By Jonathan West

Have you ever wondered who would win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket if instead of basketball games, real-life mascots squared off against each other? Well Jonathan West did…and a weather system takes the crown from last year’s immortal in JW’s 2016 Mascot Bracket!


How does it work? Well for example in the Midwest Region, the Michigan State Spartans face the Middle Tennessee State Lightning in the 1st round on Friday. Although the motion picture 300 taught us about the resilience of the men of Sparta, they wear too much metal in their uniforms to compete with a lightning bolt! Now in even contests, such as the “front yard match-up” of the Maryland Terrapins and the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, JW used higher seeds to break the tie. C’mon now, bunnies and turtles?!

Pet lovers rejoice, as five teams with Bulldog mascots are in the tourney this year, but sadly none advanced to the 2nd round here. Wildcats have four teams in the bracket, followed by Bears, Panthers, Pirates, and Trojans with two a piece. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day weekend we have teams from Notre Dame and Ioqa, who use their luck of the Irish to advance to the Round of 32.

Last year’s Mascot Bracket Champion was the Duke Blue Devils (who coincidentally won the REAL tournament bracket). Unfortunately this year, they were defeated in the Sweet 16 by the Holy Cross Crusaders in an epic “Good vs Evil” match-up. Here is how the Final Four of JW’s Mascot Bracket played out:

SOUTH REGION: The #3 Miami Hurricanes “breezed” through their bracket toppling over the #8 Colorado Buffalo.

EAST REGION: The #3 West Virginia Mountaineers domesticated the #1 Tar Heels (Rams) of North Carolina.

WEST REGION: The settler spirit of the #2 Oklahoma Sooners outlasted the war-only #16 Holy Cross Crusaders.

MIDWEST REGION: The local favorites, #5 Purdue Boilermakers have supreme metal & sweat, but couldn’t outlast the native spirit of the #3 Utah Utes.

And even though the Utes outlasted harsh winter conditions in the mountains, they couldn’t quite hunker down versus a tropical storm in the end…and the University of Miami Hurricanes won JW’s 2016 Mascot Bracket!

–as a #3 seed, it’s not too far-fetched that Jonathan’s winner could win it all again this year in the REAL tourney! March Madness begins today at 11:15am on CBS 2 Chicago and throughout the day as well on TBS, TNT, and truTV.


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