2014 NCAA MASCOT DEATHBRACKET: West Region

Thearon W. Henderson

The best way to understand basketball is by simulating violent animal death.

SB Nation 2014 NCAA March Madness Coverage

Get your full printable bracket here. For (serious) bracket predictions, head over here.

We have now reached the second region of our MASCOT DEATHBRACKET, wherein we help you pick your bracket my simulating how each school's mascot would fare in a fight against the mascot it is seeded against. It's not for the faint of heart, and it's not original, but it's important.

To see the East, head over here.

Round 1

#1 Arizona Wildcats vs. #16 Weber State Wildcats

Rodger Sherman
One of TWO Wildcat on Wildcat matchups in the field

Seth Rosenthal

So, to go back to the original Wildcat conversation, we're going to assume that "Wildcat" is a colloquial term for whichever cat the actual mascot most closely resembles.

Weber State's wildcat is a bobcat.

Rodger
Why can't schools be more original?

Seth
I don't know, it really bothers me.

Rodger
Weber State's mascot looks like there's something wrong with it.

Seth
Arizona's mascot is also a bobcat, and it actually looks like a bobcat instead of a rabid werelynx. Although that's just the logo. The big fuzzy guy looks like a mean ruddy koala.

The logo wears a hat and kerchief, which I think is important: 
2849_arizona_wildcats-mascot-2003_medium

via content.sportslogos.net

Rodger
My personal instinct is to punish both schools for being stupid fucking Wildcats.
But thinking critically, I think the Weber State mascot is rabid
And is probably gonna die ASAP.
All the Arizona Wildcat has to do is survive

Seth
Yes, and Arizona's has a fucking hat and kerchief. It's smart enough to put on clothes.
So I think it knows to steer clear of rabid Waldo and let him perish.
So Arizona?

Rodger
Yeah.

#8 Gonzaga Bulldog vs. #9 Oklahoma State Cowboy

Rodger
Of note: the OK State Cowboy is of the gun-toting variety, not the cowboy that herded cows across large expanses of land
He also looks EXACTLY like Burt Reynolds

Seth
He looks like Burt Reynolds crossed with an unprincipled convict who has no qualms about shooting a nice doggy.

20130101_mje_se2_118

(Matthew Emmons, USA Today Sports)

Rodger
So I think this is the saddest matchup in the tournament.
This ends with a guy shooting a puppy.

Seth
Asshole cowboy.
Those guns are gonna make him a tough out.
Moving on

#5 Oklahoma Sooners vs. #12 North Dakota State Bison

Seth
Let's establish what a Sooner is.
From Yahoo: "The name "Sooners" actually comes from the history books. The Oklahoma Land Run took place on April 22, 1889. This was the official opening of Oklahoma Territory to homesteaders wanting to claim a tract of 160 acres of land as their own. However, not everyone waited for the starting signals at noon, and those who went early became known as Sooners."
So, basically, impatient cheating cheaters.

Rodger
Did Bison ever live in Oklahoma?

Seth
Yes, I think so.
Yes.

Rodger
and, if so
did they get murdered by Oklahoman settlers?

Seth
Yes.
Does it matter that the Sooner mascot is a sleazy looking horse?
A horse complicit in the land-grab cheating, I might add.

Rodger
This is the rare mascot battle that has we have categorical evidence has actually taken place and was won decisively

Seth
The West is the "humans are assholes" bracket, which I guess is fitting.

#3 San Diego State Aztecs vs. #14 New Mexico State Aggies

Rodger
It should be noted that New Mexico State and Oklahoma State have the same mascot, Pistol Pete.
An Aggie is just a person that goes to agricultural school, so they co-opted a cowboy.

Seth
Neither of which is Pete Maravich.
I mean, just a college student, really.

Rodger
Wyoming also uses Pistol Pete. People who run colleges are boring.
Anyway, this seems like another mismatch: its a guy with a gun facing off against a member of a Pre-Columbian empire

Seth
We're giving the Aggie a gun?

