Nationwide Releases March Madness Inspired Pet Names

Brea, Calif. (March 16, 2016) - With the competition so close, this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament predictions have been thrown to the dogs. So with no clear favorite, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, analyzed its database of more than 550,000 insured pets, to determine how the March Madness teams ranked in terms of pet name popularity.

Pet Name (number of pets) - 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Team

  • “Duke” (1,680) – Duke
  • “Bear” (1,579) – Baylor
  • “Dakota” (931) – South Dakota State
  • “Blue” Raiders (704) – Middle Tennessee
  • “Cali” (695) – California
  • “Tiger” (546) – Texas Southern
  • “Phoenix” (198) – Wisconsin -Green Bay
  • “Austin” (167) – Stephen F. Austin
  • “Nova” (167) – Villanova
  • “Red” Raiders (156) – Texas Tech
  • “Joe” (103) – St. Joseph’s
  • “Aggie” (71) – Texas A&M
  • “Badger” (63) – Wisconsin
  • “Mary” (44) – Maryland
  • “Jay”hawk (44) – Kansas
  • “Pirate” (40) – Seton Hall, Hampton
  • “Hawkeye” (30) – Iowa
  • “Panther” (27) – Northern Iowa, Pittsburgh
  • “Carolina” (22) – North Carolina
  • “Xavier” (27) – Xavier
  • “Butler” (26) – Butler
  • “Sparty” (19) – Michigan State
  • “Hoosier” (19) – Indiana
  • “Irish” (19) – Notre Dame
  • “Flyer” (12) – Dayton
  • “Bull” (14) – Buffalo

This year’s competition has an extensive animal loving vibe with 15 teams sporting pet related mascots. The tournament will have plenty of canine support with the following breeds represented:

  • Bulldogs – (5) Gonzaga, Butler, Yale, UNC-Asheville, Fresno State
  • Huskies – Connecticut
  • King Charles “Cavaliers” – Virginia

Cats litter the March Madness brackets as well, including:

  • Wildcats – (4) Kentucky, Villanova, Arizona and Weber State
  • Bearcats – Cincinnati

Even exotic and avian pets made their way into this year’s tournament:

  • Jackrabbits – South Dakota State
  • Terrapins – Maryland
  • Ducks – Oregon

Some pet owners have taken their team fan-hood to an even greater level with 11 pets named Izzo after longtime Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, and one dog named Vitale after famous college basketball announcer Dick Vitale.

The list of Nationwide’s most popular pet names was pulled from a database that encompasses nearly 70,000 unique pet monikers sorted from more than 550,000 insured pets. Nationwide pet names correctly predicted Duke as the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball champion prior to last year’s tournament. 

About Nationwide pet insurance

With more than 550,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide, formerly known as Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers pet insurance from Nationwide as an employee benefit.

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2013); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2014). Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide Is On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2016 Nationwide. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

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