As much as this is meant to be about mascots tearing each other limb from limb, and as much as I enjoy awarding a mascot for having apparently been designed for that purpose (as with the Jayhawk having shoes to kick his opponents), I've got to say I'm pretty impressed by Saint Louis' ability to disregard that entirely and go with a toy fad from the 1900s.
On the other hand, I could see this thing following you around until you're insane.
You could probably come up with some convoluted way in which the Luck of the Billiken is somehow going to overcome the guys with swords and spears and a deathwish, but for some reason I imagine the luck in question being more of the "Got a great parking spot" variety than the "comes out victorious despite being unarmed and a toy" variety. I could be wrong. I'd like to be wrong, but I don't think I am.
Michigan State advances
#5 New Mexico Lobos vs. #4 Louisville Cardinals
I know. They're wolves. But it strikes me as much more amusing if we're going to see this as a matchup between an anthropomorphic seed-eating bird with anger issues (possibly related to the fact that it only eats seeds) and the band Los Lobos.
Evidently, the son of the lead singer is the drummer for Social Distortion, and in the Murphspot Mascot Bracket, you get an advantage for being able to contact Mike Ness quickly. They're going up against a bird whose primary characteristics are "bright red" and "isn't known for attacking anything." I don't even think we'd need to invoke the wolves. I think you could probably take that down with a spirited rendition of "La Bamba".
New Mexico advances
#6 Murray State Racers vs. #14 Iona Gaels
Murray State's pretty impressive in terms of having a mascot that gets people to cheer for a sport by competing in a different sport. If this were a bracket in which we were determining which mascot was most capable of running one and a quarter miles, Racer One would probably have a much better shot. The sad truth is that I don’t really know that racing horses are known for their fighting capability. The Gaels probably were, and Killian the Gael in particular just has a lot of teeth. That’s not really a smile that suggests determined yet sportsmanlike competition.
It’s more on the “YOU’LL NEVER FIND THE BODIES” end of the spectrum.
And the Racer is probably acclimated to humans, and if he’s too trusting, this is going to end badly for him.
#10 Virginia Cavaliers vs. #15 Norfolk State Spartans
The thing with Spartans is that they peaked a while ago, when all they had to worry about were the Athenians, but wound up being overtaken by the Romans when the Romans decided they wanted to overtake everything.
The Cavaliers, on the other hand, specifically hung around Charles II and definitely had swords, but probably also had some firearms and were typified by Prince Rupert of the Rhine, who seems pretty accomplished.
On the other hand, his name is Rupert, which calls to mind Rupert Murdoch, Rupert Everett and, oddly, the Ruprecht scene from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
So while the Spartans might have the upper hand in close-quarters combat, the Cavaliers have better range weapons and will do well here.