Where to Get a 2018 NCAA Mascot Bracket for Kids

Mascot bracket for Villanova.

So your kids want to help you fill out your NCAA basketball bracket and you're too proud to admit that they'd do a better job than you. Here's a way to save face.

The nice folks at SimplePlayIdeas.com have created a printable mascot bracket so that the kids can play along, picking teams based on their favorite mascots, colors, animal types (birds vs. mammals), whatever. You can download the bracket for the first two rounds here and they will update it throughout the tournament.

If you want, you can use the tournament as a way to teach your kids about odds, "seeding," history ("Mom, what's a boilermaker?" "Did all Quakers wear sunglasses?"), questionable natural history ("Dad, can we go to Alabama to see the elephants?"). There's even a civics lesson to be learned about why it's okay to pick Villanova as a 1 seed AND Penn as a 16 seed. (But if you find yourself trying to explain the system you use for your 5 vs.12 picks, you maybe have gone too far.)

Prepare them for the possibility that their favorite mascot might lose. Explain that mommy led her office pool into the final weekend a couple years ago, but awful refereeing on ticky-tack fouls did her in. (Again, maybe TMI, but you be the judge.)

Enjoy watching the games with your kids. And try not to root against them when their mascot is going up against your underdog.

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