Part 2 of my Epic Bracket Picking blog. My strategy is simple. I imagine the two school mascots forced to fight to the death, and the survivor advances.
Pittsburgh Panthers Vs. East Tennessee State Buccaneers
Well the Pittsburgh Panther is definitely a threatening beast. He's not nearly as scary as the jacked-up rabid-looking Prairie View A&M Mutant Panther
And the Buccaneer is wearing earrings, and he's blue. Is he a ghost pirate like from "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie? I could see those guys taking on rabid, mutant panthers and winning. This guy has a pretty nice fu manchu mustache, and he looks evil. And buccaneers are heavily armed. But I feel if faced with the prospect of a hissing and spitting Psycho-Panther I imagine he's wetting himself and getting run down by the giant cat and turned into kitty chow.
PICK: Pittsburgh Panthers eat the Buccaneers.
Oklahoma St. Cowboys Vs. Tennessee Volunteers
The Volunteers used to be a Woodsman in coonskin cap and musket. Now he's a mildly peeved dog named Smokey. The Cowboy on the other hand looks pretty ornery and probably drunk. I would've taken the Woodsman over the Cowboy based on sheer toughness, but I have to take the Drunken Cowboy to abuse the Dog here.
PICK: Oklahoma State Cowboys
Florida State Seminoles VS. Wisconsin Badgers
I admit Badgers are under-rated in terms of ferocity, but this guy is a mildly irked Badger in a stupid striped sweater. The Seminoles fought the entire U.S. Army to a standstill for 10 years in the swamps. I don't think he's going to be afraid of no stinkin' badgers. (sorry)
PICK: Florida State Seminoles make furry mittens out of Badger hides.
Xavier Musketeers Vs. Portland State Vikings
Hmm, this is a battle of impressionist logos. A sword versus a faceless green lightning bolt with a bull horn. Man, this is a tough one. I love Vikings and Musketeers. If someone was holding the sword I'd feel more confident. And if the green blur had a weapon I'd say it would be a walkover. Well, he'd need legs too. Vikings had psychotic rage and ferocity. Musketeers had discipline and guns. However they're only one shot guns, so after the initial volley the Vikings would rush the Musketeers and flatten them.
PICK: Portland State Vikings in a bloodbath.
UCLA Bruins Vs. Virginia Commonwealth Rams
I think normal looking bears would beat normal looking rams pretty easily. But this is a goofy looking 1970's Grateful Dead Mascot looking Bear, and these are some pissed off Rams. Still I don't think the Ram could really hurt the Bear, and after the Bruin came down from his stoner high he'd get the munchies.
PICK: UCLA Bruin eats the Ram.
Villanova Wildcats Vs. American University Eagles
That's a pretty wild looking Wildcat. And American University has ditched the actual eagle as a mascot in favor of letters. I'd normally take the psychotic Wildcat pretty quickly, but we're talking about the AMERICAN Eagle. I don't want to come off as un-patriotic... but.
PICK: Villanova Wildcats... That's a pretty ferocious looking Wildcat.
Texas Longhorns Vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Well you have a 3,000 pound steer with four foot long horns... and then we have a gopher. Albeit a GOLDEN one. I don't know what the Gopher could do to the Steer, except maybe dig a hole and hope the Longhorn trips over it. But then what. You still have a 3,000 pound side of beef falling on you. Sure the mascot logo is wearing a goofy cowboy hat, but exactly how did he get a hat on his head? If the Minnesota Gopher was the least threatening, and showed any sort of fighting skills I could see a little bit of a fight. But no, he's smugly grinning and wearing a stupid sweater.
PICK: Bevo the Longhorn tramples a whole army of smug little Gopher bastards by himself.
Duke Blue Devils Vs. Binghamton Bearcats
The Blue Devil mascot is universally recognizable from winning so many basketball championships, but this alternate version is frightening. What with his trident, his shield of blue fire and his pointy little devil shoes. This Blue Devil is ready for business. You'd think it would be a walk-over but then you see the Binghampton Bearcat. He looks like a hell-spawn cat arriving from some dark abyss. And he's part BEAR!!! The horrors. Still, we're talking about a spawn of the devil versus an ACTUAL Devil. Which is more evil?
