The NCAA tournament is a celebration of all things college basketball, and one of the most unique features of these teams is their zany nicknames. For every "Wildcat" or "Bulldog" there is a "Chanticleer" and a "Gaucho."

Here we take a look at some of the weirdest monikers in the history of the NCAA tournament and how these schools chose their names.

Most Bizarre Team Names In NCAA History Slideshow


UCSB Gauchos

The popular 1927 movie "The Gaucho" prompted the school to ditch its old nickname, the Roadrunners, in favor of the term used to describe a South American cowboy.


Old Dominion Monarchs

The school's second nickname -- the first was Braves -- is a reference to the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia and of Old Dominion's mother institution, the College of William & Mary.


Saint Louis Billikens

A hundred years ago sportswriters thought football coach John R. Bender bore an uncanny resemblance to a popular charm doll called the Billiken. The writers began calling the team Bender's Billikens, and the nickname stuck.


Manhattan Jaspers

Manhattan's athletic teams are named after Brother Jasper of Mary, who worked at the college and served as a coach in the late 19th century.


Chattanooga Mocs

The university changed the teams' names from Moccasins to Mocs, which is short for Mockingbirds, in 1997.


Wichita State Shockers

In the school's early days, students would earn extra cash by shocking, or harvesting, wheat in fields near the school.


St. Bonaventure Bonnies

St. Bonaventure is another school that ditched a politically incorrect nickname. The athletic teams were known as the Brown Indians until 1992. The term "Bonnie" is simply one way of shortening Bonaventure.


Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

When Coastal Carolina became affiliated with the University of South Carolina in the 1960s, officials wanted a mascot that jived with South Carolina's nickname, the Gamecocks. So the school settled on Chanticleer, which is the witty rooster made famous in the Canterbury Tales.

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