2014 NCAA Mascot DEATHBRACKET: Midwest Region

BLUE DEVIL VS. SUN DEVIL! WILDCAT VS. WILDCAT!

SB Nation 2014 NCAA March Madness Coverage

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

We are now through three of four regions of our DEATHBRACKET: EastWest, and South. We now only have to complete the fourth and final Midwest region to

PLAY-IN GAMES

#16 Cal Poly Mustangs vs. #16 Texas Southern Tigers

Seth Rosenthal
Dead horse. Next!

No. 11 Iowa Hawkeye vs. No. 11 Tennessee Volunteer

Seth
So, just like, a nice a person vs. a bird's organ.

Rodger
Well, in a way, these are both military figures.
The Tennessee Volunteer is named after Tennessee's propensity to send troops in early American wars, like the War of 1812.

Seth
Right. I remember the Tennessee Volunteers. I don't really get the Hawkeye background.

Rodger
And the Iowa Hawkeye is named after a sharpshooter, like the dude in the Avengers.

Seth
Hmm.

Rodger
Errr, Hawkeye is a character in Last of the Mohicans. Forget what I said earlier.
But there's still the dude in the Avengers from Iowa.

Seth
I don't know what the hell to do with this.

Rodger
It should be pointed out Iowa's actual mascot is a Hawk. Herky.
Whereas the logo is a hawk's head, and the name is a hawk's... eye.

Seth
And Tennesee's is a hound dog named Smokey.

Rodger
Daww.

Seth

Tennessee-volunteers-mascot-smokey-bluetick-coonhound_medium

GOOD DOG

Rodger
Great dog.
Seth, do you mind taking a little bit of liberty here?

Seth
Go on.

Rodger
Hypothetically, the point of this activity is to assist somebody in picking a bracket.
And all that matters is who comes out of this 6/11 matchup.
Would you be willing to venture the UMass Minuteman -- a member of the colonial militia -- should move on from this matchup, against either a dog/soldier or a hawk/hawkhead/hawkeye/novel character

Seth
Yeah, I would.
Can we say it's the Hawkeye so that nice doggy doesn't get shot?

Rodger
Sure.
Good dog.

Seth
The dog didn't get killed by the Hawkeye, either.
Smokey just didn't wake up to fight.

Rodger
One of two survivors in the bracket.
We haven't decided the other.

Seth
Smokey is the prize now.
Survivor gets to pet Smokey.

Rodger
Unless it's a Bear.
or a tiger.
Keep them away from Smokey pls

Rodger Sherman
RIP.

No. 12 NC State Wolf Pack vs. No 12 Xavier Musketeer

Rodger
I think the wolf -- a single wolf, and not a pack -- beats a guy with a musket.

Seth
You think? The guy is a professional musketeer.
Not some random bro with a musket.

Rodger
I think even good musketeers got off, like, .7 shots per minute.
Because they had muskets.

Seth
The West Virginia Mountaineer once killed a bear with a musket and he doesn't even eer muskets, he eers mountains
eer me now

Rodger
ummmmmmmm
if a dude with a MUSKET can kill a bear
we might have to redo half of our bracket.

Seth
Well no, I stand by pistols not killing bears.
A musket shoots a damn musket ball.
I held one of those in seventh grade. It's enormous.
It's like firing a little cannon.

Rodger
So I think the musketeer can beat the wolf.

Seth
I think it's a coin flip. Wanna flip a coin?

Rodger
No I think the wolf wins. Just guessing into the future
The future that has not yet happened

Seth
I flipped the coin and it was wolf anyway.
I have a coin with a picture of a wolf on one side and a picture of a musketeer on the other.
It's actually seven cents.

First Round

No. 1 Wichita State Shocker vs. No. 16 Texas Southern Tiger

Rodger
So, a shocker.
It's, like, a thing of wheat.

Seth
Or is that one who...gathers(?) wheat?
What do you do with wheat
Scythe it?

Rodger
Harvest it.

Seth
Whatever a shocker is, it is going to get bitten and clawed many times until it is dead.
Because there is a tiger present.

