2014 NCAA Mascot DEATHBRACKET: South Region

Stephen Dunn

Horses and lumberjacks and bears, oh my!

SB Nation 2014 NCAA March Madness Coverage

Get your full printable bracket here. For actual bracket predictions go here.

This is the 2014 NCAA Mascot DEATHBRACKET, where we pick winners based not on basketball, but on which team's macsot would win a fair, one-on-one battle to the death. We've already done the West and East regions, with gruesome battles producing the Memphis Tigers and Baylor Bears as Final Four contenders. Now to the South.

PLAY-IN

Rodger Sherman
So, before we get to the 1-16 matchup, we have to decide who the 16 seed is. We've got the Albany Great Dane and the Mt. St. Mary's Mountaineer.

Emmit_12_medium

via www.mountathletics.com

Seth Rosenthal
Oh great, starting off another post with dog murder.
Although...

Rodger
Dude, mountaineers have pickaxes.

Seth
They do.

Rodger
Great danes are big, but never struck me as vicious.

Seth
Indeed, the biggest dog, but so placid and sweet.

Rodger
More slobbery.

Seth
So.

Rodger
Scooby Doo never solves mysteries by killing the guy in the ghost costume.

Seth
Okay can we just move on before we have to think about this image? At least the Aggies and Cowboys out West had guns and could be quick about it.

Rodger
Yeah. So, the Florida Gator, and quite frankly I'm glad we didn't have to see the gator chomping a great dane.

ROUND ONE

#1 Florida Gator vs. #16 Mount Saint Mary's Mountaineer

Seth
My instinct is to guess that a gator takes down a guy with a pickaxe.

Rodger
I think a lot of this matchup comes down to arena. Gators are out of place on mountains, mountaineers are out of place in swamps.
But, yeah.

Seth
Well, we're assuming neutral ground, right?

Rodger
A prairie, perhaps.
We're lucky we didn't have anything fully aquatic here. Deciding a neutral site woulda been weird.

Seth
Yeah, thank god the UC Laguna Beach Sea Cucumbers aren't in it.
Alligator skin is super thick.
And any implement the mountaineer has isn't sharpened for fighting purposes, it's just a climbing apparatus.

Rodger
Remember that dope-ass longform we had about gator hunting?
Like, you have to be super-ready to kill a gator to kill a gator.
And even then.

Seth
I do. It did not give me confidence in one man's ability to kill a gator.
Think of it this way: Mountaineer has one pointy thing, gator has a mouth full of pointy things and thicker skin and a much larger body.

Rodger
Game, FLAWDA.

#8 Colorado Buffalo vs. #9 Pittsburgh Panther

Seth
That's a good one!
So we're talking about an American Bison, obviously. Not like a water buffalo. The Colorado mascot cannot drown the panther in delicious mozzarella cheese.

Rodger
We've given a lot of love to big cats in this bracket
But I really don't think a panther -- which isn't the biggest of the big cats -- can take down a buffalo one-on-one.

Seth
Well, let's be clear about what a panther is here. This isn't a black panther. The Pittsburgh Panther is a mountain lion.

Usatsi_7805931_medium
(John David Mercer, USPresswire)

So yeah, not a "big cat", technically. About the size of a Great Dane, actually.

Rodger
The question is how the Buffalo is gonna get to killin'.

Seth
An adult male bison weighs ~ten times as much as an adult male mountain lion.

Rodger
I think a good charge, horns down -- the have horns, yes? -- could seriously maim a panther.

Seth
Right.
Yeah, they usually operate in herds, but a single male buffalo can definitely charge, and it's got a decent set of horns and tramplin' hooves.
I'm with you. I give this to Colorado. An upset in the animal kingdom, if not in the seedings.

#5 Virginia Commenwealth Ram vs. #12 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack

Rodger
AXE VS. HORNS.

Seth
The VCU ram appears to be a bighorn sheep.
Nice set of horns on that guy indeed.
But uhhhh yeah the lumberjack has a large axe.
Typically used to fell whole trees.
Oh my god, Stanford is in this bracket.

