Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Time to breakdown the NCAA Tournament, in a way only I can, by team nicknames of course. Now I could waste your time analyzing Ty Lawson's toe (just one thought on the toe: why is it such a big deal for him to miss the 1st Round game anyway? I mean why not just rest him? I know the Tar Heels aren't as good without him, but is anyone now picking Radford to advance? Well?) or UCONN's #1 seeding, yada, yada, yada, but that's nothing you haven't read about furiously over the last three days or so. So, we're going in a slightly different direction, Bon appetite!

In the field of 65, 34 schools have animal nicknames, while 21 have human nicknames

Nine teams have feline nicknames, seven have aviary or bird nicknames, and five have dog nicknames.

The most popular nickname in this year's tourney? That would be Eagles and Tigers with four.

There are three Bulldog squads and two each of Panther, Wildcat, Husky, Golden Bear, Aggie and Viking.

But, there can only be one Highlander squad and that would be Radford.

Unfortunately Cincinnati is not in the field of 65, so there will be only one team of Bearcats. That of course being Binghamton.

And no Bucknell, means North Dakota State will be the only Bison roaming the fields of 65.

Out West.....

It'll be a dog fight in Portland when the Huskies of Washington grapple with the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

If the top four seeds in the West advance to the Sweet Sixteen, we'll be treated to Huskies (UCONN) vs. Huskies (Washington) and Tigers (Missouri) vs Tigers (Memphis). Bet that had something to do with the committee's seeding.

Best team name in the region? Cal St.-Northridge Matadors. Unfortunately neither Buffalo nor South Florida made the tourney, preventing the Bull vs. Matador matchup from happening. The Matadors are probably in for an early exit, as Tigers can accelerate a bit faster than Bulls.

Meanwhile on the other coast....

The Volunteers will fight with the Cowboys', probably over land or something, when Oklahoma State squares off with Tennessee.

While the Musketeers of Xavier will try and fens off the raid of the Portland State Vikings.

The Buccaneers of East Tennessee State will lock up with the Pittsburgh Panthers and a good old-fashioned NFC South battle, plus...

The winner of that game could end up meeting the Cowboys in the second round, and if some huge upsets occur, the Vikings in the Sweet Sixteen and either the Rams or Eagles in the Elite Eight!

Now the Rams and Eagles could be headed for a second round skirmish, if American and Virginia Commonwealth can both pull off first round upsets. Not likely, but you never know, that's why its called March Madness and not March Everything Goes According to Plan.

Yes, an American University athlete is an American Eagle, just like the clothing store.

And of course the matchup, we'd love to see in nature, Gophers vs. Badgers.

And then there's the outside chance of a Cowboys-Indians (Seminole to be precise) if Oklahoma State and Florida State make it to the Sweet 16.

Southern comfort....

While it is far from likely, if 7th seeded Clemson and 8th seeded LSU get to the Elite 8, we would have some Tiger on Tiger action, plus if things get really crazy they could possibly meet a Tiger team (Memphis or Mizzouu) in the Championship game.

Of course the best 1st round matchup is the Zips vs. Zags, which will be the first ever tournament game between two teams with three letter nicknames starting with “z”. Now I know, Gonzaga is actually the Bulldogs, but they have unis with “Zags” on them, which is good enough for me. Having said that....

If Gonzaga advances to the Sweet Sixteen, there's a small possibility they could meet Butler for a Bulldogfight.

Favorite nickname: Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks


Biggest first round game of name interest is Kansas versus North Dakota State. “Why”, you may ask? Well not only does Kansas hold the NCAA record for being upset by teams with “B” nicknames. The Bradley Braves and Bucknell Bison being the most recent, but they have not beaten a Bison team this century in the tournament! Yes North Dakota State is, in fact, the Bison. A Kansas loss would, quite possibly give them the record for most 1st round losses to Bison in the NCAA Tournament.

The 2nd Round could feature the Spartans going at it with the Trojans. Talk about Greek style!

A possible Sweet Sixteen matchup could feature the Demonic Deacons of Wake Forest versus the Saints of Siena, in a battle of good versus evil.

There could be a Regional Final for the birds, as the Cardinals of Louisville could meet either the Eagles of Boston College or the Jayhawks of Kansas.

Other nuggets:

The last time two teams with the same nickname meant in the final would be 1997, when the Arizona Wildcats defeated the Kentucky Wildcats.

Odds of that happening this year: Not good.

The Eagles are seeded 6, 7, 13 and 16

The Tigers are seeded 1, 3, 7, and 8 and the one and three seeds are in the same region.

The Bulldogs are seeded 4, 9 and 13.

Both Viking teams are seeded 13th, which could mean something.

The Bears are 6, 7 and 15.

Wildcats are 3 and 12.

Aggies are 9 and 11, and if that weren't enough og a long shot, they are in the same region!

Same for the Huskies, seeded 1 and 4 in the same region.

And the Panthers are 1 and 12 seeds.

So there ya have it, enjoy the games!

No comments:

Post a Comment