Rodger
Like, all he does is have a gun.
His name is "Pistol Pete."

164233027

(Photo credit: Thearon W. Henderson)

Seth
Man, fuck him.
This sucks because the Aztec has arrows and darts and slings and shit.
But...guns. Two guns.

Rodger
If your name was "Sword Seth," I'd be pretty pissed if you didn't have a sword.

Seth
My name is Hands Seth.
So the two-gunned human rides again.

Rodger
I foresee a shootout.

Seth
Yes this is going to end in a duel. Moving on.

#6 Baylor Bears vs. #11 Nebraska Cornhuskers

Rodger
OH NO IT'S JUST A BEAR MAULING SOMEBODY

Seth
"Well, guess I'll go outside and shuck some corn! Hope I don't run into any giant fearsome predators!"

Rodger
Scarecrows scare off crows. Bears don't give a shit.
He needs a Scarebear.

Seth
What would that be?
Google says bears are afraid of dogs.
And...again, I have backyard experience suggesting that is true.

Rodger
For clarification: did you just google "what are bears afraid of"

Seth
I did.

Screen_shot_2014-03-17_at_3

Rodger
So, until this poor farmer figures out his Scarebear technology, RIP.
A rare victory for animals in this bracket.

Seth
That bear will meet the gun eventually, but good job for now.

#3 Creighton Bluejays vs. No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns

Rodger
It's a person from Louisiana, and he's pissed.

Seth
Why is he so angry?
Or she.

Rodger
I'm picturing it being like The Waterboy.

Seth
Just inherently angry? Medulla oblongata defect?

Rodger
It should be noted that UL-Lafayette's mascot is not an angry Louisianan dude, but an anthropomorphic Cayenne pepper.

Seth
I wonder if a Blue Jay, which does feed on some fruits as well as bugs, has what it takes to digest a cayenne pepper.

Rodger
It also occurs to me that although I brought up The Waterboy (who is from Louisiana) I might be conflating him with one of the dumbest characters in SNL history, Cajun Man, also played by Adam Sandler..

Seth
Well, we need to decide: Rowdy person or spicy pepper?

Rodger
Rowdy person. I do like the pepper mascot, though.

Seth
It is presumably a rowdy man-pepper.
Either way, I don't think a Blue Jay stands much chance.
A hardy but not exactly fearsome bird.

Rodger
*Bluejay, Seth. Creighton is very exacting about misspelling the name of the bird by making it one word

Seth
Okay so they definitely lose for being buttholes about spelling.

Rodger
Blue Jays are kinda jerks! They're predatory! They're like pretty crows.

Seth
But smaller and less dominant. They'll rock a lizard now and then, but nothing much bigger.

Rodger
Cajuns roll.
err, Rage.

Seth
All they do is rage.

#7 Oregon Ducks vs. #10 BYU Cougars

Seth
Well, that's easy.

Rodger
Yikes.
Bloodbath.

Seth
Another realistic match-up.

Rodger
It's especially sad since Oregon's mascot is literally Donald Duck.

20131124_jla_aa8_599

(Scott Olmos, USA Today Sports)

With his cute little hat and everything.

Seth
Imagine his high-pitched cries for help while a mountain lion chomps on his throat.
Or don't, your call.

#2 Wisconsin Badgers vs. #15 American Eagles.

Seth
This is tough.

Rodger
DAMN I'M HYPE ABOUT THIS MATCHUP

Seth
Badgers are pretty big and pugnacious.
But a bald eagle is a bald eagle.

Rodger
Good gracious Badgers Pugnacious

Seth
I always say that.

Rodger
Yeah, generally out of context.

Seth
I get thrown out of a lot of libraries.
I see no evidence on the internet of bald eagles preying on badgers, but I reckon they could if they wanted to.
Top of the food chain, y'all.