Rodger
And while rams are muscular and strong
and sturdy, so sturdy that it uses its head as a weapon
Lumberjacks, are, like, the burliest males we have.

Seth
Look how hunky the SFA lumberjack is, too.

31-staines_l_rdax_250x350_medium
(via the school website)

Or at least the former one.

Rodger
Also, following on our discussion from yesterday: SFA's women's teams are called the Ladyjacks, although I wish they were called the Lumberjills.

Seth
Yes! That'd be so much better.
Anyway, the F stands for "Fuck up a ram with no remorse". I think we can call that one pretty easily.

Rodger
Little known fact. Also a Lil Wayne line
I'm a bit disappointed the mountaineer is out. Would've liked to see that fight.

Seth
So is the mountaineer.

Rodger
RIP

#4 UCLA Bruin vs. #13 Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Seth
Okay so... what

Rodger
So, yeah
A golden hurricane isn't a thing
Despite our joke on Twitter:

Seth
Someone on Twitter suggested it'd be someone peeing off a carousel, which I like, but I guess it's just a hurricane.

Rodger
The question here is whether a cute baby bear can weather a storm... which I guess is golden.

Seth
Is a bruin explicitly a baby bear?

Rodger
waaaaaaait
Sorry, baby bears are cubs, duh
And we know they're bad at sports.

Seth
No cubs here, thankfully.

Rodger
Bruin is an Old English word used for brown bears (from the Dutch bruin meaning brown). It is often mistakenly said to mean a pregnant bear.

Seth
I'm happy it doesn't actually mean a pregnant bear.
That might have been too grisly for our purposes.
...
...
...
grisly

Rodger
Let's pick back up in a second. I'm gonna go jump off a bridge.
/five minutes
Phew, water's cold today guys! Anyway, I think a bear could withstand a hurricane.

Seth
I think so, too. Golden or not.

Rodger
SB Nation is taking a strong stance. STOP USING WEATHER SYSTEMS AS MASCOTS, COLLEGES

#6 Ohio State Buckeye vs. #11 Dayton Flyer

Seth
A buckeye is a nut.

Rodger
Yes.
There is one way a buckeye can kill a person.
Buckeyes are poisonous nuts.

Seth
A fruit, technically. But basically a big squishy poisonous acorn.

Rodger
However, even in the scenario where the buckeye poisons the person and the person dies
the buckeye has been entirely consumed.

Seth 
Right.
The Flyers, according to Wikipedia, are the Wright brothers.

Rodger
Yes. I saw the mascot this weekend. He has nice goggles.
But yeah, all he has to do is smash the nut in a way not involving eating it.

Seth
Funny that multiple locales claim the Wright brothers for naming purposes.

Rodger
Even if he does eat it, he still wins.

Seth
I picture Orville tossing the nut up high in the air and Wilbur flying through it with a plane such that the propeller chops it into little pieces.

Rodger
heads up: baby sifaka on zooborns

Seth
so good

Rodger
didn't see the baby at first
i was like wow baby sifakas are really adult looking

#3 Syracuse Orange vs. #14 Western Michigan Bronco

Rodger
the South is the FRUITDEATH region
Look away, guys. The video you're about to watch is graphic.


Seth
Have you ever fed a horse? It's fun.

Rodger
Never an orange.
Wow, just goes at it without removing the peel.

Seth
Horses DGAF about what they're eating. They just put it away.

Rodger
BTW, I'd like to point out that all the related videos here are for animal sex.
Or maybe my YouTube history is just weird.

good dog

Seth
Tucker is a great name for a horse. That guy looks like a Tucker.
Anyway, Orange is done. At least be poisonous and make this interesting, Syracuse.

Rodger
But yeah: Syracuse used to be the Orangemen and Orangewomen and then they decided to desex, and their mascot is pretty clearly an anthropomorphic orange.
which has now been eaten by a horse.

