People all over the country are filling out their brackets this week. College basketball analysts are calling this year’s tournament one of the most wide-open in years, so picking the teams that will wind up in Atlanta may be even tougher this year. Because there is a not a dominant team, there are many schools that have an opportunity to cut down the nets. Many people who don’t follow college basketball very closely pick who they think will win for such crazy reasons as they like a team’s color or an ex went to a school so they want them to lose. Many people pick animals to win and that’s where I can help you with a breakdown of the animals that are team nicknames of the teams that are in the field of 68.
One word of clarification, I’m basing this on team nicknames. Some schools, like North Carolina, have an inanimate nickname, Tar Heels, but have an animal mascot, Ramses a ram. I don’t count them. Last year I did the same thing. Just like last year, 38 of the 68 teams have an animal nickname. Cats are most popular with 10 teams, and there are 4 Wildcats in the field. That’s the most of any nickname even without the Kentucky Wildcats, last year’s champ not making the field. There are also 3 teams with Tigers as a nickname. Eight teams have bird nicknames, with 2 teams named Owls and Eagles. There are 6 schools named for dogs, including 3 bulldogs. New Mexico is the Lobos, the Spanish word for Wolf. I included the Wolfpack of NC State in the dogs. Lovers of Great Danes may want to pick Albany as the winner.
There are 4 teams named for a kind of bear. And the rest don’t really fall into a category, like the Badgers, Wolverines or Jackrabbits. Now you have the breakdown of the nicknames, you can use this to pick a winning bracket based on the animals. If you want to base your picks on basketball, 3 of the 4 number one seeds have animal nicknames: Louisville Cardinals, Kansas Jayhawks, and the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Good luck!
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