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Bracketology 101: How would you fill out a bracket if each team’s nickname fought to the death?

Are those 8-9 matchups tricky? Picture five wildcats fighting five blue jays to the death to determine the winner.

NCAA Basketball: Cal St. Fullerton at Southern California Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Ever wonder what would the bracket look like if five of each team’s nickname fought to the death on a basketball court? Say no more. Let’s throw seed numbers out the window and take a look at the bracket using a little imagination:


Nicknames, not mascots, would participate — so Alabama doesn’t have five elephants, it has five Crimson Tides. As stated before, these fights would take place on a regulation-size basketball court.

The Most Fun Matchups:

Kentucky Wildcats vs Davidson Wildcats

Loyola Chicago Ramblers vs. Miami Hurricanes — I don’t know the logistics of putting five hurricanes into one arena, but I do know this looks like a bad matchup for the Ramblers.

Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Syracuse Orange

Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Duke Blue Devils — This would be a battle of the two heavyweights in the Sweet 16, but ultimately the Sun Devils have the power of the Sun, and it is too much to handle for the Blue Devils.

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Virginia Tech Hokies — Waves of red water versus turkeys. This will be time where maybe you learn — just like I did 10 minutes ago — that turkeys are capable swimmers, so they can outlast a couple of tides.

UCLA Bruins vs. Florida Gators A classic battle of gators versus bears. Near water gators would win, but bears have the environment advantage since a basketball court is on land. UCLA advances.

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Penn Quakers — What would a fight between five mythological creatures against five pacifists even look like? I’m not sure, but I’d pick the mythological creatures.

The Biggest Arguments:

Xavier Musketeers vs. Texas Southern Tigers — Can five guys with muskets and 90 feet of separation defeat five tigers?

Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Miami Hurricanes — How do sun deities and five Hurricanes fit inside one building? And how would they fight?

Nevada Wolfpack vs Texas Longhorns - Longhorns are some absolute units.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs. Ohio State Buckeyes - Jackrabbits can’t eat Buckeyes, but one Jackrabbit could sacrifice itself and eat all five Buckeyes, effectively killing the Buckeyes but leaving four Jackrabbits as winners.

Radford Highlanders vs. Villanova Wildcats - Highlanders are just Gaelic people, but five Gaelic people can probably strangle and kill five Wildcats.

If your bracket does worse than this bracket, then you need to take a good, hard look in the mirror and re-evaluate your prediction skills.