Seth
I'm taking a bronco over a person with carotenosis anyway.

#7 New Mexico Lobo vs. #10 Stanford Cardinal

Rodger
This seems like a stalemate to me.

Seth
Why?

Rodger
A wolf can't kill a tree. A tree can't kill a wolf.

Seth
Oh, I'm a dumbass. I was picturing a bird for a second there.

Rodger
Dude.
You just made a Stanford tree reference earlier

Seth
I know, I'm sorry.
They call it "March Madness" for a reason.
The reason is that it makes bloggers scatterbrained.
I think stalemate = the tree wins.

Rodger
Yeah.
The video of this deathmatch is just the regular video of a wolf living its life and a tree living its life
And then the wolf dies.

Seth
The wolf attacks that big-ass sequoia until it dies from exhaustion.

Rodger
Or that.

Seth
Or what you said.
Either way, a huge tree is outliving a wolf

Rodger
I like this matchup. It's the least violent one we've had so far.

Seth
There's an advantage in this tournament to being monolithic and just playing defense.

Rodger
Giant trees are gonna do well in a lot of brackets, because there's nobody whose job it is to cut down treOOHHHHH NOOOOOOOOO

Seth
Well, we'll see. Next!

#2 Kansas Jayhawk vs. #14 Eastern Kentucky Colonel

Rodger
We can't stress this enough: the Eastern Kentucky Colonel is just mean Colonel Sanders.

20140120235113_easternkentuckycolonels_medium


And I think we know Mean Colonel Sanders' stance on bird murder
burder, for short
Not only is he going to kill this Jayhawk
It's going to taste DELICIOUS.

Seth
By the way, a jayhawk isn't a thing.

Rodger
Not even some weird hybrid?
Jays are in the crow family

Seth
Nope, not a real one. Just a made-up people term.
Wikipedia suspects it has something to do with John Jay.

Rodger
The Supreme Court justice?

Seth
Yes, that one.
Who...has nothing to do with Kansas.

Rodger
What's rock chalk?

Seth
I think that's when you use a sedimentary rock to draw on a chalkboard?

Rodger
Well. If a Jayhawk did exist

Seth
Yes, I think we're pretending this is a bird.

Rodger
The Colonel kills it.

Seth
Whatever it is, Colonel Sanders is murdering it and frying it.
And putting it in pot pie.

Rodger
*Popeye's

Seth
The correct answer there was "POT PIE!?!?!"

Rodger
Most lopsided matchup since EKU played the Southern Tennessee Herbs and Spices.
Next round?

Seth
Next round!

ROUND OF 32

#1 Florida Gator vs. #8 Colorado Buffalo

Seth
Hell yeah.

Rodger
Hoooooooooooly crap.

Seth
This is not a matchup that ever happens. No overlapping range here, obviously.
But we do have crocodiles and other large bovids for comparison.

Rodger
Can the Gator get high enough to chomp on a vital part of the buffalo? Can it take out the buffalo's legs?

Seth
Yeah, I think it can.

Rodger
We agreed earlier the buffalo's main weapon was its charging.

Seth
I don't think a single buffalo has a chance.

Rodger
I'm not sure it can really pull that off against an animal as low as the gator.

Seth
Yeah I don't think so.

Rodger
It could get lucky and stomp on the gator.

Seth
Thick skin, though.
You need a team, buffalo. Should have been Marshall.

Rodger
But yeah, you're right. Croc vs. Water Buffalo is comparable, and ends with RIP Buffalo.

#12 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack vs. #4 UCLA Bruin

Rodger
I feel like this has happened before.
A lot.

Seth
This feels like an environmentalist battle.
Forest dweller vs. forest destroyer.
We have established that pistols won't take down a full-sized bear. Would an axe?

Rodger
No. Too close range.
And not powerful enough.
They got so much hide and fat.

Seth
Someone in the comments of a previous post pointed out that based on a bear's heart rate, even after a decent-sized wound, it'd be able to do some damage.
So, like, the lumberjack could take a good swing at the bear, but if they're that close, the bear gets to answer, and that's not going to go too well.

