March Madness: Mascot Showdowns Predict The Winner

When it comes to filling out brackets for March Madness, some people look at teams' stats while others go with their hearts, but what if we did it based on which of the teams' mascots would win in a fight? 

Here's what that would look like:

ROUND OF 64

NCAA REGION: SOUTH

(1) Virginia vs (16) UMBC

Winner: Virginia

UMBC's dog mascot, True Grit, seems pretty fierce, but UVA's Cavalier looks like the type of man who wouldn't think twice about kicking a dog, especially one that is ready to attack him. They don't call them the Wahoos for nothing.  

 

(8) Creighton vs (9) Kansas State

Winner: Kansas State

KSU's Willie the Wildcat might only have the head of the ferocious animal, but it includes a ferocious mouth full of sharp teeth, which is enough to take out Creighton's Billy Bluejay.


(5) Kentucky vs (12) Davidson

Winner: Kentucky

This matchup is a rare wildcat vs. wildcat showdown: Davidson's Will E. Wildcat vs Kentucky's The Wildcat, and with a name like The Wildcat, really no other wildcat can exist except for the one from the Bluegrass State, which is bad news for Will, who closely resembles Junior Gorg from Fraggle Rock.  


(4) Arizona vs (13) Buffalo

Winner: Buffalo

Buffalo's Victor E. Bull is going to see the red on Arizona's Wiley Wildcat's jersey and charge. 


(6) Miami (Fla) vs (11) Loyola

Winner: Loyola

Back in the 1920s, the University of Miami selected Sebastian the Ibis as their mascot because the marsh bird is so brave that it's usually the last wildlife to take shelter ahead of a hurricane. The problem is, no matter how brave the ibis might be, birds are one of wolves' favorite foods, and Loyola's LU Wolf can eat Sebastian and be back hanging with the cheerleaders before the last of Bas's feathers hits the ground. 


(3) Tennessee vs (14) Wright State

Winner: Wright State

The Volunteers's mascot is actually a Bluetick Coonhound named Smokey, but he looks like an overweight dad struggling in an aerobics class. Unless Smokey's headband has some kind of magic powers, the advantage here easily goes to Wright State and their intimidating wolf mascot, Rowdy Raider. 


(7) Nevada vs (10) Texas

Winner: Texas

Nevada's wolf pack is led by Alphie and the Texas Longhorns have Bevo at the helm. While Alphie might have a menacing look in his eyes, you never want to mess with Texas, and what's more Texas than a cowboy hat-wearing horned steer ready to hook 'em horns. 


(2) Cincinnati vs (15) Georgia State

Winner: Cincinnati

Cincy's mascot is The Bearcat, a combination of two animals that are known to be pretty temperamental and can both cause damage in their own rights. Meanwhile, GSU is repped by a blue panther. A blue panther could never survive in the wild because it can't blend in, and since a bearcat just sounds vicious, bearcats ftw. 


NCAA REGION: WEST

(1) Xavier vs (16) Texas Southern

Winner: Xavier

Texas Southern's tiger Tommy looks like he lost out on the Frosted Flakes box. It won't be the only thing he loses since Xavier's Musketeer D'Artagnan is quite the swordsman and should have little trouble overcoming the striped creature. 

 

(8) Missouri vs (9) Florida State

Winner: Florida State

FSU's mascot is the Native American Chief Osceola and his steed, Renegade, but they also have a costumed horse mascot named Cimarron. Regardless of who Mizzou's cartoonish Truman the Tiger faced, he'd go down, and likely make goofy noises along the way. 


(5) Ohio State vs (12) South Dakota State

Winner: Ohio State

You'd think this matchup would be easy to predict - a rabbit vs a nut, but it turns out that nuts are really bad for a rabbit's health so believe it or not, Brutus, Ohio State's anthropomorphic buckeye nut, would be triumphant over South Dakota State's Jackrabbit.


(4) Gonzaga vs (13) University of North Carolina Greensboro

Winner: Gonzaga

Zags' Spike the Bulldog is one mean looking pooch with his pointy teeth and studded collar. Meanwhile, there's a reason the Spartans aren't around anymore, and if you sic Spike on UNCG's Spiro the Spartan, the ancient people will truly be extinct.  


