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  • A Surefire Way to Pick a Champion

       March 23, 2005

    The NCAA basketball tourney starts up again tomorrow night. I don't know about you, but my bracket is in shambles. You can watch all the games and read everything you can get your hands on, and still not win your pool. Maybe a new approach is needed. Maybe, just maybe, there's an easy way to figure out who is going to win the National Championship.

    In that spirit, I'm proud to present my mascot based brackets. The idea here is simple. Rather than worrying about three-point shooting and defense, all you have to worry about is determining which mascot wins a mythical matchup. Here's how I think it would shake out.

    Chicago Regional

    Illinois Fighting Illini v. Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers: While panthers are undoubtably fierce cats, we're talking about fighting Illini. That means they have weapons. I think some angry, armed Illini hunters can take down a panther.

    Arizona Wildcats v. Oklahoma State Cowboys: Since the cowboys are sure to have guns and horses, I think they can easily take the Wildcats. Pistol Pete rides again!

    This sets up the classic matchup of cowboys v. indians. And folks, we know who won that one. So, I look for Oklahoma State to come out of the Chicago regional.

    Albuquerque Regional

    Louisville Cardinals v. Washington Huskies: This is a tough one. Huskies are clearly tougher, but cardinals can fly. So, the cardinal might be able to get away from a husky, but could it really defeat the husky? I think all it could do is poop on its head. The winner, in a TKO, is the husky.

    West Virginia Mountaineers v. Texas Tech Red Raiders: What well-matched opponents. To me, this game is decided by the terrain it's fought on. Mountaineers would win in the mountains, while Red Raiders would take the game in the plains. Even then it's tough as Albuquerque is on a plateau. Since both plateaus and plains are nice and flat, I'm going with a Red Raider win.

    This leads us to a husky v. Red Raider matchup. I think the huskies will suffer outside of their cold climate and succumb to the Red Raiders' weaponry. In a shocker, Texas Tech comes out of Albuquerque.

    Syracuse Regional

    North Carolina State Wolfpack v. Wisconsin Badgers: I know badgers are ornery little creatures, but there's no way they can hold their own against an entire wolfpack. One on one, they'd have a shot, but they'll be done in by the plurals of NC State.

    Villanova Wildcats v. North Carolina Tarheels: This one required a little research on my part. Apparently the term tarheel is derived from the nickname given to North Carolina troops in the Civil War. Once again we have a battle between armed humans and wild animals. I'm taking the humans.

    Ah, but here's the rub. Can a tarheel defeat an entire wolfpack? I don't think so. I think the soldier could take one or two of them, but the rest of the pack would take him down. Therefore, expect North Carolina State to come out of Syracuse.

    Austin Regional

    Michigan State Spartans v. Duke Blue Devils: Spartans were known throughout the ancient world as great fighters, but the devil's the devil. It takes a lot more than that to beat the devil, particularly a super hot blue devil.

    Utah Utes v. Kentucky Wildcats: Again with wildcats. Seeing as the Utes probably hunt animals like wildcats all the time, I'm giving them the edge. Some of these schools need to learn that wildcats aren't world beaters.

    The Utes match up against the Blue Devils, and, let's face it, all their mystical powers are no match for Satan. Satan, err, Duke wins the Austin regional.

    Final Four: St. Louis

    Oklahoma State Cowboys v. Texas Tech Red Raiders: If cowboys could defeat fighting Illini, they'll have no problem dispatching with red raiders. After all, cowboys deal with bandits all the time.

    North Carolina State Wolfpack v. Duke Blue Devils: I think blue devils don't just defeat a wolfpack, they control the pack. The pack is powerless against them. Duke should win this one easily.

    Our final match up is the Cowboys v. the Blue Devils. This should be a slam dunk for the Blue Devils, right? Not so fast, my blog-reading friend. One thing can defeat the devil and that's the power of good. And, as every red-blooded American knows, the classic symbol of good is the white-hatted cowboy. That means that our next national champion is none other than the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Remember, you read it here first.

