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2015 MASCOT DEATHBRACKET: Dragons, Tigers and Bears, oh my

We've each taken half the March Madness bracket, turning every match-up into a mascot battle to the death and playing out the tournament until we find an ultimate victor. Presenting the second annual MASCOT DEATHBRACKET. (Errors in the original version of this very serious, important bracket have been corrected.)

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Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

SB Nation 2015 March Madness Bracket

MIDWEST REGION

First Four

Manhattan Jaspers vs. Hampton Pirates

Jasper was a priest who worked at Manhattan in the 1800s, credited with introducing the seventh inning stretch to baseball. Poor Jasper is about to get viciously marauded by some damn pirates.

Round of 64

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Hampton Pirates

I'm not sure what era of pirate we're dealing with here -- those poor kitties don't stand a chance against a ship filled with heavily armed, fierce ocean men who survive by murdering other ocean men and taking their stuff. Kentucky's dream season is over.

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Purdue Boilermakers

Bearcats are pretty dope -- more accurately called "the binturong," they live in Southeast Asia -- but they're tiny little omnivorous bros who subsist off eating rodents and small birds. Purdue's engineering guy could win this battle even if he didn't have an enormous engineering hammer.

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Buffalo Bulls

The Mountaineer has a weapon -- a real musket! -- but can a musket take down a charging bull? No, only five incredibly well-trained Spanish guys can do that.

Maryland Terrapins vs. Valparaiso Crusaders

The Crusader is heavily armored and has a sword. The Terrapin is a turtle. That turtle can hide in its shell for as long as it wants, but eventually it's gonna need to pop that head out, and then I think the Crusader will be able to win this battle pretty quickly.

Butler Bulldogs vs. Texas Longhorns

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO THAT POOR BULLDOG

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Northeastern Huskies

I hate to spoil that movie for you, but let's just say I'm picking the Huskies over even the most fighting Irishman currently known to man.

Wichita State Shockers vs. Indiana Hoosiers

So this is some corn husks (wheat, whatever) vs. some people from a state that raises a lot of corn. Hoosiers move on.

Kansas Jayhawks vs. New Mexico State Aggies

People beat birds.

Round of 32

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Hampton Pirates

Engineering Guy with a Hammer vs. A SHIP FULL OF HEAVILY ARMED FIERCE OCEAN MEN WHO SURVIVE BY KILLING OTHER OCEAN MEN. Game over.

Buffalo Bulls vs. Valparaiso Crusaders

Mr. 1200s Armor Guy Swinging A Sword is gonna get hit with a ton of angry male cows, and I'm pretty sure that chain mail can't stop those horns.

Texas Longhorns vs. Northeastern Huskies

NO! BEVO! STOP! YOU ALREADY KILLED THOSE POOR BULLDOGS AND NOW YOU'RE TAKING OUT THESE ADORABLE HUSKIES! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU DOG-MURDERING MONSTER, BEVO! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!

Indiana Hoosiers vs. New Mexico State Aggies

Aggie's got guns.

Sweet 16

Hampton Pirates vs. Buffalo Bulls

On land, this is a problem. If the Pirates have their ship and can siege the hell out of that bull from a boat, well, the Bull doesn't really have a chance.

Texas Longhorns vs. New Mexico State Aggies

The Longhorn has long ... horns ... and it's big enough to take a few bullets and gore that dude in one shot.

Elite Eight

Hampton Pirates vs. Texas Longhorns

What it all comes down to is -- how the hell are you gonna stop pirates? They've got a boat, they've got knives and siege weapons, they've got big facial hair, and they spend their lives scheming ways to kill and rob other people with boats and guns. I think that's pretty unstoppable. The Hampton Pirates are on to the Final Four.

Realtime Bracket Game

WEST REGION

First Four

Ole Miss Rebels vs. BYU Cougars

GUNS.

Round of 64

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

The Chanticleer is a rooster. The badger can totally take out a rooster.

Oregon Ducks vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

This was a video game.

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Wofford Terriers

Razorbacks are pigs, but they're super-mean pigs. Terriers are dogs, but they're super tiny and harmless dogs.We're so sorry for all the bad dog things that have happened. We love dogs and we're petting our dog right now.

UNC Tar Heels vs. Harvard Crimson

We're eliminating the Crimson because it's just a color and that's totally a cop-out because a color can't beat a thing, even if that thing is the tar-covered feet of people. If you need to physically imagine this game, picture the tar-heeled man stomping on a crimson mat and turning into a tar-colored mat.

Xavier Musketeers vs. Ole Miss Rebels

GUNS ON GUNS ON GUNS ON GUNS ON GUNS ON GUNS

We're picking the Musketeers because we like the name more, basically.

Baylor Bears vs. Georgia State Panthers

BEARS VS. PANTHERS WOOOO!

This is going to be an absolute battle, but bears are stronger.

