#1 Michigan State Spartans vs. #16 LIU Blackbirds
I think I’ve gotten to the point where I can hear “Spartan” and not have Gerard Butler be the only thing that comes to mind. I think that’s probably the romantic comedies at work; my Peloponnesian history isn’t what it should be, so I don’t know exactly how ancient Spartans would have responded to The Bounty Hunter, but I have to assume it wouldn’t have been pretty.
Spartan McNulty is displeased.
The Blackbirds, on the other hand, probably aren’t going to fare well against a guy with a sword wearing a cuirass. They’re fine as something for Paul McCartney to sing about, and seem to be pretty good at pestering Jon Snow for corn, but against an actual military unit, I’m afraid that the birds aren’t going to fare well.
Yes, I’m sorry. It’s ok. You can be even more dour now.
Michigan State advances.
#8 Memphis Tigers vs. #9 Saint Louis Billikens
So that’s a Billiken, then. I was really worried that I was missing something really basic about what in the world this is supposed to be, but Introduction to Charm Doll Fads of the Early 1900s That Appeared In the Dreams of an Art Teacher wasn’t required for my major, so it’s an area in which I know I’m deficient. It’s evidently a good luck… thing, which is good as something tells me that if the Billiken deems it, things can go south in a hurry. Then suddenly the Brady Bunch has to go back to St. Louis to return the Billiken because Bobby can’t leave well enough alone and it turns into a weird parable about how we have to care for and preserve St. Louis.
The Tigers are Tigers, I guess, but for some reason I assume the Billiken’s got anti-Tiger powers. Which would actually explain the 2006 World Series, so let’s run with that.
Saint Louis advances.
#5 New Mexico Lobos vs. #12 Long Beach State 49ers
We could sit here and debate the positives and the negatives of the California Gold Rush, but we won’t, because I don’t feel like reading enough about it to have a strong opinion one way or the other. I am relatively certain that Long Beach wasn’t involved in any actual gold rushing.
The Lobos, on the other hand have, presumably, Lobo.
This is what Glenn Danzig sees when he looks in the mirror.
I’m not sure what the 49ers have in the way of weaponry (Gold pans? Sieves? Maybe a pickaxe?), but I’m pretty sure that whatever it is, it won’t quite match up to the 1990s distilled into a single ridiculous character.
New Mexico advances.
#4 Louisville Cardinals vs. #13 Davidson Wildcats
I’ve already dealt with both Cardinals and Wildcats, and neither is terribly threatening. The Louisville Cardinal (somewhat disappointingly just named “Cardinal Bird”) has teeth, which is starting to make me think I’m wrong and that cardinals have teeth. I don’t think they do, but it’s such a consistent feature that it’s unsettling.
I don’t feel cheer from Cardinal Bird. I feel like I’ve wronged him.
The Wildcats, on the other hand, have this big grey thing with whiskers and detached cheeks? Or something? Gills? It does have little tufts of hair coming out of the tops of its ears, which makes me think they’re going for some kind of lynx, but frankly, I’m just sort of confused.
Deciding between the two entirely on which one I wouldn’t want to have cut off in traffic, I’ll have to give this to Cardinal Bird. He’s got a lot of anger, and I think that probably is the deciding factor in this.