Rodger
"shock" is a synonym for "sheave."
A wheat shock is a bunch of grain stood upright in a field to dry.

Seth
Sheaf, you mean
I think

Rodger
Hey.

Seth
There are too many wheat words. Pick one fucking word, wheat.
Also, get dead by a tiger.

Rodger
You're obviously right, but I'd like to start some beef with you.
Perhaps several beeves.

Seth
*Beaf
*Beaves

Rodger
So, yeah. Tiger wins.

No. 8 Kentucky Wildcat vs. No. 9 Kansas State Wildcat

Rodger
FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Seth
You goddamn stupid college sports teams with your stupid stupid stupid unoriginal nicknames

Rodger
So the Kansas State Wildcat, Willie, is a weird thing with a cat head and human arms

Seth
Once again, we need to look closely at these wildcats.

Rodger
And I just told you everything you need to know.
What makes a cat scary?
CLAWS,

Seth
See this is odd.
There are some versions of the K-State wildcat that just look like a dazed Sylvester.
There are some that look like a gray mountain lion.

Rodger
That said, having fingers instead of claws mean the KSU mascot can SHRED

Seth
Oh shit.
We'll take that into account.
Meanwhile, Kentucky's wildcat is obviously a bobcat.

478787799

Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox, Getty  Images

Rodger
Christ, I love that video.
He really pretends to legitimately play guitar until he holds the thing up to his face to play with his nonexistent wildcat teeth.

Seth
I like to imagine he's diddling with his whiskers.
You know, since whomever we pick is going to get murdered by a tiger, I wanna go with K-State.

Rodger
Until the day I die, I will never forget my power towel. I will bring it to every game.

Seth
Not because I want Willie to die, just because I want him to win something.

Rodger
Yeah, screw it.

Seth
I keep my power towel under my bed.

Rodger
We've done 50 or so mascot death fights as accurately as possible.
Clawless Willie is beating the Kentucky Wildcat.

Seth
Sorry, Kentucky. Again, this ends in tiger murder anyway.

#5 St. Louis Billiken vs. #12 NC State Wolf Pack

Rodger
A Billiken, which AHHHHHHH

Seth
So uh
what is that

Rodger
A Billiken was a fad toy in the early 1920's
Like a Tomagotchi.

Seth
"A charm doll"

Rodger
But it was a doll with a terrifying demon head.

Seth
Oh I'm looking at photos

20130321_kkt_st3_017

Photo credit: USA Today Sports

NO NO NO KILL IT WITH A WOLF

Rodger
Seth, I saw one of these things this weekend.

Seth
I'm so sorry.

Rodger
I can honestly say it was scarier than the Richmond Spider.
and I HATE spiders.
Don't let your kids go to the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
They'll have nightmares.
Anyway, this thing is creepy as hell, but it can't murder.
It can get destroyed by a wolf.
Agreed?

Seth
Fully.

No. 4 Louisville Cardinal vs. No. 13 Manhattan Jasper

Rodger
So, this is the least deadly matchup battle in the field.
A cardinal is an adorable songbird.

Seth
Is Jasper a monk?
Is that what I'm reading here?

Rodger
The Manhattan Jaspers are named after Brother Jasper, a priest who taught at Manhattan College in the 1860's and introduced baseball.

Seth
Oh, a priest.

Rodger
He invented the 7th inning stretch!
He's not a threatening man.

Seth
anyway
No, he sounds really nice.

Rodger
But he's still a a person.
And Cardinals are completely harmless.
The birds. Not the religious figures.

Seth
They're...I dunno, feisty. They have some verve.

Rodger
If Brother Jasper went up against a Cardinal from the Vatican, he'd probably have some second thoughts.

Seth
Yeah I'm glad we're not making him do that.

Rodger
I think he can kill a little songbird, though. Especially if it's giving him hell.

Seth
Sure.
I think he'll eat it, too.
This is just a basic hunter-meat relationship. Nothing malicious.

No. 3 Duke Blue Devil vs. No. 14 Mercer Bear.

Seth
Now, we're gonna run into a devil again later.
But the Duke Blue Devil isn't a devil.

