March 14, 2016

Everyone exhale. Time for a bracket break.

After so many buzzer-beaters, blabbering about bubble teams and berating the NCAA Tournament selection committee for so many bad decisions in picking the 68-team field, we present the unofficial, unfettered and unscientific Nickname Quiz.

As you fill out your brackets (and hand over your entry fee), remember that the road to the Final Four in Houston is filled with colorful nicknames. But before we begin, here's a shout out to the committee for the following matchups (think they knew this during their discussions?).

- Tortoise vs. Hare (Maryland Terrapins-South Dakota State Jackrabbits).

- Mountaineers vs. Lumberjacks (West Virginia-Stephen F. Austin).

- `Cats vs. `Dogs (Villanova Wildcats-UNC Asheville Bulldogs).

- Cavaliers vs. Pirates (Virginia-Hampton).

And now, from Crusaders to Jackrabbits, Blue Devils to Red Raiders and Seawolves to Wolverines, here's a quiz to test your nickname knowledge as you sit back and cross out your losers.

Big Hint: Let's not take this too seriously.

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1. A couple of teams are jacked ...

2. Which teams fly?

3. And then there's mythical/made up creatures ....

4. There's a snake in the field ...

5. As for gallantry? ...

6. The most colorful teams ...

7. Most popular nicknames (Hint: dogs and cats) ...

8. Horned creatures, anyone? (Sorry no Frogs) ...

9. Bears on the loose ...

10. Weather teams ...

11. We're counting a lot of cats, including those Wildcats ...

12. NFL nickname teams ...

13. Quickest teams ...

14. It's an election year ...

15. Men of Troy ...

16. Luck `o the Irish ...

EXTRA CREDIT: Teams heading in a direction (not a nickname question, but it's extra credit!) ...

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ANSWERS:

1. Jackrabbits (South Dakota State), Lumberjacks (Stephen F. Austin).

2. Flyers (Dayton), Eagles (Florida Gulf Coast), Hawks (Saint Joseph's), Owls (Temple).

3. Phoenix (Green Bay), Seawolves (Stony Brook), Seahawks (UNC Wilmington).

4. Chattanooga (Mocs)

5. Crusaders (Holy Cross), Knights (Fairleigh Dickinson), Cavaliers (Virginia), Musketeers (Xavier).

6. Golden Bears (California), Blue Devils (Duke), Rainbow Warriors (Hawaii), Blue Raiders (Middle Tennessee), Orange (Syracuse), Red Raiders (Texas Tech), Golden Hurricane (Tulsa).

7. Bulldogs (Butler, Fresno State, Gonzaga, UNC Asheville, Yale); Wildcats (Arizona, Kentucky, Villanova, Weber State).

8. Bulls (Buffalo), Buffaloes (Colorado), Blue Devils (Duke), Longhorns (Texas), Rams (VCU).

9. Baylor (Bears), California (Golden Bears), Cincinnati (Bearcats).

10. Cyclones (Iowa State), Hurricanes, (Miami), Golden Hurricane (Tulsa).

11. Bearcats (Cincinnati), Panthers (Northern Iowa, Pittsburgh), Jaguars (Southern), Wildcats (Arizona, Kentucky, Villanova, Weber State).

12. Bears (Baylor), Eagles (Florida Gulf Coast), Panthers (Northern Iowa, Pittsburgh), Jaguars (Southern), Seahawks (UNC Wilmington), Rams (VCU).

13. Roadrunners (Cal State-Bakersfield), Panthers (Northern Iowa, Pittsburgh), Jaguars (Southern), Running Utes (Utah), Jackrabbits (South Dakota State).

14. Governors (Austin Peay).

15. Trojans (Southern California, UALR)

16. Fighting Irish (Notre Dame), Gaels (Iona).

EXTRA CREDIT: Middle Tennessee, North Carolina, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, Southern California, Southern, West Virginia.

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Follow Richard Rosenblatt on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/rosenblattap

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