Yes indeed, the Mascot Matchups are back. Hours of work are in. 5 posts this year. One for each region, one for the Final 4. Last up, it's the West Region.
WEST FIRST ROUND
1 UCLA Bruins vs 16 Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils
Last year, it took an alligator home-swamp advantage to defeat a bear, this year I have faith in their ability to advance deeply into the tourney again. First up are the Delta Devils, who are actually blues artist Robert Johnson. Johnson sold his soul to the devil, and you probably heard of him in the Clapton song “Crossroads.” It was also the inspiration for the Daniel-San movie Crossroads where he battles Steve Vai for his and another man's soul. It's inspirational really, however, bears are not music lovers and would eat Ralph Macchio. Bears win.
8 BYU Cougars vs 9 Texas A&M Aggies
Some teams that call themselves Aggies have a dude that rolls with a gun, others roll with a rope. Texas A&M rolls with a collie. Not even a mean dog to match the uniforms. A collie named Reveille. Lassie or a Cougar? Really not much of a match considering I could kick a collie's ass.
5 Drake Bulldogs vs 12 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
What is a hilltopper you ask? Red Grimace. Yeah, a red version of the purple jackass that rolls with Ronald McDonald. Given my choice, this might actually be the first round game that I'd most like to see take place in Mascot Arena. The bulldog running up and taking giant hunks of Red Grimace, green blood flowing everywhere as Red Grimace progressively gets slower and slower, falling down and taking frantic swipes with his stick arms only to have the bulldog rip those free from the gooey Red Grimace Sockets. That match would be awesome, and the bulldogs win.
4 Connecticut Huskies vs 13 San Diego Toreros
A husky is a good dog, a Torero is a bull fighter. But bullfighter is a rather misleading name. It's really a bull-dodger. He stands there with a table cloth and gets out of the bulls way. A husky is much more agile, and therefore won't be fooled by silly table cloth shenanigans. Give me the Huskies in a romp.
6 Purdue Boilermakers vs 11 Baylor Bears
A second bear in the same region. Again, I ask what the hell was the committee thinking with some of these seedings. That said, if there is anything that can beat a bear, it's a train. A big train going fast. Sure, hitting a bear could derail the train. But then again, it might not. If we fought this match 50 times, the bear would die 50 times.
3 Xavier Musketeers vs 14 Georgia Bulldogs
A 3 Musketeer is a mighty tasty candy bar. The fluffy stuff inside is a pretty tasty complement to the chocolatey outside. However, everyone knows that dogs can't eat chocolate. Much like the earlier match where the mighty wildcat died of heavy-metal toxicity, the dogs are felled by their inability to metabolize a chocolate bar. Dig up another spot between the hedges, because Uga's coming home in a body-bag.
7 West Virginia Mountaineers vs 10 Arizona Wildcats
I don't know much about what a Mountaineer does, but I do know that weird stuff happens in them hills. I also know that a West Virginian is much more likely to be rabid than a wildcat. I think the combination of rabies and altitude-thinned air give the Mountaineers what they need to advance to the weekend
2 Duke Blue Devils vs 15 Belmont Bruins
OK, three bears in one region. Really committee? There are four regions, and three bears. And all three bears are in the SAME region? Nuts to you. A blue Devil and a bear. Obviously this fight is happening because being all blue and sad, Duke is a suicidal devil. So while technically a fight, Duke is just there to end it all. A bruin is more than happy to accommodate such a request.
WEST SECOND ROUND
UCLA Bruins vs BYU Cougars
Remember last round when we had a bear lose to a train? I don't think a bear would lose to a Mercury product. Even the 6-cylinder version. Yeah, the bear would be injured after a head on collision with a car, but whoever was driving the car would be calling David Palmer asking for forgiveness. Forgiveness and a check to replace the totaled Cougar.
Connecticut Huskies vs Drake Bulldogs
Well, you know what they say. It's a dog-eat-dog tournament. My money is on the dog from Siberia instead of the one from England. It's used to the elements and whatnot.
Purdue Boilermakers vs Xavier Musketeers
Well, other than a train, a boilermaker is a drink. While a Musketeer is French, I still think he can hold his alcohol. That's all the French do. Drink, smoke and complain about how much America is better than they are.
West Virginia Mountaineers vs Belmont Bruins
You know what would have been cool? You remember the American Eagles back in the first round? I'd have liked to have a mascot matchup with them against West Virginia. I could have made tons of John Denver Jokes, but instead I have another man challenges beast. I thought about gerrymandering something here to have the Mountaineers get the win so I garner more points. But then I'd just have to do the same thing when they faced UCLA.
WEST REGION SWEET SIXTEEN
UCLA Bruins vs UConn Huskies
This is becoming much less fun. I can't even think of a way for a Husky to even be competitive with a Bruin.
Xavier Musketeers vs Belmont Bruins
A Musketeer has a musket. I think a Bruin could be felled by a musket
WEST REGION FINAL
UCLA Bruins vs Xavier Musketeers
That is, as long as he has time to reload. A musket doesn't come with a clip. It comes with one shot. This is like a handicap elimination match. So while the musketeer was reloading, the bear would pounce. That is if the musketeer didn't just go all French and run away. But bears are surprisingly fast and agile for their size.