(6) Houston vs (11) San Diego State

Winner: Houston

San Diego State's Aztec Warrior looks like a drunk frat brother in costume who stumbled onto the court. Houston's cougar, Shasta, can tear him apart in no time. 


(3) Michigan vs (14) Montana

Winner: Michigan

Michigan is so tough, they refuse to have some playful mascot. Instead, they used live wolverines until the 1930s when the animals became too vicious to keep on campus that they had to move them to the Detroit Zoo. That thing would devour Montana's Bruce Springsteen-wannabe mascot, Monte the Grizzly Bear. 


(7) Texas A and M vs (10) Providence

Winner: Texas A&M

Providence's teams are called the Friars after the Dominican Order that runs the school, so their mascot is Friar Dom, but rather than appearing menacing, Friar Dom looks ghostly and creepy. The Aggies' mascot, a female collie named Reveille, would rip the man of the cloth to shreds like she was a possessed Lassie. 


(2) North Carolina vs (15) Lipscomb

Winner: North Carolina

They might be called the Tar Heels, but UNC's mascot is a ram named Rameses, and while he vaguely resembles a mutant unicorn, he just needs to headbutt Lipscomb's Lu the Bison a couple times to take out the horned creature, which looks like its already been hit on the noggin one too many times. 


NCAA REGION: EAST

(1) Villanova vs (16) Radford

Winner: Villanova

Unless Radford's The Highlander can stun Nova's Will D. Cat with some impressive bagpiping, expect the wildcat to use his teeth to make haggis out of the Scotsman. 


(8) Virginia Tech vs (9) Alabama

Winner: Alabama

The Crimson Tide's Big Al the elephant should have no problem stomping on VT's HokieBird.


(5) West Virginia vs (12) Murray State

Winner: West Virginia

The Murray State Racers' Dunker is probably a very fast and strong horse, but a mountaineer like the one repping WVU has survived by using horses, not by being defeated by them.


(4) Wichita State vs (13) Marshall

Winner: WSU

To have stars in your eyes means to be overly optimistic, and Marco the Bison literally has stars in his eyes and likely thinks that he can top WSU's WuShock, which is unlikely. Although WuShock doesn't have anything to do with electricity - he's just a shock of wheat - look at his face. Normally bison eat wheat but WuShock is so creepy, he'd probably pull the stars out of Marco's eyes with his bare hands.


(6) Florida vs (11) St. Bonaventure

Winner: Florida

Wolves have 42 teeth, alligators have 80. Florida's Albert Gator will chomp down on St. Bonaventure's Bona Wolf. 


(3) Texas Tech vs (14) SF Austin

Winner: Texas Tech

Someone should've told SF Austin's Lumberjack you don't bring an axe to a gun fight. Texas Tech's Raider Red seems ready to set him straight.


(7) Arkansas vs (10) Butler

Winner: Arkansas

This is a close one with two portly animals going up against each other - Arkansas' Big Red fighting razorback and Butler's bulldog, Hink. While Hink's collar is pretty foreboding, Big Red's tusks give him the advantage.


(2) Purdue vs (15) CS Fullerton

Winner: Purdue

CS Fullerton's elephant mascot, Tuffy the Titan, might be strong and mean, but Purdue Pete seems absolutely crazy. The guy walks around with a hammer and always wears a hard hat. Imagine meeting him on a street late a night. He's the kind of person you run from because he's the kind of person who could take down an elephant, and will do just that.  

 

NCAA REGION: MIDWEST

(1) Kansas vs (16) Penn

Winner: Kansas

Kansas's mascot Big Jay may just be a Jayhawk, but Penn's Quaker is no match for the bird. All Big Jay has to do is peck his way to victory and he doesn't even need to worry about the Quaker fighting back because one of the Quakers' key principles is peace and non-violence. 


(8) Seton Hall vs (9) NC State

Winner: Seton Hall

NC State's wolf mascot, Mr. Wuf, looks like Chuck E. Cheese's sickly lesser known brother. It won't take much for SHU's Pirate to take him behind the barn and put him out of his misery.


