And we've returned to the obligatory "large cat/bird of prey" matchup. A point of clarification before we get into this in earnest; I'm going to be very loose with the concept of "mascot". If there's not a big foam rubber costume running around basketball games (or if I can't find evidence of one in the first few minutes), the logos and the team names are fair game.
With that out of the way, we've got what will likely be a pretty common matchup in the play-in game. The Winthrop Eagle apparently does exist in giant-costume form and is a bald eagle with hollow eyes, which makes it a pretty haunting, actually. I wish they'd gone with something other than the bald eagle; sure, it gets them points for patriotism and it's what many people in the US think of when they hear the word "eagle", so it'd be a good opportunity to open the public's eyes to Accipitridae members. My top two suggestions? The Martial Eagle or Wahlberg's Eagle. The first evokes the military, which probably would bump up its performance in Mascot Brackets (I'm going to ignore the pictures on Wikipedia and presume martial eagles have little rifles and bandoliers and a cigar). Wahlberg's Eagle presents the opportunity to call the fan section "The Funky Bunch" and how do you not do that?
University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff's mascot, on the other hand, is this.
From a logo design perspective, I dig the idea of embedding "UAPB" in the mane. It reminds me of the Montreal Expos logo, which I will maintain is a pretty damn good logo even if they've since moved to Washington by way of Puerto Rico and had their real shot at the Championship cut short by the strike in 1994. Beyond that, "Golden Lion" clearly evokes a higher class of lion than the lowly Brass Lions, and is apparently also the highest award given at the Venice Film Festival. That's clearly quality. And if you distill this down to what the Mascot Bracket is about, a fight to the death between the mascots, it's no contest. University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff advances to face Duke in the 1st Round.