    Posted by at March 23, 2005 07:40 PM

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    #  March 23rd, 2005 7:49 PM      james
    i think that a tarheel would lose to a wildcat b/c it's a southern state soldier. so while the tarheel would initially kick the wildcat's ass, driving it all the back to PA or wherever from it came, eventually the tide would turn and the wildcat would somehow inexplicably emerge victorious.

    100 years from now tarheel fans will be walking around saying "the heels shoulda won." hell, they'll write songs about it.  
    #  March 23rd, 2005 8:01 PM      KVBigSis
    Hey, it's not the TARHEEL vs. the Wildcats, it's the TARHEELS. There is more than one of them. So if one Tarheel can take out a couple wildcats, a team of them should emerge victorious.  
    #  March 23rd, 2005 8:17 PM      kris
    Yes, but there's only one Tarheel at a time, just like there's only one wolfpack. If it were the NC State Wolves, then you'd have an argument.  
    #  March 24th, 2005 10:46 AM      countertop
    I disagree Kris. The team isn't the North Carolina Tarheel. Its the North Carolina Tarheels. Thats plural, and the tarheels are a regiment of North Carolina's fighting best. Sorry, but they are gonna be picking off the woldpack like kids shooting squirrels.

    Now, can they beat the Blue Devils? I've got to think so, because they tend to be God fearing men who walk the straight and narrow (or at least as much as any basketball team does). Plus, they've repealed the advances of Satan numerous times before, already this season.

    As for the final game, I just don't know. I tend to think that a trained soldier takes out a disporganized group of cowboys any day. . . . but if those cowboys can get their act together you just never know.  
    #  March 24th, 2005 11:55 AM      james
    i think kris is certainly right - it's only one tarheel. almost every team puts an "s" at the end - the blue devils, the spartans, badgers, huskies, packers, vikings, redskins, etc etc.

    the applicable mascot is the singular form. "wolfpack" is singular term for a pack of wolves. ergo, many wolves, one tarheel.  
    #  March 24th, 2005 2:46 PM      countertop
    Then what would be the plural of a group of North Carolinians??

    The Tar Heelses??  
    #  March 24th, 2005 2:49 PM      countertop
    Don't know if you read this page, but I think the quote from Gen. Lee is appropriate.

    Later, the North Carolinians met the fleeing troops and told them for the next battle we'll put tar on your heels to make them stick. Gen. Robert E. Lee, on hearing the story, reportedly exclaimed, "God bless the Tar Heel boys."

    Each reference refers to more than one Tar Heel but rather the group of Tar Heel boys.  
    #  March 24th, 2005 3:31 PM      BVBigBro
    I think we need to look at the individuals. A center playing for North Carolina would be a member of the Tarheels. A center for NC State would be a member of the Wolfpack. Thus at any one time on the court we have five wolves versus five Civil War era confederate soldiers armed with muzzle loading rifles.

    The wolf notoriously avoids contact with humans, and there is no case of a non-rabid wolf attacking a human in North America. Perhaps the Wolfpack should consider a rabies offense. On the other hand, our confederate soldiers are likely half starved and have long since lost enthusiasm for the fight. They are notorious for going AWOL for extended periods. They are, however, veterans who know how to use their weapons, even if they are slow firing. The contest could come down to whether or not the game is played at night, when the soldiers will be at a serious disadvantage if the wolves can be prodded to attack.  
    #  March 24th, 2005 11:37 PM      kris
    Back to the drawing board for me  
    #  March 25th, 2005 1:15 AM      Daddy
    OK...any nickname that doesn't end in an "s" automatically SUCKS, and should lose.

    Think about this: the Heat. the Magic. the United, Crew, Galaxy, or Xtreme.

    All....asshats. All of them. Hats made of ass. And they should lose to any team that pluralizes their nickname with an "s".

    Except for the Hokies. That's just friggin' dumb. I'd even cheer for....I don't know WHAT I'd cheer for. But it wouldn't be a Hokie.  



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