And now with the three obvious categories out of the way, it's time to analyze the buildings, traditions, and people off the field that make K-State sporting events what they are. A forewarning, the seeding for this bracket was far from a science, so your cooperation is appreciated.
(1) Bill Snyder Family Stadium vs. (16) Tointon Family Stadium
One holds three times the amount of games, the other holds 21 times the amount of people. This David and Goliath matchup pits two family-named stadiums up against each other. But unlike in the Truman Complex, the football complex should win handedly.
(8) Wyatt Thompson vs. (9) Stan Weber
Wyatt and Stan have been the Kansas State broadcast team for over a decade, but today they go head-to-head for your approval. Depending on who you ask, the seeding of this matchup is backwards, but I gave the higher nod to the man who has won Kansas Sportscaster of the year two out of the past three years. A very impressive achievement, even if he's going up against Bob Davis.
(5) Wabash Cannonball vs. (12) Wildcat Victory
What started out as a song played merely out of necessity, the Wabash Cannonball has burned it's way into our Wildcat hearts and calorie stashes as the most physically-intensive song in the band's repertoire. But as fun and memorable the Wabash is, it brings nothing to the table in regards to school-themed lyrics. So it's the catchy/cheery song that survived a fire, or the sing-y/spirit-y one that was specifically crafted to evoke pride in our school (I've always thought the melody to Wildcat Victory was melancholy, but I've never had anyone agree with me).
(4) Willie's K-S-U Chant vs. (13) EMAW
Many things bring a chill to the spine, but few do it as quickly for me as when 50,000 people are chanting the letters made with the body of a man that is wearing an over-sized cat head.
In the 13 seed you will find the infamous acronym that has spawned a debate that has pitted classmate against classmate and set internet boards on fire with cries of perpetuation of gender equality. EPAW vs. EMAW is/was an unproductive debate that has largely died out amongst the Wildcat faithful. Despite the noble motives behind the EPAW camp, it has not gained much traction and has been largely blown away by the sheer number of EMAW supporters.
(6) Willie the Wildcat vs. (11) Touchdown I-XI
If you plotted your enjoyment of mascots vs. age on a line graph, it would probably look a lot like an upside-down square root sign. While Willie the Wildcat was wonderful when we were wee children, he becomes more and more strange as the years go by. An enlarged cat head attached to a human body is a ridiculous notion, but the cat portion looks more like a rodent than a feline.
Live animal mascots have been widely used in the past and present, with schools like Colorado, Tennessee, and West Virginia using them currently. Kansas State tried it's own version of an animal mascot starting in 1922 and lasted 56 years until 1978. The Touchdown tradition started when an Idaho couple brought a wild bobcat who's face had been on the receiving end of a porcupine's defense mechanism in to be brought back to health. The vets were able to do so, only for Touchdown I to die of pneumonia a few days later. Touchdown XI lived out his life much less perilously in the cozy confines of the Sunset Zoo.
(3) Bramlage Coliseum vs. (14) Ahearn Fieldhouse
A short disclaimer: this seeding was based on where I thought Bramlage should be on this list and does not reflect my thoughts on Ahearn. In order to get the matchup, Ahearn had to be the 14 seed.
Ahearn and Bramlage are both known for their incredible home court advantages. Tex Winter claimed at times he was unable to talk to his players during timeouts due to the noise level. Bill Self said that one time that Bramlage was the toughest place they had played in all year. Bramlage is the shinier one, but Ahearn has the history. And if it weren't for fire codes, the biggest question stemming from this line may have been "what is Bramlage Coliseum?"
(7) Robert Lipson vs. (10) Eric Stonestreet
These two men are polar opposites in several regards, but one thing they have in common is an intense love for Kansas State.
Whether the game is in Lawrence, Kansas or Tokyo, Japan, you bet your sweet donkey Robert Lipson, aka Weird Robert, will be there following his meticulously planned tailgate route chatting you up about our bowl chances and embellishing on some delicious hot fare.
On the other end of the spectrum, Eric Stonestreet has become the unofficial university celebrity after his role in Modern Family. I saw him at the Cotton Bowl once and he waved at me. That was pretty cool.
(2) The Powercat vs. (15) Circa-1980's Wildcat Head
Although retro is in and the wildcat head does look pretty fantastic, nothing says Kansas State like the Powercat. Ever since Bill Snyder suggested the logo change when he arrived, the Powercat has transcended the realm of sports logos and become a nationally recognized symbol for the university.