We’ve already established that Big Red is the personification of Joy, and in a battle to the death, he’s probably got control of the high ground by virtue of his name. If we go with the position that the Prequels exist and weren’t some fever dream we all experienced in the early 00s, Obi-Wan would have us believe this is a crucial determining factor.
Big Red does not stand for versions that insert Hayden Christensen into Return of the Jedi. Blasphemy.
On the other hand, though, Big Red is reasonable and understands the importance of agriculture to the nation’s food supply, and would want to resolve this peacefully. Also, I can’t think of how to make a muppet and a living bundle of wheat fight each other. And so, for the peace of the nation and the good of the bracket, and for the first time in Murphspot Mascot Bracket history, Big Red stands down to allow WuShock a chance at the championship.
Wichita State advances.
#3 Baylor Bears vs. #10 Xavier Musketeers
I have no idea how to deal with a bear in the wild. I presume I’d scream and then die. But if you had to, and I strongly advise against doing anything that could put you in a situation where that’s a possibility, I’d imagine a long-range weapon like a musket would probably come in handy. Of course, if we’re sticking to period weaponry, the Musketeer’s probably got a smooth bore weapon, so they’re not terribly accurate. And, of course, they’re not terribly quick to reload.
Xavier Nady's got nothing to do with this, but hey! It's Xavier Nady! Who is evidently Xavier Nady VI. Xavier could have had a team on the court composed entirely of Xavier Nadys who preceded this one.
So D’Artagnan’s basically got one shot at taking the bear down before it rips his damn head off. But this is someone who’s trained at this for years, and I’ve got to assume that “protecting the King” included “from bear attacks”, as rare as that might be in Paris.
#1 Michigan State Spartans vs. #5 New Mexico Lobos
The Spartans, I think, are probably primarily focused on military action against other nations and city-states, and perhaps not so practiced at wild packs of animals. So that might give the Lobos a fighting chance here. Wolves, particularly, seem like they’d tear through you if they got the chance.
And, apropos of nothing, here’s something from …And Out Come the Wolves. Because I can.
On the other hand, the Lobos are basically large, ferocious dogs, and if you can’t work up a defense against that with a sword and shield, you’re probably not going to do well in battle. Add spears to the equation and the Spartans have a reach advantage. I wanted to find a way to give this to New Mexico, mostly so that I could justify the Rancid video, but I don’t see how they come out on top here.
Michigan State advances.
#14 Iona Gaels vs. #10 Virginia Cavaliers
I’ve been giving Killian a lot of credit for his serial-killer smile, but in all likelihood that’s just healthy dentistry. I don’t know that he’s swallowing his vanquished foes whole. Probably, but it’s not certain.
Once again, AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH.
In any case he’s not specified to be part of any formal military unit, while the Cavaliers were. I suspected this would be a somewhat political conflict, but if we take the Cavaliers to be Royalist supporters of Charles I, it turns out that they’d have wound up loosely allied with the Gaelic Irish following the Irish Rebellion of 1641. Still, I’m going to have to go with the actual military unit here.