#16 James Madison Dukes vs. #8 North Carolina State Wolfpack
The Dukes had a good run, and made it through two matchups more than most of the other bulldog mascots. I guess that demonstrates that even if you're a fairly squat dog who makes some unorthodox fashion choices, you're going to get pretty far on your lands, titles and incomes.
In the end, though, Duke is still a bulldog and even though Mr. and Mrs Wuf are named that and wearing ridiculous headwear, they're still a pack of wolves, who will bite you in half while you sit there and mock their hats.
Honestly, though, look at this thing.
Duke may be able to raise troops if given enough notice, but who's fighting that battle? Other working dogs? Maybe a few mastiffs and Bernese mountain dogs, but mostly terriers? Who pays fealty to Duke? And how soon will it be Sunday so I can get back to watching Game of Thrones?
This doesn't relate, really. The post just needed some more of Ser Dontos.
I feel like whatever's raised, the Wolfpack has this round.
North Carolina State advances.
#5 UNLV Rebels vs. #13 Montana Grizzlies
I've been pretty bear-mascot-positive in this bracket so far, and Monte's got a lot going for him that would make me lean in his direction as well. He's cartoonish enough that children probably aren't going to cry, but not to the point that he's likely to put on a sweatervest and start telling you stories in exchange for jamming a cassette into his back.
"Take that, Teddy Ruxpin." -he wrote as he lost control of the Mascot Bracket.
What Monte has going for him is his ability to make an entrance. For some reason, Monte showing up to games on horseback is more impressive to me than mascots that are expected to be able to ride a horse. If bears have started to domesticate their own horses, we're only a few years away from bears with advanced weapons systems.
Plus, he's responsible for this picture.
I've never been to Montana, but I imagine it's just this all day, every day.
So it would seem Hey Reb has his work cut out for him. I tried to figure out if Hey Reb has access to firearms (which you'd think he probably would), but he's not depicted with guns for the most part, which I understand. What I didn't count on were Hey Reb's finger-guns.
Hey Reb has been preemptively banned from small clubs and concert venues with low-hanging ceilings.
Bear on a Motorcycle is pretty intimidating, but Hey Reb appears to be some sort of Nevadan Pyromancer. We've run into a matchup between Mounted Bears and Mustachioed Fire Mages in Big Pseudo-Confederate-era Hats.
I'm sorry, Monte. The bike is great, but fire from your fingertips wins every time.
#11 Bucknell Bison vs. #3 Marquette Golden Eagles
I mean no disrespect to the noble Golden Eagle, but at this level of competition, I'm somewhat skeptical of the whole "diving and clawing and biting and then soaring away" as a modus operandi. Then again, Golden Eagles are really, really good at that.
They evidently mostly stick to hares and squirrels, but will take down a young deer if you leave it alone. Which means that if you've got a young deer in your care and you leave it alone with some golden eagles while you go finish up dinner, you're either somewhat neglectful or kind of a jerk.
Bucky the Bison has a vulnerability in that he's got unreasonably large eyes, but I think there's a tendency to underrate the bison. Bison are the size of a decent sedan and can move at a pretty good "driving through a neighborhood" clip of 35 miles per hour.
And that is now all I'm going to think about when I'm upset at traffic. "Yes, this is bad, but at least there isn't a bison charging down the street at the speed limit." Everything else will be comparatively good.
This is tough because, if they really felt like it, they wouldn't actually have to interact. The bison can go about bisoning and the eagle can go around eating otters or something and never really get around to actually fighting, so just out of pure impact force, I'm going to have to go with Bucky.
#10 Colorado Buffaloes vs. #15 Pacific Tigers
Ralphie is more on the "Saturday Morning Cartoon" end of the mascot spectrum, which is to say that he looks like he'd believe basically anything you told him.
I feel like most episodes would revolve around Ralphie getting in trouble after falling in with the cool wildlife who convinced him to vandalize the community swimming pool, followed by his redemption and a tacked on plea to not drop out of school.
Power Cat, on the other hand, seems like the oldest looking mascot in the bracket. Not in the sense that he's not been recently updated, but that for some reason they made him look like an anthropomorphic tiger who's in his mid-fifties. On one hand, he may have lost a step against the rambunctious youngster represented by Ralphie. On the other, he's got experience and wisdom and is named Power Cat.
I'm having trouble putting into words how awesome that is. I want to get another cat just so that I can name it Power Cat and have it run around fighting crime and throwing mooks out of abandoned warehouses into the Cat Dome, which is honestly probably just a glorified litter box.