Rodger
That's a philosophical statement, Seth.

Seth
Yeah man
we all run into the devil eventually.
And/or run with the devil if we're Van Halen.
Anyway, the Duke Blue Devils are based on Chasseus Alpins, a French military unit.

Rodger

I took French for eight years. I think that means "Alpine shoes."

Seth
"Chasseus" is how French people sneeze.

Rodger
Crap. Shoes is "chausseurs," not "chasseur."
J'ai deux pamplemousses dans mes pantouffles.
Anyway. We've been very ursine thus far, Seth.

Seth
Well...
Finally I think we have the firepower to take down a bear.

Rodger
What type of gun do these French fighters have?

Seth
Even in the World War I era, I reckon a soldier "trained to operate in mountainous terrain and in urban warfare" is pretty well armed.

Rodger
Ohhhhhhhh, snap, World War I.

Seth
That's around when Duke stole their name.
If we're taking a modern day French Blue Devil, it's obviously no contest.

Rodger
Does that unit still exist?

Seth
Yes.

Rodger
Woah!
I feel like we also should say
I think an actual devil would kill a bear, too.
"Actual devil"

Seth
Sure, either way. But I think going forward this should be a French soldier with a badass gun and elite training.

Rodger
We sure he ain't gonna surrender? #HotMilitaryHistoryTakes

Seth
GOT EM
But for real, I consider myself pro-bear, but after three regions of this tournament, I'm so happy to see one die.

Rodger
There's a mission in Red Dead Redemption where you have to kill a bear. It's really empowering.
It's my main BearMurder experience.
Anyway: French military > a bear.

No. 7 Texas Longhorn vs. No. 10 Arizona State Sun Devil

Rodger
So we got a big, horny cow
And
Sun Satan?
Or a military unit from somewhere?

Seth
Nope, this is straight-up Satan.

Rodger
Better mustache.

Seth
And he lives on the sun instead of in Hell.
And he has a pitchfork, which would have been deadly against the Shockers.
Movin' sheaves, bro.
But anyway...Satan.
Versus a damn cow.

Rodger
You hungry, Seth?

Seth
Sports team names are dumb because they make you reckon with the idea of "a devil".

Rodger
I could go for some beeves.

Seth
FLAME-BROILED

Rodger
How many beeves would you like
Come to think of it, that's probably where Texas' mascot name comes from.
Bevo.

Seth
Three beeves, two sheaves, and a cardinal for me.

Rodger
Sorry, steer. You got Lucifered.

Seth
SUN OF THE MORNING

Rodger
I'm gonna chase cows out of earth.

No. 2 Michigan Wolverine vs. No. 15 Wofford Terrier

Seth
Welp.
It's a Boston Terrier, from the look of things.
Which is a dog bred to be cute and make YouTube videos, not to hunt wolverines.

Rodger
D O G M U R D E R

Seth
There has been so much dog murdering. I'm petting my dog for assurance.
I'm not sure who I'm assuring.

Rodger
Next up: The Indiana Western Killosaurs vs. the Brooklyn College Trudies

Seth
NOOOOOOO

Rodger
OH NOOOOO

Seth
Yo, humans should be ashamed for domesticating the mighty wolf to the point that it's getting rampaged by every damn mascot in Division I basketball.

Rodger
Well, a killosaur is a seven-armed monster with chainsaws for arms and Trudy is your cute dog.

Seth
Miss u gurl

Round of 32

No. 16 Texas Southern Tiger vs. No. 9 Kansas State Wildcat.

Seth
Tiger wins. Boring. Move on.

Rodger
Clawless.

Seth
There will be plaintive guitar-shredding at Willie's funeral.

Rodger
Yeah Purple Rain

Seth
Perfect.

No. 13 Manhattan Jasper vs. No. 12 NC State Wolf Pack

Seth
I mean, what's Jasper gonna do against a wolf?

Rodger
Pray.
Wolf is gonna prey, tho.

Seth
Pray, then be preyed upon.
GOOD JOKES, ALL

Rodger
Oooooh Seth
Every time Seth and I make the same joke, we rub our noses together.

