American Sports

Definitive Ranking Of The 2016 NCAA March Madness Team Names

Definitive Ranking Of The 2016 NCAA March Madness Team Names

If you have any interest in US sport, you'll probably be aware that March belongs to college basketball. Starting on Tuesday 15th march, the NCAA Division One Men's Tournament (aka March Madness) sees 68 teams fighting for the right to call themselves national champions.   It's a huge deal, and one that many basketball fans here will take a keen interest in.

This article won't look at the relative claims of Kansas or Kentucky and we won't try and convince you only fools back against Tom Izzo's Michigan State in the tournament. No, what we'll do is rank, in reverse order, the college basketball team names/nicknames.  This is done without any local factors coming into play, merely based on how cool the names sound to this Irishman's ears.

The bad and/or too localised

68 Chattanooga Mocs
67 Maryland Terrapins
66 North Carolina Tar Heels
65 Oklahoma Sooners
64 Syracuse Orange
63 Green Bay Phoenix
62 Texas A&M Aggies
61 Purdue Boilermakers
60 Utah Utes

Mocs replaced Moccasins. That would have been better. Terrapins is the least frightening name ever. The American equivalent of our own Lilywhites.  We know the rest have local reasons. We don't care. Orange may be the new black, but it is not an acceptable nickname for a college sports team.

The mostly boring

59 Oregon Ducks
58 Temple Owls
57 Wisconsin Badgers
56 Arizona Wildcats
55 Weber State Wildcats
54 Villanova Wildcats
53 Kentucky Wildcats
52 VCU Rams
51 Baylor Bears
50 Buffalo Bulls
49 Butler Bulldogs
48 Fresno State Bulldogs
47 Yale Bulldogs
46 UNC Asheville Bulldogs
45 Gonzaga Bulldogs
44 Oregon State Beavers
43 Colorado Buffaloes
42 Northern Iowa Panthers
41 Pittsburgh Panthers
40 St.Joseph's Hawks
39 Kansas Jayhawks
38 UNC Wilmington Seahawks
37 California Golden Bears
36 Cincinnati Bearcats
35 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
34 Dayton Flyers
33 UConn Huskies
32 Iowa Hawkeyes
31 Hampton Pirates
30 Seton Hall Pirates
29 Miami Hurricanes
28 Iowa State Cyclones
27 Southern Jaguars
26 Providence Friars

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4 Wildcats and 4 Bulldogs? Come on American colleges, be creative! At least Cal added the Golden to the ultra boring Bears. It jumped them 14 spots here.

The decent

25 Indiana Hoosiers
24 USC Trojans
23 Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans
22 Duke Blue Devils
21 Stony Brook Seawolves
20 West Virginia Mountaineers
19 Virginia Cavaliers
18 Holy Cross Crusaders
17 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders
16 Texas Tech Red Raiders
15 Fairleigh Dickinson Knights
14 Whichita State Shockers
13 Vanderbilt Commodores
12 Texas Longhorns
11 Michigan Wolverines

Yes some of these may be boring nicknames but Hoosiers is in because of the film and there is no way a team called the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights should be disrespected.

The top ten

10 Michigan State Spartans - Great mascot too.
9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish - You know we had to!
8 Iona Gaels - Yes, we had to include this one too.
7 Austin Paey Governors - A love of British gangster films helps this.
6 Hawaii Rainbow Warriors - Warriors is a classic. Rainbow Warriors is unique.
5 Tulsa Golden Hurricane - Hurricanes is boring. Having the Golden Hurricane is not.
4 Xavier Musketeers - OK mainly because Xavier Muskateers sounds like a sci-fi parody movie.
3 South Dakota State Jackrabbits - Jackrabbits!!
2 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks - They're lumberjacks and they're ok...
1 Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners - If they catch the opposition, they're through!

John Dodge
Article written by
Football fan. Lover of sporting stats. All round nice guy. Balls.ie's so called 'League of Ireland' correspondent. 100% biased against your team

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