March Mammal Madness Continues on Campus


Mackenzie Hammack

March Mammal Madness results are posted in the FLC, IT Center and McKinney Hall. Battles will continue until the championship match on April 6.

Mackenzie Hammack, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va.- March Mammal Madness is being played for the seventh year at Bridgewater College, and a leaderboard has been released that shows participants’ standings at this point in the competition.

March Mammal Madness, which started at Arizona State University, pits four categories of sixteen animals (not just mammals) against each other in a bracket-style tournament to determine a winning animal each year.

The winner of each match is determined both by the animals’ real life characteristics and by a random number generator. The animals are ranked within their respective categories, meaning the top-ranked animals often win, but the element of chance can lead to some upsets.

“It’s the kind of thing where I get super excited and geek out to it,” said Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Tamara L. Johnstone-Yellin, who coordinates March Mammal Madness on campus. “This year we have the most participants ever. I’ve been collecting data on who’s participating and I really want to get it to be bigger and bigger.”

77 brackets were submitted at BC this year and almost 100 people are participating. Prizes will be given to the top three brackets alongside random prize drawings throughout the competition.

Results for Bridgewater’s participants were posted on March 25. Nine people are tied for third, four people are tied for second, and Laura M. and Charity B. are tied for first.

“Oh, I’m doing terribly!” said Johnstone-Yellin. “Last year I won. I got into first place, and that was a shock because I’ve never done well. I have this affinity for coyotes, and the coyote has shown up three times in the time that I’ve played. I just can’t stop myself from picking the coyote every time because I love them. Sometimes people who play MMM talk about their heart-bracket and their head-bracket. I too often go with my heart-bracket.”

Some people are competing in teams, including the IT Center, which is divided into two teams. As of March 25, both teams were tied and in fourth place.

“They had a lot more upsets than I was expecting, so I’m doing medium-well,” said junior Trevor Brooks, who is both an environmental science and political science major. “I’m on the board of the Environmental Science Club, and part of that is trying to get people to participate. Since this is one of my first years being in a higher position in the club, I really wanted to throw myself all in and get all of my roommates to participate.”

Brackets with updated battle results can be viewed on campus in the IT Center, FLC and McKinney Hall. Updates can also be found at @BC_MarchMamMad on Twitter and Instagram.