2011 West Bracket, 2nd Round (1st Round)
Oh look, it’s a bracket with no play-in game. What a novel concept…
Charlotte, NC-How long do you think it’ll be before one of these pirate mascots starts looking like Captain Jack Sparrow? The Outer Banks are no stranger to pirate shenanigans, but every pirate knows they have to come ashore if they want to pillage. Hampton’s Pirate is no exception. When he gets to Duke’s backyard, though, I’d give 15 Blue Devils the day off and still like my chances. Hope the Pirate is prepared to meet Davey Jones…Yaaarrr.
WINNER: Blue Devils
Charlotte, NC-It’s no wonder Tennessee chose Smokey, a bluetick coonhound, to represent the Volunteer image. Dogs will sign up for anything: seeing-eye, drug sniffing, bomb sniffing, butt sniffing…you name it. They’re like a teenager with a skateboard, camcorder, rooftop and an unhealthy Red Bull habit, “Just point me to the danger, bro.” Well, the danger is that angry little fuzzball to the left that doesn’t like his picture taken. In fact, I bet that Michigan Wolverine doesn’t like anything, especially a hound sniffing and drooling all around his sweet bachelor burrow. There’s gonna be a lot of whining on the way back to Rocky Top.
Tulsa, OK-You gotta give Pouncer of Memphis some credit: he knows he’s outnumbered; he knows he’s in unfamiliar territory; he knows he’s gotta create a diversion…why not run around with no pants on? That’s what I would do. Plus, with a handful of college towns in between Tuscon and Tulsa, there’s no doubt Wilbur Wildcat’s pack is going to embark on an epic bender out from under his wife’s, Wilma, watchful eye. The average tiger outweighs the average wildcat at least two-to-one, negating Arizona’s advantage. I like Pouncer’s odds.
Tulsa, OK-The Texas Longhorns know Tulsa real well since it’s just a short right turn off the Chisolm Trail. Oakland’s Grizzly might be lost anywhere away from home since he probably spends most of his time explaining where home is. “Oh, you’re from Oakland? I love the Bay Area.”
“No, actually I’m from Rochester, Michigan, just outside of Detroit.”
“So why are you called Oakland University then?”
“Funny you should ask…ummm, do you hear that rumble?”
“Do you see that giant dust cloud coming towards us?”
Washington, DC-Cincinnati’s Bearcats should be right at home in DC given their propensity for criminal activity. Eleven bearcats might not be as big as one tiger, but Cincy ought to pull in to town before Missouri is even half way there. That’s plenty of time to lobby Capital Hill for refugee status, or blackmail a senator who’s got a thing for interns. Truman and his crew won’t even know what hit ’em.
Washington, DC-The bison. Stoic giants of the plains. Majestic beast of legend. A bigger, leaner and tastier version of the cow, a fact not lost on Ted Turner or Jonathan, UConn’s Husky. You would certainly expect a pack of wolves to take down a bison, so why its closest relative. Bucknell’s Bucky Bison: it’s what’s for dinner.
Tucson, AZ-Is it just me, or does Penn State’s Nittany Lion look homeless? At least somebody gave him a scarf. Since Temple is also in Pennsylvania, both of these mascots have quite a roadie to Arizona. As if a 2,000 plus mile trek isn’t bad enough, it’s also a day game, which isn’t going to work out good for the nocturnal owls. Looks like the Nittany Lions will have some owl feathers to help keep him warm during those State College winters.
WINNER: Nittany Lions
Tucson, AZ-This one is as lopsided as the numbers indicate. The Bears have to saunter all the way to Southern Arizona from Northern Colorado, only to find 15 Aztec Warriors from San Diego waiting for them. The Aztecs already had Eagle and Jaguar Warriors in their military hierarchy, now they can add the bear.