PICK: Duke Blue Devils tame the Bearcats, but it's a close one.
Louisville Cardinals Vs. (My Pick) Hornets
Granted we're talking about Cadillac-sized Hornets versus really mad Cardinals with teeth, who can dunk a basketball. But if the bird can dunk a basketball then it's a 7 foot tall evolved Cardinal with hands and tennis shoes. And a 7 foot tall evolved Cardinal could probably take apart a giant, angry Hornet.
PICK: Louisville 7 Foot Tall Dunking Evolved Cardinals.
Ohio State Buckeyes VS. Siena Saints
What is a Buckeye? Aren't they those gall balls that fall off oak trees? They're not even sentient animals. And Saints. Well, a Saint would probably lose to a 3 year old girl in any sort of fight. I mean, they're saints, they're non-violent, right? And they're dead. Otherwise you can't become a Saint. But actually they're represented by a fairly agressive Saint Bernard. And the Buckeye... he's just sad.
PICK: Siena Saint Bernards play fetch with the Buckeyes.
Utah Utes Vs. Arizona Wildcats
The Utes mascot doesn't give me much to work with. But I know the Utes were a Plains tribe that lived in an unforgiving wilderness. Wildcats also live in an unforgiving wilderness foraging for food. Unfortunately the Utes forage for Wildcats.
PICK The Utah Utes will decorate their tee-pees with Wildcat skulls.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons Vs. Cleveland State Vikings
I know, the Deacon is a crazed old man in a top hat while a Viking is one of the baddest dudes on the planet. However, the Demon Deacon has Satanic powers only hinted at by the mascot. And the Cleveland State Viking is shyly hiding behind the school logo.
PICK: Wake Forest Demon Deacons over the timid Vikings.
West Virginia Mountaineers Vs. Dayton Flyers
Great, two mascots that don't give me much to work with. Well, anyone who lives in the hills of West Virginia must be pretty tough, what with all the deranged hillbillies running around... oh wait, now I get it. The Mountaineers ARE the deranged hillbillies. And The Flyers... um. Fly? The Flyers could fly OVER the mountain pretty easily, but Deranged Hillbillies looking for Moonshine would eventually hunt them down and skin 'em alive.
PICK: West Virginia Deranged Moonshine-lovin' Mountaineers.
Kansas Jayhaws Vs. North Dakota State Bisons
The Kansas Jayhawk is a mutant-hybrid bird of a bluejay and a sparrow hawk. While the Bison is 3,000 pounds of fury and hungry herbivore. The real Jayhawks were militant abolitionists who were pretty tough and violent. However, the Jayhawk mascot is a goofy-looking bird in a sweater. And the Bison... he just looks pissed.
PICK: North Dakota State Bisons.
Boston College Terriers Vs. USC Trojans
Well, the Trojans are famous for LOSING a war and the Terriers... okay. They're dogs. They're really cute dogs wearing sweaters that have no chance against a seasoned army of Trojans.
UPDATE: So I made a boo-boo. Apparently Boston College mascot are Eagles. They lost.
PICK: USC Trojans in a laugher.
Michigan State Spartans Vs. Robert Morris Colonials
We have the battle of soldiers. While the Colonials are armed with muskets, and fought a war of attrition against the greatest army of the world, at that time. The Spartans WERE the greatest army at that time. Have you seen "300"? Okay, never mind, the Spartans in that movie were a bit fruity. But take my word for it. The Spartans were the baddest as fighters in history, and the they could throw javelins FARTHER than the Colonial muskets could shoot. So yeah, we're talking a titanic ass-whupping.
PICK: Michigan State Spartans celebrate another illustrious victory.
Well, that was violent. But there you have it, my sure-fire Bracket picks for the first round. I'll give more picks as the games are finished.