Rodger
I feel like when a lumberjack sees a bear, his first thought isn't "let me kill this bear," it's "let me avoid this bear"

Seth
Definitely.

Rodger
Game, Bruin.

Seth
Stanford rejoices.

#11 Dayton Flyer vs. #14 Western Michigan Bronco

Seth
Hmm.

Rodger
Is the Flyer in a plane?

Seth
I think so.

Rodger
Is it a crappy turn of the century plane?
Does it have weapons on it?

Seth
Yes, I think so.
No, I don't think so.

Rodger
I feel like 90 percent of the guy, the guy flying a 1908-era plane is gonna die of his own accord.

Seth
It's the Wright Flyer.
800px-first_flight2_medium
Rodger
"I'm going to traverse the Atlantic Oce-" /crashes off of Long Island

Seth
Right.
But how would "I'm gonna kill this pissed-off horse with my plane" go?

Rodger
I feel like that thing would snap in half if it hit a horse.

Seth
It'd also get perilously close to the ground.

Rodger
I think any attempt at plane-on-horse warfare ends badly for the Flyer.

Seth
I think I side with the Bronco. That plane can take down a nut, but nothing greater.

Rodger
And any attempt at mano-a-mano combat ends with a hoof to the head.

Seth
Oh yeah, don't you dare make this a battle on foot.

Rodger
Game, horse.
#SorryAdam_Jacobi

#10 Stanford Cardinal vs. #15 Eastern Kentucky Colonel

Rodger
So, the Colonel isn't a tree-cutter by trade
But he's a person.

Seth
He is. Do we grant him the ability to acquire tools? He is represented unarmed.
(Assuming we don't grant him a whole army to lead.)

Rodger
So normally we haven't given our competitors the chance to go for help or tools, because they were locked in death battle.
Like, if the Lumberjack went to get a better tool, he wouldn't make it. He'd just get eaten.
But being "locked in death battle" with a tree is kind of a never-ending thing.

Seth
Right, Colonel's got all kinds of time.
Like, pretty much eternity on a human scale.

Rodger
He could be like "BRB" and go home, have dinner with his wife
Nice peaceful sleep
Wake up, go to the tool store

Seth
The tree will neither suffer nor make progress.
Also! Fire.

Rodger
Oh, yeah, if he's crafty
He could use the tree against itself!
Rip off some branches and rub em together

Seth
It would be tough to burn a fully healthy sequoia, but it could be done with time and effort.
And, again, the tree isn't going anywhere.
Colonel wins?

Rodger
Yeah. The wolf didn't have the craftiness at his disposal that the person does.
A smart person, too. Captain of industry, military leader.

Seth
Sequoia chunks in your pot pie.

SWEET 16

#1 Florida Gator vs. #4 UCLA Bruin

Rodger
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Seth
FUCK YEAH

Rodger
BOOOM BANG BING BONG BOOM
Seth Rosenthal
TO YOUTUBE

Rodger
What's up with this animal face-off show?
Is it hypothetical?

Seth
Yeah, it appears to be.
Oh my god the animation is so terrible.
Here, the alligator attempts a tail swipe, then tries to retreat to the water. The bear flips it over, exposes its soft underbelly, and murders it dead.
It's important to note that this battle is staged at water's edge, so neutral territory.

Rodger
mmmmmm underbelly

Seth
Have you ever eaten gator?

Rodger
No!

Seth
Me neither.
I'd like to.

Rodger
That sounds reasonable, though.

Seth
It's counterintuitive, I think, but the suggestion here is that the bear's thick fur and fat is better for defense than the alligator skin.
And the bear is way more mobile. And I think it could keep this match on land.

Rodger
Bear's also got a variety of weapons.
Claws to maul, mouth to rip.
More flexible.
Gator's kind of a one-trick Ginuwine song.

Seth
Word.
Speaking of which...

