Rory’s NCAA bracket racket!

By Rory McCarty

A week ago, our former sports editor Dan Fenner asked me to fill out a bracket for the NCAA tournament.

“OK,” I said. “Also, what is that?”

Now, it’s true that I know next to nothing about basketball, or sports in general. Based on what I’ve learned from playing NBA Jam on the Super Nintendo in my youth, a team of three different colored Dennis Rodmans should be unbeatable, except when your opponent is using Bill Clinton with the big head mode turned on, and he’s on fire. So, I know at least that it involves former presidents doing quintuple front-flip slam dunks over your head.

In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find someone less qualified to fill out an NCAA bracket. If it came down to me and a 3-year old who thought the bracket sheet was a maze on his placemat at Big Boy, I’d probably still lose.

However! I CAN figure with little effort whether a badger or a terrier would win in a fight, so that qualifies me to fill out my brackets based not on logic, but on theories about which feral animal representing each college would win in a fight. I present: my mascot tournament bracket.

FIRST ROUND Syracuse Oranges versus the Vermont Catamounts. I actually started to look up catamounts to find out what they were, but I quickly came to my senses. The oranges? Really? Not even the “fightin’ oranges?” I have trouble thinking of anything that could possibly lose to an orange in a no-holds-barred brawl, even a cute anthropomorphic human-sized orange with arms and features.

The Kansas State Wildcats meanwhile face off against the North Texas Mean Green — wait, what? That’s not a thing, it’s a color. Regardless of how angry it is, I see no way a color can win. This happens again when the Cornell Big Red faces off against the Temple Owls. Big Red could possibly be chewing gum, but still can’t hope to win against an owl with angry eyebrows.

Other shenanigans afoot include a fight between two tigers, one from Clemson and one from Missouri. I’m calling this one a draw, because either way, the winner is mauled tigers. Then the Texas A&M Aggies do battle with the Utah State Aggies. I’m fairly sure those are both rocks, or marbles. Our campus editor, Kay Ngyuen advised me to “give it to the Mormons.” So Utah State wins that fight, knowing full well they will be demolished by a train soon.

Holy crap. The Purdue Boilermakers are trains? I thought they were like, boil-in-bag rice or something. Can we end this now? I think a train will pretty much win the entire tournament easy.

Other no-contest fights include the Runnin’ Rebels versus the Panthers (you can’t outrun a panther, rebels), Bears versus Bearkats (assuredly some kind of bear and cat taped together for double violence), and Cougars versus Terrapins (whether Cougars are the giant cats or the older women, they can take out a turtle easily).

SECOND ROUND I struggled with the match-up of Arkansas Gold Lions versus the California Gold Bears. First, I had to establish the nature of golden animals. Are they mystical? Are they normal animals, simply painted gold? Are they cartoon animals, like the bear on the box of Golden Crisp?

I gave the Gold Bears the nod in this round, however OU’s own Golden Grizzlies were unfortunately shot to death by the Xavier Musketeers, having just shot the Minnesota Gophers.

Another tough one was East Tennessee State Buccaneers and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Pirates fighting demons is something I’ve oft thought about, and doodled in the margin of my spiral notebooks. I can safely tell you that the demons always win.

The Oklahoma Cowboys get a free pass this round, since last round the Santa Barbara Gauchos ate the Ohio State Buckeyes and killed them both. The Florida Gators advance after eating the Wildcats and the Cougars in this round. Finally, Florida State Seminoles beat whatever a Catamount is.

SWEET 16 I figured the Notre Dame Irish would face the Saint Mary’s Gaels in a close match-up, both being from the British Isles. However, the battle tips in the Gaels favor when the Irish start to question why their name is French. It doesn’t matter anyway. The Gaels get hit by a train next round.

Aztecs versus the Cowboys. I gave the Cowboy the edge for his superior shooting technology, though he’ll die in the next round due to Montezuma’s revenge.

The Musketeers versus Gators match was an upset to be sure. I know you’re thinking nothing can possibly beat the Musketeer, but unfortunately he used up all his ammo in the first rounds, forcing him to fight with a bayonet and ultimately wrestle the gator. It doesn’t work out for him.

FINAL FOUR It’s Spartans, Miners, Demons, and Trains in the final matches. But who am I kidding? They all get hit by trains and die. It’s going to be the trains. Er, Boilermakers.

A PROPOSAL I think the key to winning in the NCAA is having a mascot that is strong, but with longevity. You can’t just call yourselves the Hydrogen Bombs, because after one round you’d be too exploded to fight. That’s why I propose OU changing its mascot to the Chainsaw-Hands Robot. There’s no way we could lose … at my brackets