March Madness 2017: Midwest Mascot Madness

Let me first start by saying the I know absolutely nothing about college basketball and personally have no reason to start caring as of now. I have always been a huge NBA fan and have mostly seen the college season as an extended draft combine (especially being a Bulls fan). That being said I absolutely love the NCAA Tournament; Why you ask? Simple because it’s this time of year allows the uninformed fan to witness all the other obscure D-I schools that exist and more importantly those schools mascots.

So in order to pick my bracket I have a simple system; I simply cast my pick by choosing the team mascot who I believe would best the other in a fair fight. So without much ado lets get down to my picks for the Midwestern Region:


Play in Game

16. UC Davis Aggies v. 16. North Carolina Central Eagles:

After doing a quick wikipedia search, I found that the mascot for the Aggies is actually a mustang named Gun Rock after a horse the US Army brought the school. Sorry NC Central, an eagle may be the symbol of America, but its soldiers like Gun Rock that actually keep it safe.



Round  of 64

1. Kansas Jayhawks v. 16. GUN ROCK


From what I can gather a Jayhawk is a pretty badass mythical bird that is some sort of combination of a blue jay and a hawk. That sounds pretty mean and definitely a strong contender for absolutely destroying this portion of the bracket; I mean what can take on a mythical bird that is the combination of two already badass birds. That being said you know who wasn’t mythical GUN ROCK. Taking that into consideration plus the Jayhawk going by the name Baby Jay, I gotta go with my boy Gun Rock.



2. Louisville Cardinals v. 15. Jacksonville State Gamecocks

Gamecocks are mean birds that are used for some nefarious purposes. Gamecocks are often found in cock fighting rings as they can be trained to become expert fighters. Cardinals on the other hand are beautiful birds and being a Virginia native I hold a special place in my heart for the Cardinal. That being said the Gamecock would absolutely destroy a cardinal in a fair fight. Congrats Jacksonville State you are moving on.

My Pick: Jacksonville State


3. Oregon Ducks v. 14. Iona Gaels

I will not lie, I had no idea what a Gael was. That being said I am almost convinced that we have found a winner here in the first round. This guy looks like an alternate reality where Abraham Lincoln was actually the evil president of the Confederate States of America. The Gaels mascot name is Killian which may be the most evil name to ever exist. Sorry Ducks it wasn’t even close this round.

My Pick: Killian


4. Purdue Boilermakers v. 13. University of Vermont Catamounts

Starting my research for this article I thought a Boilermaker was a person who works on a train. Nope. The mascot for Purdue is actually the Boilermaker Special, which is an ACTUAL TRAIN. Sorry Catamounts (some cat type creature) you lost this one before it started.



5. Iowa State Cyclones v. 12. Nevada Wolf Pack

As formidable as a Cyclone is the actual mascot for Iowa State is Cy the Cardinal which is way less intimidating. As we seen in previous matchups, cardinals just cannot swing it in this competition as there is too much talent. The Wolf Pack takes this matchup and moves on.

My Pick: Nevada


6. Creighton Blue Jays v. 11. Rhode Island Rams

Rams are majestic sweaters that were meant to roam the countryside in relative peace. Blue Jays are mean territorial birds that like to destroy things simply for the fun of it. Unfortunately I believe that the Blue Jay just wants it more and that’s why I gotta go with Creighton.

My Pick: Creighton


7. Michigan Wolverines v. 10. Oklahoma State Cowboys

An oversized weasel is a light way of describing a wolverine; they are a pretty ferocious animal that is capable of taking on prey much larger than itself. The wolverine is also the inspiration for one of the coolest comic book heroes ever. That being said, humans have always been able to conquer animals and this time it’s no exception; the Cowboy moves on.

My Pick: Oklahoma State


8. Miami Hurricanes v. 9. Michigan State Spartans

Miami falls into the same trap as Iowa State, because a hurricane is a hard thing to anthropomorphize into a mascot, they have opted to take up the Ibis as the official mascot. Ibises are known for their bravery in hurricanes and it can be taken as a symbol of courage. That being said Spartans were some of the best fighters known throughout history, and like in the last matchup man almost always beats nature. Michigan State moves on.

My Pick: Michigan State


Round of 32

16. GUN ROCK v. 9. Michigan State Spartans

Gun Rock runs up against some stiff competition meeting the Spartans in the second round. Unfortunately I think Gun Rock will run out of steam in round two as a Spartan is just too much to overcome. I want to take a moment to remember the monumental accomplishment that Gun Rock has completed in this tournament…..and with that the Spartans move on.

My Pick: Michigan State


12. Nevada Wolf Pack v. 4. AN ACTUAL TRAIN

The wolf pack had a pretty easy task in round one taking on a soft bird opponent. Now the true test for the wolf pack has arisen; can they take on an actual train? No. A train is a formidable opponent and it will run over the competition.



6. Creighton Blue Jays v. 14. Iona Killians

Yep that evil twin brother of Abraham Lincoln is on to his next victim opponent and there is no slowing down. No matter how territorial or mean a blue jay is, Killians aura of pure evil would prove to much for any aerial foe. Killian on his quest from hell pushes on.

My Pick: Killian


10. Oklahoma State Cowboys v. 15. Jacksonville State Gamecocks

After going up against a pretty soft opponent in round one, the Cowboys pull another easy opponent in round two. Going up against some mean chickens should not deter the cowboys from stomping all of the competition. Once again the Cowboys cruise into the next round.

My Pick: Oklahoma State


Sweet Sixteen

4. Purdue AN ACTUAL TRAIN v. 9. Michigan State Spartans

The Boilermaker Special come in with a full head of steam after literally rolling over its previous opponents. This round will be no different as I foresee the Spartans being quite literally crushed by the wheels of time. Congratulations to the Boilermaker Special, next stop the Elite eight.



10. Oklahoma State Cowboys v. 14. Iona Killians

Killian and his evil charm roll in to challenge the Cowboys. Both of these competitors have merit but unfortunately only one has the stamina that comes from being powered by complete and utter evil (seriously if you haven’t googled imaged searched this mascot yet do so now). The Cowboys will put up a strong fight, but eventually cave as Killian is an unceasing force that will eventually crush all.

My Pick: Killian


Elite Eight


4. Purdue TRAIN v. 14. Iona Killians

Well folks it’s the matchup we have all been waiting for. In one corner we have Satan’s son who has just been crushing opponents one by one on the way to the Elite Eight. In the other corner we have The Boilermaker Special that has been an equal force on the other side of the bracket steaming ahead of the competition. When it comes down to it I have to believe that Killian takes this battle as the Boilermaker Special just does not have the steam to keep up with the Gael. Also there is a strange resemblance between Killian and the Robber Barons who helped build the steam engine industry which leads me to believe he may have an inside track. Killian takes home the Midwest region and is a strong contender to take it all home in the Final Four.


Midwest Regional Champion: Iona Gaels