I feel like the Trojans have been getting a bit of an easy run so far. Yeah, they're people with weapons, which gives them an edge in "fight to the death" style mascot brackets, but they're also have that odd "semi-legendary" quality to them which makes me think that I should probably dock them a few points. If we just examine them as they exist in Homer's works, they're ruled by a monarchy, which I have to think will give Old Dominion somewhat of an edge. Wikipedia gives Priam, the king of Troy during the Trojan War, the original name "Podarces", which makes me think of podraces, which makes me think of The Phantom Menace, which makes me sad. With that convoluted bit of reasoning, Old Dominion advances.
#12 Utah State Aggies vs. #13 Belmont Bruins
Here, it really doesn't matter whether I take the Utah State mascot to be actual agricultural students (which is a practical if lame mascot) or whether I take it to be Big Blue, the bull who's had enough of this shit.
Big Blue would like to know when you're planning on knocking it the hell off already.
If anything, Big Blue just makes me miss Western Kentucky's Big Red, who can bring joy and merriment wherever he goes with his hinged jaw, optimistic eyebrows and weird leg pocket. If only WKU were in this year's bracket, perhaps the world would
just be a little bit better.
You know what? Screw it.
Hooray! Big Red! We missed you. Diversions aside, the bear is going to kill either the bull or the student, so Belmont advances.
#6 St. John's Red Storm vs. #3 Brigham Young Cougars
There's pretty much two incarnations of the Red Storm that I can actually conceive of. Either it's an elemental force of destruction which will tear anything in its path apart or it's a soft drink marketed to teenagers who like the idea of dangerous sports. So that's a wash. Evidently, St. John's chose an actual mascot in the last few years. Johnny the Thunderbird. Here's a video of him dancing alone.
I don't know. He's got a weird rounded beak, and he makes me think of cars from the 1970s. I've got to think that the Cougar wouldn't have much of a problem smacking that thing in the face and then destroying everything it has ever loved. Brigham Young advances.
#10 Michigan State Spartans vs. #15 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos
An occupational/cultural matchup! Gauchos are impressive and all, and the mascot appears to be wearing the kind of hat you'd want to wear if you were going to turn it into some kind of razor-throwing-weapon-hat, like Oddjob or Kung Lao, but then I looked up the actual UCSB Gaucho mascot.
The ¡Olé! belt buckle might be a bit much. Evidently that's his name, and I'm not sure if that makes it better.
What is this? That's not nearly as terrifying as the amorphous shadow mascot promised in the logo. That's a pretty spectacular moustache, but the bandana mask just makes me want to figure out who it is. A young, black-haired Hulk Hogan? Nick Cave-every-once-in-a-while? The guitarist for Steely Dan? It's too much, and while it's making motions toward a big reveal, the Spartan is going to come in and kick it down a well. Michigan State advances.