MBB: The 2007 Mascotology guide to bracketology

Stephen Buszka

It’s that time of the year again. Over the next several weeks, boys will become men, Duke will fail to meet expectations and Dick Vitale will single-handedly promote sales growth for aspirin. Yes, March Madness has arrived, and, in case you weren’t already inundated with tournament predictions, we at Mascotology are here to provide our take on this year’s brackets in a segment we like to refer to as “Mascotology on Bracketology.” It is important to keep in mind that there is no one mascot that is unbeatable (at least until an NCAA Division I team adopts Snake Plissken as its official mascot) and that the winner of matchups depends on the mascots involved. Furthermore, Mascotology is a foolproof method for predicting the outcome of athletic events and is guaranteed to be correct … at least once. While most games are fairly obvious, some first-round matchups warrant further inspection.


No. 12 Old Dominion over

No. 5 Butler

The selection committee might see Butler as better than Old Dominion, but Mascotology knows better. The Butler Bulldogs may have finished the season with a 27-6 record, but they are no match for the Old Dominion Monarchs. In fact, not many teams in the tournament can defeat monarchs, especially since the University of Mojave Desert Famines, Central Massachusetts College Coup d’etats and Philadelphia College Revolutionaries have all been relegated to the NIT tournament.

No. 6 Notre Dame over

No. 11 Winthrop

Many “experts” foresee Winthrop as being a potential George Mason. However, these “experts” forget to realize that the Fighting Irish are playing their first game the day before St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is the luckiest day of the year, and the luck o’ the Irish crests the day after Notre Dame and Winthrop meet. Notre Dame has even done some extra preparation in switching over to the Visa Check Card, meaning the Golden Eagles will have no gold to snatch up (and, as a plus, the Irish are not liable for any fraudulent charges). Poor Golden Eagles; they might as well start celebrating St. Patty’s Day a bit early.

No. 7 UNLV over

No. 10 Georgia Tech

The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels may very well be allergic to bee stings. (And that’s okay; many people are, even rebels.) This seems to favor the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. However, it is important to note that the average human runs faster than the average bee can fly. This will be the key to the game: if these Rebels can run fast enough, the Yellow Jackets’ stingers will never be able to catch them.


No. 9 Villanova over

No. 8 Kentucky

This was the toughest game of the first round to predict. A Wildcats versus Wildcats matchup seems destined to end in a draw. However, there is no provision in the tournament rules that allows for a tie to happen. Mascotology must look deeper. The U of Kentucky was the former stomping grounds of NBA greats like Pat Riley. You know who Villanova has: the original J-man, Jesus. It’s hard to pick against Jesus. (Note: Jay Wright is considered by many on campus to be a demi-god, but he is not to be confused with Jesus. There is a difference between the two. Jay is the one in the suit.)

No. 11 VCU over No. 6 Duke

It’s usually hard to beat evil. The Blue Devils used to be no exception to this rule, but their edge seems to be disintegrating. The Blue Devils are soft this year, which leaves them ripe for a first-round defeat. The Rams look to be just the team to oust Coach K and Duke in the first round. Rams can be vicious – anything living in the mountains is pretty tough – and this year they will be the team to send the Blue Devils back to Tobacco Road. (As a secondary benefit, a first-round loss for Duke may cause Dick Vitale to swallow his microphone, rendering him voiceless for the duration of the tournament. Maybe then he’ll stop doing those sleazy commercials in which he is gloating at Hooters. Gross.)


No. 6 Louisville over

No. 11 Stanford

The Stanford Cardinal is a tree. Seriously, a tree? Even Louisville can’t fail to meet this expectation.

No. 15 North Texas over

No. 2 Memphis

Mascotology warns NCAA patrons not to be fooled by those silly selection committee rankings. Tigers are fairly ferocious, but the North Texas Mean Green are … mean. Only a few things in this world are mean and green: Venus fly traps, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and mold. If the ambiguous label of “Mean Green” stands for any one of those three, the Tigers stand no chance.


No. 12 Arkansas over

No. 5 USC

USC has won more NCAA titles than any other university. Despite this, it has never won a single NCAA national basketball championship. Maybe the team captain needs to take ballroom dance classes or something. Whatever the problem may be, this year will not be the year for the Trojans especially since Trojans aren’t the brightest ancient population on the face of the earth (see: Trojan horse). Not to mention the fact that they don’t even really exist anymore. Razorbacks, on the other hand, are wild boars. In an epic battle between boars and people of an extinct civilization, the feisty swines win out. Even if the Trojans manage to kill the Razorbacks, the delicious bacon they will undoubtedly make will clog their arteries so that, in the end, the Razorbacks still win.