VCU Rams vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

THIS NUT DOES NOT STAND A CHANCE AGAINST A CHARGING RAM.

Arizona Wildcats vs. Texas Southern Tigers

A little tiny cat vs. a really large cat. SORRY TINY CAT.

Round of 32

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Pew pew.

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. UNC Tar Heels

Yo this sharp, scary pig can totally kill this dude with sticky feet.

Baylor Bears vs. Xavier Musketeers

This goes back to our "muskets vs. large animals" problem from West Virginia-Buffalo. That bear is charging through that musket fire and taking the musketeer down.

VCU Rams vs. Texas Southern Tigers

You may have horns, but you're dealing with A LITERAL TIGER.

Sweet 16

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Pew pew.

Baylor Bears vs. Texas Southern Tigers

BEARS VS. TIGERS!!!!!!! SO MANY GOOD, LARGE ANIMAL FIGHTS IN THIS BRACKET.

So, I put a lot of thought into this. I googled:

I looked up Yahoo! Answers about this (some very contentious opinions!) I read a synopsis of an episode of Animal Face-Off. It seems the general consensus is a bigger, stronger bear would win this face-off. So Bears move on. But this was a dooooooozyyyyy.

Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

THAT GUN AIN'T GONNA HELP YOU NOW, PISTOL PETE. Bears move on to the Final Four.

EAST REGION

First Four

Dayton Flyers vs. Boise State Broncos

"Rudy Flyer" -- a tribute to the Wright brothers -- is a butt-chinned pilot whose noisy airplane would scare any horsey to death.

Round of 64

Villanova Wildcats vs. Lafayette Leopards

This is a classic cat vs. bigger cat battle, albeit with the rarely seen (why?) leopard in the mix. "Wildcat" means a lot of things, but Villanova's most closely resemb -- wait why are we even bothering? A leopard's gonna shred any wildcat.

North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. LSU Tigers

Your creative plurality isn't gonna save you, wolf.

Northern Iowa Panthers vs. Wyoming Cowboys

TC is a black panther, so a jaguar or leopard. And you know what? I'm giving it the upset here. If these were, say, Dallas Cowboys, who may have encountered a jaguar before, then maybe the guy with the gun would win. The biggest cat a Wyoming guy has ever seen is a mountain lion, and between his lack of preparation for this foe and his old-timey pistols, I think he's done.

Louisville Cardinals vs. UC Irvine Anteaters

Peter appears to be a giant anteater, weighing over 70 pounds or so. He's also got huge claws meant for termite mound-digging, but he'll scrap with them if he feels threatened. Even if we're granting the cardinal those inexplicable teeth, he's done with one well-placed swipe. Doesn't even need to be the claws. The anteater could shatter that little bird with his snout.

anteater

Providence Friars vs. Dayton Flyers

In an unprecedented event in MASCOT DEATHBRACKET history, the peaceful Dominican brother and the peaceful barnstorming pilot are so tickled by the fact that their titles rhyme that they form a truce and team up to advance to the next round. The friar is impressed with the flyer's aerial skills. The flyer is quite taken with the friar despite his ghoulish appearance. They zoom around in the plane together. The friar even gets his own gogglehat to wear under his horrifying shawl. The flyer and the friar snuggle sometimes, but just in a friendly way. They make out just once to see what it's like.

Oklahoma Sooners vs. Albany Great Danes

The Sooners are settlers on horse-drawn wagons. The Great Danes are big-ass dogs. I apologize for being so hard on horses in this bracket, but I think the dogs scare the horses, then those sleazy, cheating settlers get dysentery and die.

Michigan State Spartans vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Dammit why?

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Belmont Bruins

Hahahaha good luck with your curvy swords against a bruin, loser. The bear's gonna kill you, then grow a goatee and wear your hat around just to mock you.

Round of 32

Lafayette Leopards vs. LSU Tigers

Bigger, faster, stronger cat rolls.

UNI Panthers vs. UCI Anteaters

Let's go to the tape (assuming for geographic purposes that the panther is a melanistic jaguar):

YO, THE ANTEATER OUTLASTED THAT CAT THEN TOOK A BATH. ANTEATERS FOREVER! I FEEL SO ALIIIIIIIVE!!!!! LET'S ALL EAT ANTS.

Providence-Dayton Friar-Flyers Who Decided To Get Married Because Screw Tradition We Love Each Other, Dammit vs. Albany Great Danes

Participants in MASCOT DEATHBRACKET are compelled to kill one another. That's the entire basis of this exercise. But when the Albany Great Dane accosts the flyer and the friar, snarling and ready to draw blood, he is suddenly struck by the improbable harmony of their relationship. The flyer and the friar, who moved to Rhode Island so they could get legally married, watch their dog adversary turn from fearsome to gentle in an instant. They realize they've made another friend and adopt the Great Dane as their own. They're a family now. The three of them take plane rides together and have picnics in the park near their Barrington, RI cottage.

mascotpicnic

Michigan State Spartans vs. Belmont Bruins

This is tough. Let's go to Yahoo Answers:

spartanbruin

DUH.

