My Two-Year-Old Picks March Madness

mascots toddler picks bracket March Madness

College basketball is my favorite sport, which means March is my favorite time of the year.

Not to brag, but I am the defending champion of my office bracket competition. I have the plastic trophy and medal on my bookcase to prove it.

But to be honest, as much college basketball as I watch, I usually lose March Madness. I’m well aware of the fact that the usual winner is the lady who chooses based on how fun the name of the school is to say or the guy who picks by the mascot he’d most like to have as a pet.

ESPN brought in some pre-schoolers to give their insights into the tournament. They chose Darth Mader, Tar Heels, and Football players as the national champion.

But I thought I could do one better, I’d ask my two-year-old to pick based only on the mascot name. We went region by region, round by round, until we ended up with one champion … though we did take a few detours now and then.

2 year old NCAA bracket picks

She was deep in thought … and making faces at me.


In the East Region, her Sweet Sixteen picks are Villanova, Wyoming, Providence and Virginia (again, with me just asking her to pick one of the two mascots in each match-up).

She did have a meltdown when choosing between Virginia and Michigan State. I’m not sure if she was agonizing over the pick or the thought of those two teams playing a first-team-to-50-wins type of game.

After getting some water, she was ready to go and finish up the region. She had the Villanova “Wildtats” knocking off the Virginia “Camel Ears,” sending Villanova to the Final Four.

In the South Region, Duke, Stephen F. Austin, Iowa State and Gonzaga were her Sweet Sixteen picks. While she really enjoyed saying “Lumber JACKS!” repeatedly, she had Duke advancing to take on Iowa State.

In the Elite Eight, the Cyclones were no match for the “Blue Debals” who roll into the Final Four.

Over in the West Region, chaos reigned. The Sweet Sixteen teams were Oregon, Arkansas, Baylor and, in a shocking upset, the Texas Southern Tigers. She’s a big fan of saying “Tiger rrrroooaaarrrrr!”

She was disappointed that she could not choose “Bears” in the Arkansas versus North Carolina game. And after settling on an Arkansas and Baylor Elite Eight, she decided that she wanted to “draw smiley sharks” in the Final Four instead. Eventually she picked Baylor.

In the Midwest Region, she had probably the biggest shock of all—Cincinnati over Kentucky, but it took her awhile to make that selection. Initially when given the choice, she just giggled and said, “I pooted.” I think most of America knows the feeling.

With Cincinnati, she had West Virginia, Notre Dame and Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen. The Elite Eight saw the Notre Dame Fighting “I Wish” take out the West Virginia “Mound Deer” to punch their ticket to the Final Four.

After securing her own pen and notebook, drawing her smiley sharks and, if I’m not mistaking, “pooting” again, she made her Final Four picks. Notre Dame beat Baylor in a Catholic versus Baptist religious battle. While Duke topped Villanova.

In the championship game, the “Blue Debals” beat the “I Wish,” cut down the nets, ate some goldfish, used the potty like a big girl and went to bed singing “Let it Go.” That last part may have been my bracket expert and not Coach K’s Duke team, but I can’t be sure.

I don’t think her bracket is going to win, but if you are going to lose, you might as well lose cute.

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Aaron Earls

Christian. Husband. Daddy. Writer. Online editor for Facts & Trends Magazine. Fan of quick wits, magical wardrobes, brave hobbits, time traveling police boxes & Blue Devils.