The real battle here, it seems to me, is not going to be decided by people who hijack ships and the largest land-dwelling weasel. It could, and that would potentially be hilarious to watch (even moreso if the parrot got involved), human-against-small-but-ferocious-animal is not what the Murphspot Mascot Bracket is about. It's about trying to think of ways to differentiate every round from every other round. Hence, comics. Wolverine, of course, is pretty much indestructible given that he's survived having the adamantium ripped from his skeleton and being torn in half by Hulk. But he's overexposed to the point that pointing out how overexposed Wolverine is is a cliche on its own. As far as Pirates, the closest I could think of was DC's Psycho-Pirate who is a bit of an anti-Wolverine. He's an empath and uses a mask to project emotions on to people, which is pretty far from the whole "tearing into things with metal claws" on the "Methods of Attack" spectrum. And he tends to pop up only occasionally. He died, came back for Blackest Night, then died again, so he's certainly destructible. Still, if you're going to have something fight Wolverine, feeding on angst is probably not a terrible way to go. I'd give it to the Pirates, but then I have to mention that the character I've been using to push for them looks like this.
Who designed that? Tim Gunn would have them jailed. Also, Tim Gunn has standing to jail people, and I've just worked in references to Marvel, DC and Project Runway in a mascot bracket post. Michigan advances.
#12 Memphis Tigers vs. #13 Oakland Golden Grizzlies
I'm not sure whether either Memphis is particularly habitable for tigers. I guess Memphis, Tennessee is probably fine, but the ancient Egyptian capital for which it's named is probably not all that hospitable for jungle cats. For that matter, Oakland is pretty well urbanized, and I can't imagine that a grizzly is going to be allowed to just saunter about. So I guess that's a wash. Which is all to say that it's hard to make a reasonable length entry for another Bear/Tiger matchup. Tigers probably have the advantage as far as speed is concerned, but I guess bears can run at 40 mph and they're 900 pounds. They're essentially monsters. Plus, Wikipedia has a photo of this sign in their entry on bears.
That's right. Bear Danger. The worst kind of danger. And the best kind of band name.
I'm going to have to go with the bears. Oakland advances.
#6 Cincinnati Bearcats vs. #14 Bucknell Bisons
As excited as I was over the Cincinnati Fighting Binturongs, I do have to recognize that "Bearcat" is probably a bit misleading in the direction of fierceness. The thing weighs like 30 pounds, which is big-ish for a small mammal, but Bison are over a ton. And they've got horns. And probably a little anger to get out after we killed most of them, which they might misdirect in the direction of the humble bearcat. Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo step on binturongs.Bucknell advances
#10 Penn State Nittany Lions vs. #2 San Diego State Aztecs
And we're back to the whole "human vs. non-human" thing. I guess I should have defined the terms better straight away. I'd restrict the human mascots to having to fight barehanded, but then if a mountain lion's allowed to use its teeth, the human should probably be allowed to use its ability to make a spear to kill the mountain lion. Obviously, given the lack of Aztecs in central Pennsylvania, they probably don't have any direct experience in killing the wildlife on Mount Nittany, but I'm willing to bet they can figure it out. San Diego State advances.