No. 2 Georgetown Hoyas

Coming out of the Midwest bracket, the Hoyas have a fairly tough run to the Final Four. Their first matchup is against the Belmont Bruins. Bruins, more commonly known as brown bears, can be pretty ferocious. However, they are not in any imminent danger of extinction, so they have little to fight for. Those feisty Hoyas and their bulldog mascot will rip apart the motivationless bruins. After pleasing Stephen Colbert by ousting the Bruins early, the bulldog will defeat two consecutive human opponents: the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Vanderbilt Commodores. Generally, humans defeat animals. However, dogs are considered “man’s best friend.” This notion will lull the Red Raiders and Commodores into a false sense of security, leaving them ripe for an ambush attack by the ever-so-sneaky Jack the Bulldog. The Elite Eight matchup against the North Carolina Tar Heels will prove tough for the Hoyas. Fortunately for them, the Tar Heels will likely be exhausted from a ferocious battle with the Longhorns. The worn-out Tar Heels will barely stand a chance against the sly Hoyas.

No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes

Buckeyes are nuts (not crazy, actual nuts). They are also poisonous to humans and, presumably, demons. The other Blue Devils, of Central Connecticut State, will succumb to the poison, as will the Xavier Musketeers and Virginia Cavaliers. The Elite Eight matchup for the Buckeyes is an intriguing one, though. Buckeyes, however, are not poisonous to wolves. This seems to give the edge to the Nevada Wolf Pack. Despite this possible advantage, one must keep in mind that buckeye nuts fall from trees. The impact of several falling nuts can cause pain to a passer-by walking under a buckeye tree. Get enough nuts to fall, and some of these wolves will be in a world of pain … that or they might choke on the nuts. Either way, there are far more buckeyes than wolves. The sheer numbers give them the edge.

No. 2 UCLA Bruins

Bruins (brown bears) can be vicious, and these bears are no exception. Add to the equation the fact that UCLA is playing in its home state, and it is easy to see why these bears have reason to fight. When a bruin’s territory is invaded (as UCLA’s will be), whoever or whatever is challenging the brown bear better tread cautiously. Those poor Weber State Wildcats won’t know what hit them until they wake up and see giant bear claw prints across their faces, if they wake up at all. The Indiana Hoosiers may be a traditionally rich basketball school, but plop a Hoosier or two in the woods of California and see how long Gene Hackman can hold off some bruins. (For a point of reference: Gene Hackman could not defeat a brown bear in a fight.) The Panthers stand a decent chance against the Bruins, but so did that alien against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Predator.” The moral of the story is, “home field owns.” That is why the Panthers and the Jay-“Wright”-hawks, as good as they may be, will have their paws and wings clipped by the Bruins.

No. 1 Florida Gators

There is a reason alligators survived for millions of years and outlasted the dinosaurs: they are tough. Tigers can’t beat them, and the Jackson State Tigers won’t. Wildcats are a more domesticated relative of the tiger, and the Arizona Wildcats will also succumb to the gator’s famed “death roll.” The Maryland Terrapins defeated the Gators earlier this season, but if Gators couldn’t learn and adapt they wouldn’t have outlasted all the species that they have. Beat the Gators once, shame on the Gators. Beat them twice, well, that won’t happen. Gators are pretty ferocious. In the Elite Eight round, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish’s luck will run out. It seems as if they were better off with a pot of gold to hide in; the transition to using Visa Check Cards leaves them no outs against the Gators.

How the Final Four will

play out:

No. 1 Florida Gators vs. No. 2 UCLA Bruins

The Bruins’ well runs dry when they leave their home den and travel to Atlanta where the Gators will be lying and waiting in the weeds. Once that poor brown bear takes a misstep or sticks its head in water for a drink, those sneaky Gators will pounce. Game over.

No. 2 Georgetown Hoyas vs. No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes expended too much energy dropping themselves on the Wolf Pack in the previous round. With all the nuts on the ground, the Hoyas can waltz right over and past them into the championship game. Sure, Jack may slip on a couple of buckeyes here or there, but the Hoyas will overcome the challenge posed by the Buckeyes if they tread softly.


No. 1 Florida Gators vs.

No. 2 Georgetown Hoyas

Jack the Bulldog does not stand a chance against the Florida Gators. There is no way a bulldog or a Hoya, whatever a Hoya actually is, would be a match for the strong jaws of the Gators. “What rocks?” Well, the Hoyas don’t because the Gators will easily defeat them. It’s not that the Gators are invincible; the path the selection committee laid for the defending champions is as simple as eating a dinner meal … which is what the Gators’ opponents essentially are. The Gators dodged potential human opponents – the Commodores, the Red Raiders and the Runnin’ Rebels, among others – who were either in other brackets or knocked off by other teams, and had the likely potential to defeat the Gators. Humans can beat the Gators, but in the wild swamps of New Orleans, St. Louis and Atlanta, there is no Crocodile Dundee to keep the Gators from their second consecutive men’s basketball title – only some Irishmen, bruins and bulldogs.