Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Murphspot Mascot Bracket 2015: East/South Second Round

#1 Villanova Wildcats vs. #8 North Carolina State Wolfpack

On their best day, wildcats are going to have a rough go of it, so long as we're sticking with standard definitions of wildcats. I suppose if we're talking about rally cars, Villanova might have a better shot here at least from a momentum standpoint. Or a "driven by people with no apparent regard for reasonable driving speeds" standpoint.

I'm not saying I need a series that combines the spice-using navigators of Dune with the Dukes of Hazzard. I'm saying society needs that.

As it stands, we have a small, blue eyed cat, confident in its recent victory, entering the arena with let's say a dozen wolves. Wolves in jaunty hats, sure, but wolves nonetheless.

North Carolina State advances.

#12 Wyoming Cowboys vs. #13 UC Irvine Anteaters

I really do want to continue to encourage the development and implementation of novel mascots in the Mascot Bracket. Sure, Peter the Anteater doesn't really have much in the way of offensive prowess considering that his opponent is again not an ant, but by stifling his progress here, we wind up contributing to the Mascot File Drawer problem, where we see decreased submissions of mascots that may not work out in a fight to the death, but can teach us something interesting about the Mascot Sciences.

Also, we need more mascots with Peter's pleasant disposition.

And that's all well and good, but this is a battle between "pretty long tongue" and "so identified with pistols that he's named after them". Yellow Pistol Pete is victorious.

Wyoming advances.

#11 Dayton Flyers vs. #3 Oklahoma Sooners

At its most basic, this is less a fight to the death and more a lesson in the timeline of personal transport. Sure, it took a while for the Dayton Flyers to work out the kinks in how to take a big, heavy, metal machine and have it soar through the air, carrying as many sweaty passengers and screaming babies as you can fit into the fuselage while allowing for enough space to the traditional rations of half a can of the soft drink of your choice, a tiny bag of pretzels and whatever movie of indeterminate quality has been out long enough that they'll allow you to watch it if you buy some headphones.

Conestoga wagons, on the other hand, are relatively slow and, in my extensive research consisting of late 80's educational games, constantly either being caulked to float across rivers or having their inhabitants come down with cholera.

Alternately, snakebites, because James would not listen about leaving the snake alone.

Dayton advances.

#7 Michigan State Spartans vs. #2 Virginia Cavaliers

I'll give the Spartans a point in the Discipline category. They're proficient in that, and potentially moreso than a generic Cavalier. Particularly CavMan, who approaches life with the sort of devil may care attitude that befits his facial hair and his penchant for fancy hats.

In terms of armament and strategy, though, I'm thinking I'll have to go with Virginia here. Not only would they have been able to learn from any lessons that the Spartans came up with and incorporated them with the next few thousand years of advances in strategic warfare, they're guys with guns going up against guys in apparently green leather armor whose chin is basically the broad side of a barn.

You know, I get the bracers as a fashion statement, but I don't know that they provide any competitive advantage here.

Virginia advances.

#16 Robert Morris Colonials vs. #9 St. John's Red Storm

I feel like the Colonials vs. the Red Storm is either some sort of Masque of the Red Death analog combined with the Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God sermon, or it's a reference to a particularly harsh weather event that forced a small band of colonists to carve CROATOAN into a tree and then go do something with their time that wasn't being battered by flying debris.

As much as I would like to help Robert Morris out here, but Johnny Thunderbird rides on as ever, top down and stereo blaring. He is a phantom in the night, and all the colony will be awoken by his tunes. Deprived of sleep, they can't hope to keep up with the Red Storm.

Also, he's probably got lightning powers? Let's go with that.

St. John's advances.

#12 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks vs. #13 Eastern Washington Eagles

So, in the last round, the Lumberjack was able to pretty easily dispatch with an hawk named Swoop.

I know what you're saying. This is an eagle named Swoop. It's totally different.

And sure. This bird of prey is pretty full of majesty, and is composed at least in part of concentrated Freedom. On the other hand, deforestation is still a thing, and I don't see this ending any better for this Swoop than the last. You can have all the majesty you want, but if your nest is gone and it's hard to hunt for food, times are tough.

The Lumberjack, you could reason with. The axe? No chance.

Stephen F. Austin advances.

#11 UCLA Bruins vs. #14 UAB Blazers

So, Joe Bruin has the advantage of his species being a real thing, and not being consigned to sword-and-sorcery style fantasy settings. That's actually non-negligible. As happy-go-lucky as Joe Bruin appears to be, he's still got the ability to call in actual bears.

Blaze is a dragon, which gives him a pretty heavy advantage if we can get over the "not actually an animal" hurdle. What we need is a way to directly compare the two.

Thankfully, we live in a world where you can just look that up on the internet, thanks to the magic of Youtube and Skyrim.

I'm going with that settling that.

UAB advances.

#7 Iowa Hawkeyes vs. #15 North Dakota State Bison

So, Herky's fine and all, and I presume he's got some sort of preternatural archery ability that allows him to hang out with superpowered aliens and men in powered armor.

Also, one of the more stylized masks that's come up so far.

But, despite that, we're dealing with one of the many toothy birds in this bracket and I think this simply comes down to size. Thundar isn't something that the Hawk is going to be able to pick up and carry off to tear him apart, and I think this is probably going to result in repeated assaults that Thundar weathers with grace.

Well, as much grace as someone named THUNDAR can muster.

North Dakota State advances.

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