Even if we go with the most vicious possible definition of “wildcat”, it’s a bit of a stretch to think it’s going to be able to withstand an assault from a Grizzly Bear. Particularly when it’s a grizzly bear who’s apparently the Fonz.
This is a bear riding a motorcycle while wearing a bandana. WELCOME TO MONTANA.
The wildcat might be quick, but it doesn’t appear to have a motorcycle, which is a problem in this bracket. It also doesn’t have anything to do with the Who’s More Grizzled, and therefore is going to lose.
And now Garth Brooks has shown up on my blog.
#3 Florida State Seminoles vs. #10 West Virginia Mountaineers.
It’s the Happy-Go-Lucky Politically Complicated Incredibly Uncomfortable matchup!
Presumably the Seminoles never had much to do with the Mountaineers of West Virginia, so there’s no real historical precedent we can look to; presumably the Mountaineers would have the advantage in the mountains, while the Seminoles would take it if the climate’s actually enjoyable.
Interestingly, both the Mountaineer and Chief Osceola are portrayed as actual people in costume rather than terrifying foam rubber monstrosities. Osceola, incidentally, was a historical Seminole leader who responded to being locked up in Fort King by starting the Second Seminole War. If you’ve actually started a war in Florida, you get a bid to the Murphspot Mascot Elite Eight.
Florida State advances
#1 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. #12 California Golden Bears
This is tough. On one hand, we’ve either got a giant anthropomorphic ram or general North Carolinians (or North Carolinian Generals, like Hugh Shelton) versus a legendary bear that wound up on a flag. Somehow, throughout this, I’d been thinking of the California Golden Bear in the abstract as a several hundred pound killing machine.
Cal’s got a mascot, though, and his name is Oski.
He’s a red hat and UK passport away from being Paddington Bear.
Really? This is what’s gotten to the Sweet Sixteen under my watch? He’s got happy eyes. He’s wearing a cardigan. He doesn’t give of so much a ferocious vibe as he does a Delightful Resident of the Neighborhood of Make Believe. He and Bob Dog probably play backgammon on the weekends. But this is a fight to the death, and there’s no room for ridiculous smiles.
North Carolina advances.
#6 San Diego State Aztecs vs. #15 Detroit Titans.
It probably says something deeply disturbing about me that when I hear the word “Aztec”, my mind goes to the ancient Central Mexican civilization only after stopping by one of the more ridiculous superhero movies ever to appear on Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Pumaman.
To be fair, Vadinho was a great belt salesman.
I don’t know than I can hold that against the Aztecs, who had nothing to do with it (though it should be noted that the star of the movie was in one movie after that, and has since become a medical malpractice lawyer in New York, which I'll attribute to some sort of Wrath of Quetzalcoatl). And again, we’re at a point where we’ve got a culture from the 14th century going up against a bunch of deities. I don’t see this working out well for the Aztecs or Donald Pleasance.