Rodger
I think I'm going to go with the eagle, but, yo, this would be a FIGHT.
A lot of claws and talons and teeth and power.

Seth
A bald eagle's more prone to scavenging anyway.
But yeah, if so compelled, I assume it could take down a badger.
And this is March Madness, the most compelling tournament of all.
Murder a badger or go home.

Rodger
he'd look at the badger and be like
wow
that thing put up a fight.
it was a true competitor.

Seth
RIP badger

Rodger
SNAAAKE SNAAAAAKE

ROUND OF 32

#1 Arizona Wildcat vs. #9 Oklahoma State Cowboy

Seth
Another realistic match-up.

Rodger
"I already murdered a dog. Come here, kitty."

#5 Oklahoma Sooner vs. #13 New Mexico State Aggie

Rodger
2 GUNZ
the name of 2 Chainz' security guard, I imagine

Seth
We need to take a close look at each person here.

Rodger
Pistol Pete has two guns. The Sooner probably has a rifle in the Sooner Schooner
big ol covered wagon

Seth
I see some New Mexico State logos with a lasso, too, so that horse is toast.

Rodger
The Aggie appears to make his living as a gunman, whereas the Sooner is a settler who might have a gun to do his farming and whatnot but probably isn't as skilled or quick to draw

Seth
His premature land-claiming makes me wonder if he'd draw early.
Whatever, though. I'm taking the Aggie.
Ropes the horse, shoots the Sooner, moves to the Sweet 16.

#6 Baylor Bear vs. #14 Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajun

Rodger
This Bear is just marching from state to state, killing.

Seth
The Ragin' Cajun's noise may spook the bear initially, but when push comes to shove, that is an unarmed man-pepper.
Bear's gonna have diarrhea after this one.

Rodger
The rage is over.

Seth
Well, except for the ragin' bear bowel movements.

Rodger
Tack a frowny face on that dumb meme.

Seth
(BBMs)

Rodger
I never had a Blackberry. That's what those were?

Seth
Yeah, why do you think they went out of business?

#10 BYU Cougar vs. #15 American Eagle

Rodger
OHHHHHH SNAP
EAGLE VS. COUGAR

Seth
Cougar vs. Eagle HOOOOAAHHHHH

Rodger
SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Seth
THIS IS WHY WE PLAY THE GAMES
MARCH MADNESS Y'ALL

Rodger
Oh, man, I just have no idea.
This is a classic, majestic American woodlands MurderBattle

Seth
Well here's where I want to mention again that eagles are pretty overrated as hunters.

Rodger
Yeah, they mainly go for fish.

Seth
And even then pick up others' leftovers.
Also, here is a video:


Not a bald eagle, but still pretty convincing.

Rodger
I also have my rule of land vs. air mascot combat battle: the flier has to come to the land mammal

Seth
YouTube commenter: "Eagle has no chance against a healthy, mature cougar. A kitten/cub sure"
Right, that gives it the advantage of ambush.
But this is a goddamn cougar.

Rodger
I think it gives the land mammal the advantage!

Seth
Why? It's on defense from the outset.

Rodger
Yeah! It's harder to attack something that's set up in defense
Unless the eagle can construct a siege unit

Seth
If you say so.
But yeah I'm with you here.
That eagle comes at the cougar and the cougar is gonna slash it into birdmeat.

Rodger
Dear goodness, I just watched the video.
Damn.

Seth
Blowout.

Rodger
The music is so peppy
It sounds like t.A.t.U.
for an eagle getting killed dead.

Seth
Yeah very rave-y music for the death of a beautiful bird.
Such is March Madness.
BYU wins.

SWEET 16

#9 Oklahoma State Cowboy vs. #13 New Mexico State Aggie

Rodger
We have Oklahoma State's Pistol Pete vs. New Mexico State's Pistol Pete.
This is sort of like the scene in Face/Off where Nicolas Cage and John Travolta are on different sides of a mirror pointing guns at their own reflection.