Sweet 16

LSU Tigers vs. UCI Anteaters

It's been an amazing Cinderella run, anteater, but you've met your match.

Providence-Dayton Friar-Flyers vs. Michigan State Spartans

The friar and the flyer are an elderly couple now. Their beloved Great Dane has long since succumbed to old age. Frail and sickly but still very much in love, they know they're no match for the Spartan and can't stand the thought of watching each other die. Before the Spartan can attack them with his spear, the lovers fling themselves off a cliff and perish together, holding hands for eternity.

Elite Eight

LSU Tigers vs. Michigan State Spartans

The Spartan took down a bear before. Can his armor and spear sustain him against the claws and extra mobility of a tiger, too? Yahoo Answers can't help you here, Sparty. Tiger gets this one.

SOUTH REGION

First Four

UNF Ospreys vs. Robert Morris Colonials

As far as I can tell, the RMU colonial never carries a gun. He has a flag, sometimes. The osprey is small, but it has sharp claws and the advantage of flight. It gets a couple good scratches in, then the colonial bleeds out and dies under primitive medical care.

Round of 64

Duke Blue Devils vs. UNF Ospreys

The Blue Devils were elite, specially-trained French World War I soldiers. That bird gets picked out of the sky in a few seconds.

San Diego State Aztecs vs. St. John's Red Storm

Here we have a Native American mascot vs. an offensive Native American that got converted to something more generic in the '90s. Ultimately, it's a 15th century man against a kind of storm that doesn't exist, represented by a kind of bird that doesn't exist. I'm just gonna give this to the Aztec and move on. Shoutout to Tlaloc.

Utah Utes vs. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks

Whether we're giving Utah a person or a bird, I'm taking the buff guy with the axe. This region has been kinda upsetting.

Georgetown Hoyas vs. Eastern Washington Eagles

Ohhh no, doggy, I'm so sorry.

Southern Methodist Mustangs vs. UCLA Bruins

Here's a cool picture I found. Anyway, that little horse is gonna die.

Iowa State Cyclones vs. UAB Blazers

AW HELL YEAH. WEATHERBIRD VS. FIRE-BREATHING DRAGON. One could argue that the dragon's fire is of no use here, because that'll just turn the force of nature into a fiery force of nature. However, this particular cyclone is being commanded by a muscly cardinal, and that cardinal *is* susceptible to fire and also mystical powers. Dragon wins. It's science.

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Davidson Wildcats

Iowa has a bird mascot that derives from a nickname given to a character in the Last of the Mohicans. Davidson's wildcats are bobcats. They used to keep lives ones on campus! Hawk vs. bobcat is an interesting fight -- both in real life and in the pre-2014 NBA -- but I guess Iowa gets the tiebreaker because they might also be this dude.

Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. NDSU Bison

This bracket has turned into a bulldog graveyard. Very grim. I don't feel good.

Round of 32

Duke Blue Devils vs. San Diego State Aztecs

The highly trained French mountain soldier's got better weaponry.

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks vs. Eastern Washington Eagles

C'mere eagle. Yeah, come close. Come try to snag the lumberjack. SLASHED WITH THE AXE.

UCLA Bruins vs. UAB Blazers

WOOOOOOO GET BURNT, BEAR.

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. NDSU Bison

As soon as you come close, it's a tramplin'.

Sweet 16

Duke Blue Devils vs. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks

Gun beats axe. Sorry, Jack. Here lies Jack the Lumberjack: He was buff as hell.

UAB Blazers vs. NDSU Bison

WOOOOOOO BROILED BISON BURGERS

Elite Eight

Duke Blue Devils vs. UAB Blazers

WOOOOO GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR ELITE MOUNTAIN TRAINING AGAINST A DAMN MYTHICAL FIRE-BREATHING BEAST, CHASSEUR ALPIN.

FINAL FOUR

Baylor Bears vs. Hampton Pirates

That bear's been wreaking havoc on its bracket, but he's no match for a damn cannonball.

LSU Tigers vs. UAB Blazers

WOOOOOOOO YOU'VE MET YOUR MATCH KITTY

THE 2015 NCAA FINAL: HAMPTON PIRATES VS. UAB BLAZERS

AVAST MATEYS, LOOK STARBOARD, YONDER ON THE HORIZON I SPY ONE HULKING WING LIZARD APPROACHING OUR FAIR BARQUE. READY THE SIX-POUNDERS AND FIRE AWAY.

BLIMEY, THE BEAST BELCHES FLAMES AND SUFFERS NOT O'ER OUR WEAPONRY. THE POOP DECK IS ABLAZE. WE'RE GOING DOWN, BUCKOS.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2015 NCAA CHAMPION UAB BLAZERS