. The Michigan Agricultural College throwback jersey is such a cool nod to its beginnings as a university. KU played in the Armed Forces game and had the star jersey as well as all the prototypes for Adidas’ basketball uniforms. This goes to Michigan State though.
    • Iowa State vs. Vermont- Iowa State has the typical Nike Uniform that most schools have but their red ones are my favorite. Vermont’s uniform is very old school and kind of boring.
    • URI vs. Oregon- Oregon duh. Do we even need to talk about this?
    • Oklahoma State vs. Jacksonville State- I’m a sucker for black uniforms and both teams have them. The red uniforms of Jacksonville State look classier than Oklahoma State’s orange uniforms. I also feel like Oklahoma State is trying a little too hard to dress like Oregon. This goes to Jacksonville State.
  • South

    • UNC vs. Seton Hall- UNC has that classic diamond design on their uniforms, which I love. Seton Hall has a neat design on their collars but it’s not enough to beat the diamonds.
    • Middle Tennessee vs. Winthrop- This is the battle of who has the least boring uniforms and I honestly think Middle Tennessee has a bit of a more interesting uniform. Both kind of blah though.
    • K-State vs. Kent State- Again, K-State will always have my heart. Their black uniforms are my favorite uniforms. Sorry Kent State, you have boring uniforms.
    • Dayton vs. Kentucky- Kentucky has that cool checkered pattern going down the side of their uniforms. That design beats out Dayton.

Sweet Sixteen- Fight Songs

These will be chosen by how hyped I get listening to them.

  • Villanova vs. Florida- Florida wins, I felt like I could go do the gator chomp after I got done listening to this song.
  • New Mexico State vs. South Carolina- The battle of drum solos goes to New Mexico State because it directly mentions buying a keg of booze in the lyrics.
  • South Dakota State vs. Notre Dame- Notre Dame wins. Victory March is a classic.
  • FGCU vs. Arizona- Bear Down is much easier to learn. This goes to Arizona.
  • Michigan State vs. Iowa State- Michigan State’s fight song is so long. Iowa State wins by default because I got bored listening to it.
  • Oregon vs. Jacksonville State- Oregon won, but I like Jacksonville State’s fight song. It’s kind of jazzy. Oregon’s was easier to figure out the tune and where the words went.
  • UNC vs. Middle Tennessee- UNC’s was short and sweet. It wins.
  • K-State vs. Kentucky- They are similar but K-State wins. There are fun little fan inserts in between stanzas too.

Elite Eight- Coach Hotness

  • Florida vs. New Mexico State- Both coaches are young and attractive but I am picking Mike White out of Florida. He has a very nice smile.
  • Notre Dame vs. Arizona- Mike Brey looks like someone I don’t want to get to know because he could kill me. Sean Miller looks like a nice guy. Arizona wins.
  • Iowa State vs. Oregon- Dana Altman did coach at K-State and was successful there. He also looks very tall. Steve Prohm is no Fred Hoiberg. This goes to Dana Altman.
  • UNC vs. K-State- I have so many issues with Bruce Weber. See Here . Roy Williams is also one of my favorite coaches of all time. I have always thought he was a silver fox. He wins.

Final Four- Interesting Names

  • Florida vs. Arizona: Florida has Gorjok Gak. He is from Australia. I don’t know how that gets any better. Arizona has some players from Serbia and Finland but their names come nowhere close to Gorjok Gak
  • Oregon vs. UNC. North Carolina has a freshman on the roster named Seventh Woods. His birthday is August 7th. His uniform number is 21 because it’s a multiple of 7. I find this hilarious. UNC wins.

Championship- Actual Skill

This is the game that matters for each team. In this ridiculous bracket, I have Florida and UNC in the national championship game. UNC will win. They have better players, a better RPI than Florida, and they have been consistently at the top of the AP polls this season. Let’s go Tar Heels.

Think you can take down Ellen’s bracket? Join the Sprots Takes ESPN Bracket Challenge here! 

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