I didn't get a chance to fill out a bracket this year, but as we were discussing some of the match ups and potential match ups for Sunday, I noticed a theme. There are a huge number of teams in the tournament this year that have wildlife-related mascots. Now, I realize that if you're not a wildlife geek like me, you may not have picked up on this. But I did and, after some investigating today, here's what I found. Out of the 64 teams in the tournament, almost half (30) have a wildlife-related mascot. Here's a more specific breakdown of those 30*:
- 9 are characterized as some type of non-domesticated feline, aka Wildcats (3), Cougars, Bobcats, Tigers (2), or Catamounts. And throw in the Bearcats too if you want, I'm not sure where to put them.
- 5 are characterized as some type of raptor, aka Golden Eagles (2), Mountain Hawks, Owls, and if you want, you can put the Jayhawks in there too.
- 3 are characterized as some type of bear, aka Bruins, Grizzlies and, uh, Bears.
- 3 are characterized as some type of songbird, aka Cardinals, Blackbirds, and Bluejays.
- 2 are characterized as some type of wolf, aka Lobos (Spanish for wolf) and Wolfpack.
- 2 are the Rams with mascots that look like Big Horn Sheep.
- 2 are in the Mustelid Family with the Wolverines and the Badgers (as a Buckeye graduate, that was really hard to type.)
- Finally, there are 1 of each of the following wild critters to cheer for: Jackrabbits, Gators, and Buffalos.
Have fun everyone and Go Bucks!
(*If you're doing the math and you find I've only counted 29, that's because I threw in the Buckeyes because they can take out anything as a poisonous nut. ;-p)