Our lovable losers (in terms of bracket seeding) begin their next round seeking a spot in the Best of the Rest region’s final round. An 8 over 1 upset dominated the story in the first round. Can the animal duo keep it rocking? Who will bring their respective media a second slot in the Final Four, after being shunned from true representation in the bracket? We pick our winners below, in the last matchups of the second round.
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(4) Shrek vs. (8) Baby Monkey Going Backwards On Pig
Pat: As much as I love the dynamic simian/swine combination, I think they have finally met their match at the hands of a giant, stinking ogre from a swamp.
While Monkey and Pig can definitely bring the heat to a number of different players in this tournament, their unfortunate matchup with Shrek is going to be as far as they get. Sure, they have a good balance between the two of them, great court coverage, high jumps, and plenty of potential for game-winning alley-oops, but at the end of the day they’re still (at least mostly) quadrupedal animals and that puts them at a huge disadvantage here. They’ve got some flashy moves and some clever techniques and will definitely put some points on the board, but it’s unfortunately not going to be enough to win this game.
Shrek, on the other hand, has a ton of advantages on the court. The fact that this monster of an ogre spends his days in a disgusting swamp is proof enough that he has a drive and a resiliency that he brings to the game. He’s got strength, he’s got brawn, he’s got a decent amount of speed (although I could see Pig/Monkey besting him here for the most part), and, most importantly, he’s bipedal. He’s got everything he needs to be a powerhouse basketball player. But Shrek’s key talent to win the game isn’t necessarily his fundamental basketball skills, but his long-running experience handling animals that would overwhelm most. Shrek has four movies, multiple short films, a couple of TV specials and series’, and even a stage production, all while keeping his sanity and his annoying animal friend “Donkey” in check. While a Monkey/Pig duo might be a bit more to handle than a single Donkey, you can’t underestimate the number of sheer hours of experience Shrek has in this area and that is why he’ll end up powering through, gaining the lead, and, ultimately, the win.
My winner: Shrek
(2) Mega Man vs. (3) Scooby Doo
In this round, it appears Scooby’s limitless amount of random luck may have finally run out. Certainly the fun-loving canine brings the length and enthusiasm you need in a competitive 1v1 match. And when challenged, Scooby manages to always come through in the clutch with a strong sense of whimsical bravery. However, Scooby’s problem has always been by nature, that he is a chicken-heart. He is a coward and often thrives on outrunning villains or by relying on some form of trickery against them. But basketball is a star’s game and teams that often win have the best talent on the floor. Against the full arsenal of Mega Man, those evading tactics will be of no use.
To expose Mega Man for his height limitations and grounded mobility, you have to press him close on the perimeter. If you play too far off of him, Mega-Man’s projectile-game will punish you from long-range. If you give him too much space under the rim, Mega Man will fluidly control the air with his zig-zag abilities. There’s simply no amount of Scooby snacks that will give the Great Dane the mental dexterity to focus on stopping Mega Man in every facet of the game.
Mega Man lives for these type of competitions. The Rocket Kid’s his whole being is based on the vast amount of weaponry he has amassed from his conquered enemies. This game will be a blow out and it’s hard to imagine who can really stop Mega Man at this point.
My winner: Mega Man