One of March Madness’s best parts every year is Selection Sunday, the release of the 68 team bracket that will determine a champion of college basketball. COVID erased the opportunity to fill out as many brackets as you please quickly, just four days before anyone could even smell Selection Sunday. A year has passed since the pandemic hit, and this time around, the NCAA tournament will take place in a bubble in Indiana to prevent Covid from having an impact on the tournament. 

But, what if it didn’t? If covid seeped into the bubble and affected all 68 teams, all team members’ roster and staff were deemed ineligible for the tournament. I mean, the NCAA would go into an absolute frenzy. It would be challenging for them to go two years without their leader in revenue; therefore, as a way to keep the big dance alive and the people entertained, they turn their heads to the last remaining group of people eligible.

The mascots. 

The mascots follow the same 2021 march madness bracket and duel one another for the right to be deemed King of the Big Dance. Now, this is a crazy bracket with many different factors involved in which mascot would win. 

First, we’ll start with some notable losers who just never really stood a chance in this type of tournament: Syracuse Orange, Oregon Duck, Virginia Tech Hokie, Creighton Blue Jay, and Wichita St Shockers. I mean, the Shockers mascot is a legit husk of corn. The Drake Bulldog had a delicious time in the first four with them.

Next, there are a couple of team’s who had an early exit but deserve a shoutout for their effort. The Grand Canyon Antelope, Iona Gael, Oregon State Beaver, West Virginia Mountaineer, and Rutgers Scarlet Knight all were very exciting mascots who had the potential but just ran into a strong foe early on. 

I believe it will be a lot easier to explain my logic for these picks by arguing these matchups as groups of four instead of two at a time. 

I’ll start in the West region where Norfolk St. Spartan, UC Santa Barbra Gaucho, USC Trojan, and VCU Ram fought in a battle for a trip to the final hour. Although the Gaucho may be the most villainous-looking mascot in the tournament, the Trojan and Spartan would make quick work of him and the Ram. If you look at the last time these two familiar foes faced off was 1260 BC in the Trojan War. The Greeks famously delivered a wooden horse to the front door of the Trojan kingdom. The Trojans thought the Greek’s were sailing home, but the hundreds of Spartans stormed the building and won the war. 

The Norfolk St. Spartan slices its way to the final four.

As we moved to the East region, the LSU Tiger, Colorado Buffalo, Texas Longhorn, and Alabama Crimson Tide fought it out in a battle full of tenacity. A ferocious group of four that would be a crazy duel to see who comes out on top. A tiger, buffalo, bull, and elephant walk into a bar… who comes out?

The LSU Tiger will lead the university to its first final four appearance since a 2006 squad that was led by Glen “Big Baby” Davis.

The Baylor Bear, Purdue Boilermaker, Texas Tech Red Raider, and Florida Gator advanced to the South Region Sweet 16. As pictured below, it appears that the Boilermaker has a sledgehammer that helped bring him this far. The Red Raider looks like a tall skinny version of Yosemite Sam, and to be real, it seems like somebody I would not want to mess with. Even taking in all these factors, the bear just seems too much of a force that simply cannot be stopped by these opponents. 

The Baylor Bear dances his way to a South Region Championship and a berth in the National Championship Semi-Final.

In my opinion, the last region, the strongest group of four in the sweet 16, is the Midwest. The Drexel Dragon, Oklahoma St. Cowboy, San Diego St. Aztec, and Cleveland St. Viking are a stacked group full of intimidating forces that can cause some severe damage. During this fight, the battle on the ground would be crazy, while the dragon could just sit in the air and watch until the end. The mystical creature is too much of an overpowering factor for the enemies.

Drexel completes the last spot in the Final Four.

The final four between a Spartan, Tiger, Bear, and a Dragon would be a showdown full of four tenacious beasts known for causing damage and trouble. It just doesn’t appear anyone could even touch the dragon, and Drexel would easily coast its way to the school’s first Men’s College Basketball Championship.

Out of the 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 ways to fill out an NCAA bracket, there has never been one that is perfect and probably never will be. But hey, in a world where the mascot takes over, I like my chances to shock the world.