Seth
"Noses"
JASPER DIES. NEXT.

No. 6 UMass Minutemen vs. No. 3 Duke Blue Devil

Rodger
So, a guy with a gun vs. a guy with a better gun.
Hmm.

Seth
This is what's known as "war".
But yeah, the Blue Devil has more advanced technology.
Got that killing edge by over 100 years.

Rodger
French soldiers did win the Revolutionary War for us, y'all.

Seth
And now they're back to REAP.

Rodger
Yo, Hessians can eat a dick.
Sorry to any Hessian readers we have.

Seth
god damn dude
i'd just typed "FUCK HESSIANS. ANY HESSIANS READING THIS "

Rodger
before i said hessians?

Seth
yes

Rodger
wow

Seth
Iroquois Nation, you're cool.
Anyway, Duke wins.

No. 10 Arizona State Sun Devil vs. No. 2 Michigan Wolverine

Seth
I mean, we're gonna need divine intervention to stop the Sun Devil here.
A wolverine ain't doing shit against the wrath of Satan.

Rodger
The wrath of Satan combined with the power of the sun.

Seth
Although it should be noted that the Wolverine's Latin name is one of the seven deadly sins.
Gulo gulo: GLUTTON GLUTTON

Rodger
Damn. Partners in crime.

Seth
But yeah, Sun Devil's gonna win this one.
If not with his Satanic powers, then just with a pitchfork.

Sweet 16

No. 16 Texas Southern Tiger vs. No. 12 NC State Wolfpack

Seth
Ugh.
I'm so sick of big fierce animals, man.

Rodger
yeah what have we done

Seth
Be more original, teams.
Pick something quaint and local.
Be a Jasper.

Rodger
yeah, like all the things that lost in the first round.

Seth
Sure, you'll die, but at least it's not as boring as tiger vs. wolf.
Anyway, tiger, obviously.

Rodger
Let's issue a post-emptive loss to all the Wildcats.

Seth
Yes. May you perish in shame, Wildcats.

Rodger
I hope they're killed by something generic.

Seth
Old age.
Damn, a team should have Old Age as a mascot.
FLORIDA BOCA RATON UNIVERSITY SENESCENCE
Would wreck our bracket.

Rodger
Honestly, I'd take my grandma over 80 percent of the animals here.

Seth
So would I.

Rodger
She'll beat them to death and then call them.

Seth
Yours, not mine.

Rodger
Five times a day.

Seth
Your grandma really does call you a lot.

Rodger
She's a lovely woman and I think you should keep her name out your damn mouth.

No. 3 Duke Blue Devils vs. No. 10 Arizona State Sun Devils

Rodger
welp

Seth
This is what separates the real devils from the fakers.

Rodger
I think the Sun is more powerful than Blue.

Seth
Well, and actual SATAN is more powerful then a French guy in a uniform.
Sparky skewers Yves on a pitchfork and brings him to the sun to cook.

Rodger
I think the French guy woul dbe more powerful in a SURRENDER-OFF
amirite

Seth
I named the Blue Devil Yves.
I already miss him.
I'm sure he has an actual name.
HELL YEAH FREEDOM FRIES

Rodger
Nah pretty sure it's Yves.

Elite Eight

No. 16 Texas Southern Tiger vs. No. 10 Arizona State Sun Devil

Rodger
I'm gonna take the otherworldy wraith over the strong cat.

Seth
Uh yeah.
[btw i foresee this ending with the sun devil winning and our conversation devolving into us just screaming HAIL SATAN a lot]
like the whole thing

Rodger
that's ASU's fight song.
GOOOO SUN LUCIFERRRRR YOU BRING LIGHT TO OUR LIIIIIFE
WITH YOUR SUN PITCHFORK WE WORSHIP SATAN GOOO SATAN GOOOO SATAN GOOOOOOOOOOOO
i sang that to the tune of northwestern's fight song in my head
it probably didn't translate

Seth
So, Satan wins.
Sparky, sorry.
But...Satan.

Rodger
Illuminati.

ARIZONA STATE TO THE FINAL FOUR

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