Rodger
BWAMP
BWAMP BWAMP BWAMP

#14 Western Michigan Bronco vs. #15 Eastern Kentucky Colonel

Seth
I'M JUST A COLONELLLLL LOOKING FOR A BRONCO
SOMEONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO DIE/BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN COMPELLED TO DO MURDERING BY THIS INANE BLOGGER BRACKET EXERCISE

Rodger
Before we continue, is that how you'd phoneticize the [noise from the beginning of "Pony?"]
BWAMP

Seth
I might drop the "p".
"Bwam"
But I'm fine with that.

Rodger
Okay.
So in the last battle the Colonel had an eternity.
In this battle he's getting trampled good by a bronco.

Seth
I think the Colonel has an ace up his sleeve, though.
He is an old-timey military man. He probably has experience breaking horses. Could he be a horse whisperer of sorts?
Could he talk the Bronco out of killing, gain its trust, then gouge out its eyes?

Rodger
Actually, we probably should've been clearer up front.
A Kentucky Colonel isn't a military term. It's an honorary title.
These are the rich dudes who sit in the actual stadium part of Churchill Downs.

Seth
OH.

Rodger
I'm betting this guy not only knows how to deal with horses, he owns, like, hundreds of em.

Seth
Well, still. Horse experience.
Yeah.
If anyone can subdue the Bronco...
I suppose actually killing it once its been quieted would be difficult, though. And you'd have to be pretty swift or you'd lose its trust in an instant and have a giant raging beast on your hands again.

Rodger
I like the chance you gave the Colonel
But I'm giving it to the Bronco.
Broncos are super-tough to tame, right?

Seth
Yeah, I read that book When The Legends Die in eighth grade and can confirm that is so.
And all it needs is one good kick at the head.

Rodger
I think more than any other bracket, this one's had interesting matchups. Bear would've lost to tree, Lumberjack woulda beaten tree, Bear beat lumberjack. And somehow a horse is in the Elite Eight.

Seth
But yeah, since our "colonel" doesn't have a gun or any weapon, really, by default, I don't think he could tame the horse then kill it quickly enough to avoid more problems. You're right.
Indeed. A single shake of the seeding and we'd have a totally different outcome.

ELITE EIGHT

#4 UCLA Bruin vs. #14 Western Michigan Bronco

Seth
Well, looks like we've got another bear.

Rodger
I think I'm with you

Seth
Of course Wiki.Answers.com is helpful:
"If a horse was truly intent on killing a bear, it would first try to knock it to the ground, most likely by kicking it while the bear was standing on it's hind legs. Then the horse would stomp on the bear's head until it either died or moved away."
I am unconvinced.

Rodger
Okay, so a bear attacks a horse. A horse runs away

Seth
I like the idea of stomping on the bear's ahead until it "either died or moved away."

Rodger
Bear can't catch up. Horse can turn around, build up full speed and charge.

Seth
The bear's like QUIT STOMPING I'LL PACK UP MY STUFF AND HEAD WEST.

Rodger
"Man, this neighborhood."

Seth
The horse charges, then what?

Rodger
He runs straight at the bear. Knocks it over.

Seth
Are we sure a horse can knock a bear over?

Rodger
Who weighs more?

Seth
It's a wide range for both, obviously, but it looks like a roughly similar range.

Rodger
Also, horses are brittle. Even if it knocks a bear over, who's more damaged?

Seth
Can't horses break their little stupid legs really easily?

Rodger
Yeah, and they can't come back from that.
Seth, I have some bad news.

Seth
I want to give the horse a shot, and I don't want another bear in the Final Four, but...

Rodger
Look at the 14 seed in the Midwest bracket.

4196_mercer_bears-alternate-2007_medium

Seth
Dammit.

Rodger
Yup.

Seth
We'll see how that one goes.

Rodger
Bears are godless killing machines, and right now two of our Final Four are bears with a third looming.

South__1__medium

#4 UCLA BRUIN ADVANCES TO THE FINAL FOUR

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