What could possibly sum up the Final Four (times Four) of Mel’s March Madness?  What is an appropriate grand finale for such a magnificent month? I pondered and pondered until I came up with the best and only outcome: a showdown of the entire animal kingdom.

Rocky Racoon Division

“Smooth Criminal” vs “Nom Nom Nom”

VS

The joy of “Smooth Criminal” is not the stealing of the cat’s food, but rather that the raccoon chooses to run away on his hind legs.  HE THINKS HE IS PEOPLE. And yet, the strength of using little raccoon hands like people hands is also the appeal of “Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom.”  One has the added bonus of running off on hind legs.  One has the added charm of eating grapes.  That raccoon is so organized about it too, am I right?

Kung Fu Panda Division

“It’s Miiiiiiiiiiine!” vs “Reverse Suplex?”

VS

This panda reaction shot when the lady touches his ball is worth a thousand “Nooooooooooooooooooooooodon’ttouchittttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt”s. As adorable as that may be, THAT PANDA DIDN’T EVEN STOP EATING TO REVERSE THAT SUPLEX INTO A BODY SLAM. OH BA GOD! PANDA BEAR!

3-TOED NO-FOED SLOTH DIVISION

“A Rose for a Rose” vs.
“Don’t Hurt Your Brain”

VS

Sloths are so f’ing charming. Seriously, they are the “Ryan Gosling on an awards show” of the animal kingdom. Even when they are butt scratching.

Bird is the Word Division

“ACK! PAPARAZZI!” vs.
“This is How we Roll”

VS

I am not sure of the physiology of birds that allows them to move their heads all kinds of ways that I cannot regardless of how hot the yoga is, but I sure do appreciate it in gif format.

Manimal Division

“Yoink” vs “Slam”

VS

WHAT’S REAL BASKETBALL DOING IN MY ANIMAL GIFS SWEET SIXTEEN? I don’t care if they call Kenneth Faried “Manimal!” I don’t care if he’s a great power forward! I want more cuddly animals!

Bear Necessities Division

“HEY! HEY! HEEEEEEEEEY! HEY!” vs.
“How Stella Got Her Groove Back”

VS

Look, I am not completely unconvinced that the hula hooping bear is not a man in a bear suit, and neither are you.

G.O.A.T. Division

“Cool as Ice” vs. “Hi Ho Silver”

VS

Goats get a bad rap because of Black Phillip converting all those young Puritan women to witches and all, but they are HILARIOUS. Especially a goat that conquers the bucking bronco (are broncos different from horses and how do I know?)

Kissed by a Rose Division

“Same” vs. “Wow”

VS

Maybe seals are better than goats because of their limitless joy / waddling.

But it doesn’t matter, because All these animals win MVP! Even Kenneth Faried (if there’s justice in the NBA).

dog photoshop applause clapping calm down

(This is the same bear from the hula hooping. I still think it’s a man.)