Seth
They look pretty similar. OSU's looks drunker and angrier. NMSU's more polished.

Rodger
I'm going to give this to OSU. They might both be Pistol Petes -- Pistols Pete? -- but OSU is a Cowboy Pistol Pete, whereas NMSU is an Aggie Pistol Pete
Only one is a professional gunsman.

Seth
You know, you mentioned that OSU's Pistol Pete looked like Burt Reynolds before, but the Aggies' looks even more like Burt Reynolds, I think.

327px-new_mexico_state_aggies_logo

OSU's kinda looks like Dennis Farina in comparison.
The Aggie may be a less competent gunman, but he is more Reynoldsy, I think, and that's an advantage.

Rodger
You've swayed me.

Seth
But wait.
Does it matter that the Cowboy appears to have more ammo on his belt while the Aggie does not?
Or does Burt get this done in one shot.

Rodger
Burt needs one bullet, dawg.

Seth
BURT RIDES. New Mexico State moves on.

#6 Baylor Bear vs. #10 BYU Cougar

Seth
Bear vs.Cougar!

Rodger
YOOOOOOOOO

Seth
HELL YEAH [goes to YouTube}

Seth
Check out the video description. This video uploader is excellent at SEO.
And this cougar mom is excellent at defending her cubs.

Rodger
btw i'm ust sitting here cracking up and yelling HOLY SHIT

Seth

We have no evidence yet of one animal killing the other, but the cougars are winning these battles just in terms of standing their ground.

Rodger
But the way these fights unfold makes it look like the bear has the upper hand here.
It's bigger. It's stronger.

Seth
Logic also suggests that.
It should be noted that if you google "[animal] vs. [animal]", Google is very good about displaying their specs side by side.

Screen_shot_2014-03-17_at_7

Gotta take that tail length into account.

Rodger
The cougar is fighting for its life, the bear is fighting for a little bit of food.

Seth
Right, but in this case, both animals are fighting to the death. They are equally motivated.

Rodger
I think in that situation, the Bear wins.
I think the bear is just too big to lose here.

Seth
So basically, there is anecdotal evidence of cougars killing bears, but if you have to pick one, pick bear.
The cougar is a TOUGH out, but I think we're in agreement here.

Rodger
So, for a trip to the final four: Bear vs. Cowboy
And I think I'm going to surprise you here, Seth.

Seth
Here's a question we haven't addressed: Is the bear injured from its previous battles?

Rodger
No. fresh fights.

Seth
Or is this a clean slate?
Okay cool.
Hit me with the surprise.

Rodger
This isn't a basketball tournament. It's a death fight tournament.
The schedulers would plan appropriately.
Anyway, the surprise: I think the bear has got this, Seth.

Seth
Bear has some weeks to recoup, got it.
Why?
Bear in mind [laugh track] this is Burt Reynolds.

Rodger
The gunman in question is Pistol Pete.
Note: pistol.
To take down a bear, he's going to need a higher caliber weapon.

Seth
Oh yeah I guess we're done making him Burt Reynolds since he's no longer being compared to a fellow Pistol Pete.

Rodger
Unless he gets that sucker right in the head.

Seth
That's fair. And like I mentioned before, he doesn't have an ammo belt.
Shit, I was already for Pistol Pete to win this one, but I suppose you're right.
all ready

Rodger
As an experienced bear hunter (I have played Big Buck Hunter and Red Dead Redemption)
A pistol is not a good weapon for killing a bear.

Seth
On the other hand, a bear is a very good weapon for killing an Aggie.

Rodger
Or anything, as we've learned.

Seth
So Baylor heads to the Final Four, eh?

Rodger
"Sic Them," as they say.
That is a popular expression amongst Baylor fans.

Seth
The whole West bracket got sic'd.

Rodger
Poor bulldog.

West_medium

#6 BAYLOR ADVANCES TO THE FINAL FOUR.

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