Both schools here have an actual, living mascot, which I think makes me a little uncomfortable about speculating about which one would win in a fight to the death.
Not so uncomfortable that I won’t proceed, though.
Murray State’s got Racer One, a disappointingly generically named Thoroughbred who makes me think we’re playing an arcade game from the early 90s. Cruis’n USA, maybe. Racer One apparently runs around the field following a touchdown, which isn’t relevant here, but is more interesting than sitting in stable all day getting fat off of the flesh of other mascots.
Colorado State’s got CAM the Ram, a bighorn sheep with an initialism for a name and some ridiculously curved horns.
Note: Sheep pupils are rectangular and I may or may not have an irrational fear of them.
So, yes, CAM would likely be able to cause some damage by headbutting Racer One, but he’s still a sheep, while Racer One’s filled with adrenaline from getting HBO to stop production on Luck. Plus, Racer One’s presumably got metal on his hooves, which seems like it’d hurt.
Murray State advances
#3 Marquette Golden Eagles vs. #14 Iona Gaels
I’m sorry. I’ve been doing this for years, and every time I get to Marquette, all I can see is this.
I know. They were the Screaming Eagles. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?
It’s a little ridiculous, as Golden Eagles exist and seem to be able to fend for themselves pretty well without assistance from Jerry Van Dyke and Bill Fagerbakke, while Screaming Eagles are, I’m pretty sure, what you see when you have some sort of horrible drug interaction.
Falconry appears to have been practiced more widely among the Saxons than the Gaels, so Iona’s not going to be able to rely on simply being able to control the Golden Eagles, and I’m unfamiliar with any origin story that makes Hawkman a Gael (Ancient Egyptian prince or Space Policeman from Thanagar, sure, but never Gaelic). They did have weapons, though, while the eagle is going to have to try to rip apart its big creepy head.
I don’t see that happening, especially with all those damned teeth.
#7 Florida Gators vs. #10 Virginia Cavaliers
Cavman seems skeptical.
I assume he’s trying to figure out whether the right side of his hat is meant to evoke a feather or some sort of ridiculous fur trim.
Alligators are intimidating in that “reptiles shouldn’t be that large or keen on eating people” sort of way, and they’re at least somewhat more appropriate in Florida, where I understand they exist, than as the mascot for my alma mater, where they don’t.
On the other hand, the Cavalier explicitly has a sword, which gives him some range over the Gator and, I think, is enough for a victory.
#2 Missouri Tigers vs. #15 Norfolk State Spartans
If nothing else, this is a better matchup than the Spartan/Blackbird match earlier this round. There aren’t tigers in Laconia as far as I know, so it’s possible that the Spartans wouldn’t quite know what to do with a tiger.
On the other hand, Tru, the Missouri Mascot looks like this:
I don’t know what it is, but that looks like the most vulnerable tiger I’ve ever seen. I think maybe the stripe above his eyes? Like he’s pleading for approval. And I’d like to give it to him, but this bracket is about survival and fighting prowess and utter nonsense, so I’ll assume the Spartan’s well trained enough to pull this off.
I’m sorry, Tru. It’s ok. I’ll get you some ice cream. Maybe next year.
Norfolk State advances