#1 Villanova Wildcats vs. #16 Lafayette Leopards
We start this region of the bracket where the West left off, with differently sized cats. There isn't all that much interesting to say that doesn't break down to "Well, let's go with the larger cat, I guess" in most of these, but for some reason both Villanova's Will D. Cat and Lafayette's The Leopard have really intensely colored eyes.
Will D. Cat, as discussed in previous years, is clearly the Kwisatz Haderach, though I've got doubts about the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan Area's spice reserves. Also, he might anger Sting.
|I'm actually a little more frightened of angering Sting's hair.|
The Leopard's got some manner of bright red eyes of rage thing going on, but even with the size advantage, Will D. Cat's eyes freak me out more and make me want to not anger him so early on in the bracket.
#8 North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. #9 Louisiana State Tigers
I realize that just in my last post, I deducted points for a silly hat. In my defense, and in keeping with the integrity of the current state of mascot hat analysis, Wilbur's floppy Stetson was trying for something and not quite achieving it. Mr. Wuf's sailor hat isn't trying to be something it isn't. It knows its limitations. It simply is.
|I sort of feel as though they want to go antiquing. Which I'm fine with.|
I like Mike the Tiger. I've walked by Mike's habitat (though that would have been the previous Incarnation of Mike), and he's, from what I can tell, a very capable tiger.
If this were a single wolf on tiger fight, it'd be Mike without a doubt. Against a wolfpack, though, I imagine this turns out like the Dawn of the Dead remake, and Mike to his opponent simply because there are too many to fight.
North Carolina State advances.
#5 Northern Iowa Panthers vs. #12 Wyoming Cowboys.
You know what? I give up.
Everyone has Pistol Pete as their mascot, and I'm starting to think Pistol Pete is the Borg. Soon, the Pistol Pete Cube will find us, assimilate us into its collective, and then we'll all be Pistol Pete.
I don't know if it's worth it to resist. Maybe I should embrace the moustache. Maybe Pistol Pete has been with all of us all along.
Maybe Pistol Pete guards the secret to happiness. Maybe Pistol Pete is serenity.
Regardless, I can't come up with a way to have the Panthers advance. Pistol Pete is victorious. Pistol Pete is life.
#4 Louisville Cardinals vs. #13 UC Irvine Anteaters
I mean, for a cardinal, Cardinal Bird is pretty frightening. A cardinal took up residence outside one of the windows in my apartment last year apparently because he liked to mock the cat, but if he'd had human-shaped teeth in his beak I'd have quietly packed up everything I owned, gotten in my car and driven until there were no more roads.
|Still not as frightening as Adam Wainwright.|
As far as I know, anteaters don't pose that much danger to things that aren't ants. And to preserve the sanctity of the Mascot Bracket, it might be that Peter the Anteater can't come out of this victorious.
On the other hand, this is the sort of thing we like to encourage here at the Mascot Bracket. We live for the Anteaters of the tournament. For the mascots that thankfully aren't the most popular choices in mascotdom (Bears, Cats and Pistol Pete, evidently). Having seen Peter the Anteater in action, I'm going to trust to his guile. It seems cruel to limit him to eating ants.
Peter the Anteater's resourcefulness beats out Cardinal Bird's terror.
UC Irvine advances.
#6 Providence Friars vs. #11 Dayton Flyers
Leaving aside the Friars/Flyers linguistic note for a second, I'd like to remind everyone that Friar Dom is in your closet while you sleep and is just waiting for an opportunity to devour your soul with his unblinking Friar Stare.
|There is no escape.|
That said, the Friar's main method of attack seem to be charity, humility and studiousness, while the Flyers have got at least some capacity for an aerial assault.
#3 Oklahoma Sooners vs. #14 Albany Great Danes
|I'd like an HBO documentary about President Cleveland's bow ties.|
If we're talking about an actual fight between Boomer and Sooner and Damien the Great Dane, it'll be close. Despite being Welsh Ponies, I'd have to assume that Boomer and Sooner can probably kick pretty hard. Damien's probably quicker on his feet and has the agility to deal with a pair of ponies, but then I'm sitting here trying to imagine a dog and pony fight and the whole enterprise is just sort of bizarre.
I'm going with the one that has the steel on its feet.
#7 Michigan State Spartans vs. #10 Georgia Bulldogs
Again, I don't hate dogs. I swear I don't. I even like Uga as a dog in particular. He seems pleasant, and if I recall showed up in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, so there's the additional factor of a literary CV.
And I wish I could give this one to him. But no matter how many millennia of advances in military technology the Spartans don't have access to, he's still got a sword and he's fighting a domesticated dog.
|I'm going to continue to just pretend the Spartan mascot is actually McNulty in a toga.|
I feel bad about it, but there's no way around the result here.
Michigan State advances.
#2 Virginia Cavaliers vs. #15 Belmont Bruins
Bears for the most part do relatively well in the Mascot Bracket, in part because I have no idea how I'd react to coming across a brown bear in the wild. Even one as seemingly genial as Bruiser would probably immediately destroy me, and then Werner Herzog would narrate something about the fleeting nature of life. Or chickens.
Is that video entirely unrelated? Sure. But now you've seen it, and your life has been improved. Also, this Mascot Bracket might be a chicken.
But I'm not CavMan. I certainly don't have CavMan's hat, nor his ability to, I assume, swing in like Errol Flynn and eviscerate his enemies.