(5) Clemson vs (12) New Mexico State

Winner: Clemson

NM State's Pistol Pete's guns look about as real as his mustache, and Clemson's Tiger is clearly ready to pounce.


(4) Auburn vs (13) Charleston

Winner: Auburn

Charleston's Clyde the Cougar looks like he belongs on PBS Kids, not on the basketball court. He's no match for Aubie the Tiger. 


(6) TCU vs (11) Syracuse

Winner: TCU

TCU is at a disadvantage with a mascot that is a horned frog, but fortunately for them, they are going up against a walking orange. Even though frogs don't eat fruit, Texas Christian's Super Frog should have no trouble squeezing the juice out of Otto the Orange.


(3) Michigan State vs (14) Bucknell

Winner: Michigan State

Bucknell's Bucky the Bison probably has a voice like Barney the Purple Dinosaur, while Michigan State's Sparty looks like he tears apart phone books with his bare hands in his free time. Sparty is going to be eating bison burgers for dinner, no doubt.


(7) Rhode Island vs (10) Oklahoma

Winner: Rhode Island

Boomer and Sooner, the ponies that represent Oklahoma, look a little out of shape, making it no problem for Rhody the Ram to charge his way through them. 


(2) Duke vs (15) Iona

Winner: Duke

While Iona's mascot, Killian, which represents the Irish-Gaelic tradition of the school, only looks evil, Duke's mascot is an actual devil. Having the power of Lucifer behind him, it's pretty hard for the Blue Devil to lose. 


ROUND OF 32

NCAA REGION: SOUTH

(1) Virginia vs (9) Kansas State

Winner: Virginia

Since WIllie the Wildcat really only exists from the neck up, the Cavalier just has to use his trusty sword to behead the half-man, half-beast and he'll get the W.  


(5) Kentucky vs (13) Buffalo

Winner: Buffalo

Victor E. Bull might see the blue Kentucky jersey and think The Wildcat is a friend, but he knows better. He's bigger, stronger and meaner and will run right through the competition.


(11) Loyola vs (14) Wright State

Winner: Wright State

It's wolf vs wolf when Loyola's LU Wolf faces Wright State's Rowdy Raider, but the time LU spends flirting is time Rowdy spends in the gym, and it will pay off in the end.  


(2) Cincinnati vs (10) Texas

Winner: Cincinnati

Yes the Longhorns have Bevo, but Bevo is still a cow that can't move too quickly. Meanwhile, Cincy's Bearcat has the best qualities of a bear and a cat, more than enough to triumph over the steer. 


NCAA REGION: WEST

(1) Xavier vs (9) Florida State

Winner: Xavier

Musketeers ride horses and D'Artagnan will ride Cimarron to an Xavier victory. 


(4) Gonzaga vs (5) OSU

Winner: Gonzaga

Anyone who's ever seen a bulldog eat knows few things get between the pup and its food, and it'll be no problem for Spike to devour Brutus the Buckeye Nut.  


(3) Michigan vs (6) Houston  

Winner: Michigan

Shasta the Houston Cougar may seem bulky, but the wolverine is a scrappy animal and with claws and teeth sharper than Shasta's, it's going to win this round. 


(2) UNC vs (7) Texas A&M

Winner: North Carolina

Texas A&M's Reveille is a beautiful dog, but no match for the brute strength of UNC's Rameses. After a couple of the ram's kicks and headbutts, Reveille will need to be revived. 


NCAA REGION: EAST

(1) Villanova vs (9) Alabama

Winner: Villanova

Big Al is just too big to beat the speed and hostility of Will D. Cat.


(4) Wichita State vs (5) West Virginia

Winner: West Virgina

The mountaineer's rifle will be smoking the second he lays eyes on whatever WuShock is. 


(3) Texas Tech vs (6) Florida

Winner: Texas Tech

There's a reason cowboy boots are made out of alligator, and Raider Red will teach that hard lesson to Albert. 


(2) Purdue vs (7) Arkansas

Winner: Purdue

Purdue Pete should have no trouble putting Big Red down with one blow from his hammer between the boar's eyes. 


NCAA REGION: MIDWEST

(1) Kansas vs (8) Seton Hall

Winner: Seton Hall

Seton Hall's Pirate will tame Big Jay and have the bird sitting on his shoulder in no time. 

 

(4) Auburn vs (5) Clemson

Winner: Auburn

In this tiger vs tiger match, you have to put money on the one that doesn't look like it just walked out of a dark movie theater. Aubie's taking it. 


(3) Michigan State vs (6) TCU

Winner: Michigan State

Sparty will step on TCU's horned frog and then dissect the amphibious creature. 


(2) Duke vs (7) Rhode Island

Winner: Duke

They both might have horns but a devil can beat a ram any day. 


SWEET SIXTEEN

NCAA REGION: SOUTH

(1) Virginia vs (13) Buffalo

Winner: Buffalo

CavMan's reign will be brought to an end by the blue bull, who'll see the Cavalier's cape beckoning him and charge into the Virginia mascot.


(2) Cincinnati vs (14) Wright State

Winner: Cincinnati

Things will go wrong for Wright State when Rowdy Raider takes on The Bearcat. As rowdy as the wolf is, he's no match for the bear-cat chimera. 


NCAA REGION: WEST

(1) Xavier vs (4) Gonzaga

Winner: Xavier

It's all for one and one for all for the Musketeer, who'll get a leash on Zaga's Spike and take him to the pound. 


(2) UNC vs (3) Michigan

Winner: Michigan

As much as Rameses might ram or kick at the wolverine, as the Marvel movies have shown us, the Wolverine just won't go away and is always triumphant. 


NCAA REGION: EAST

(1) Villanova vs (5) West Virginia

Winner: Villanova

Much like how the gopher in the Caddyshack films couldn't be caught, Nova's nightmarish cousin of that creature can easily outwit West Virginia's Mountaineer. 


(2) Purdue vs (3) Texas Tech

Winner: Texas Tech

Guns>hammers.


NCAA REGION: MIDWEST

(4) Auburn vs (8) Seton Hall

Winner: Auburn

There's a reason so many pirates have peg-legs and hook hands - it's because they can't handle fights with animals with teeth. 


(2) Duke vs (3) Michigan State

Winner: Duke

Another score for the dark side as the blue devil can use whatever evil he needs to overcome Sparty. 


ELITE EIGHT

NCAA REGION: SOUTH

(2) Cincinnati vs (13) Buffalo

Winner: Cincinnati

Victor E. Bull might be big and strong but The Bearcat is fast and ferocious and can run circles around the bovine, tire him out and be pulling him by his nose ring by the end of the fight. 


NCAA REGION: WEST

(1) Xavier vs (3) Michigan

Winner: Michigan

The Musketeer's sword isn't fast enough for the Wolverine, and it's pretty hard to swing a saber at something crawling all over your body, scratching you and biting you. The Wolverine will be the only one walking away from that encounter. 


NCAA REGION: EAST

(1) Villanova vs (3) Texas Tech

Winner: Villanova

Raider Red's revolvers can only hold so many bullets, and he's going to be out of ammo when he meets Will D. Cat. It's pretty clear what's going to happen after he pulls the trigger and only hears a click.


NCAA REGION: MIDWEST

(2) Duke vs (4) Auburn

Winner: Duke

Aubie is no match for the black magic the Blue Devil can use. The tiger will be vanquished.   


FINAL FOUR

(2) Cincinnati vs (3) Michigan

Winner: Cincinnati

The Wolverine has met his match with The Bearcat. If you truly do mix a bear and a cat, you probably get something similar to a wolverine, only a lot bigger, and enough to take out Michigan's mascot. 


(1) Villanova vs (2) Duke

Winner: Villanova

Duke's mascot may be a devil, but compare his looks with Will D. Cat's and it's clear Villanova's wildcat has more hellfire in him than the Blue Devil's ever seen.


NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

(1) Villanova vs (2) Cincinnati

As a wildcat, Will D. Cat has a lot going for him, but one thing he doesn't have is the power of a bear. Cincinnati's Bearcat has all the traits of a cat, wild or not, PLUS those of a bear. He's got the advantage and he'll take it all. 

NCAA TOURNAMENT WINNER

Cincinnati Bearcats

Don't mess with a bearcat. 

For the full breakdown, check the bracket below:

Photo Credit: Getty

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