Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2016 Murphspot Mascot Bracket - First Four

And lo, the skies darken and a terrifying howl is heard across the badlands. You and your party are beset by a mortal terror. Over the sound of your own pounding heartbeat, you are able to make out the words you have been hearing for weeks now, but which have existed as a murmur until this moment.

"It's time for the Murphspot Mascot Bracket again."

For anyone who is unfamiliar, this is how this will work.


I'm not going to have this complete in time to actually fill out a bracket; even if we ignore the play-in games, that would require that this is done by the weekend. Last year's final post about this nonsense went up on March 29. So if you're planning on using the Murphspot Mascot Bracket to fill out your own bracket for whatever quasi-legal office pool you're entering, you won't find much help here. 

As always, the scenario is a fight to the death between the mascots either as personified by their faom rubber mascot suits or, in some cases, their appearance in a logo, statue or otherwise. Home turf advantage goes to the higher seed, which I rarely remember to implement. We'll see.

Links will appear at the end of this post as each subsequent part is published, as these things tend to be too long to read outright.

First Four

#11 Vanderbilt Commodores vs. #11 Wichita State Shockers

While the play-in games are always a bit unpredictable, it's a little alarming to have to deal with mascot powerhouse Wichita State so soon. The benefit, I think, of having a plant elemental is that whatever the Commodores' experience in naval warfare or Motown, there's always the chance that WuShock could just command Vanderbilt's staple crops to fail, destroying public support for the war effort. Even resorting to the Commodore 64's library leaves Vanderbilt with little to hope for; the most relevant title I could find in a quick search was Fast Food, but even that is primarily egg-focused.

It should go without saying that Dizzy the Egg is an abomination.

Wichita State Advances.

#16 Holy Cross Crusaders vs. #16 Southern Jaguars

My "home turf" rule has already fallen apart, because these teams share a seeding. The argument for the Crusaders is primarily zeal-based; Iggy the Crusader looks like he has a certainty of purpose. He's also got an actual weapon and probably at least some training in what to do if something is trying to kill you. Southern's argument is that the Crusader likely will have little experience with big cats and, if it can force the meeting to be in Baton Rouge, that Iggy will actually just cook inside his armor. Also, look at LaCumba. He's pretty great.

Having been in Baton Rouge in the summer, despite the armor, I think I've got to go with Southern, here. Iggy's training will likely have been against other armed human opponents, and I cannot stress to you enough the experience of being in Baton Rouge with 3000% humidity and the sun inches from you at all times, particularly while wearing steel.

Southern advances.

#16 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles vs. #16 Fairleigh Dickinson Knights

Against a smaller, less armed opponent, the Eagles might have a shot here. They're apex predators and if they were going into battle against the Fairleigh Dickinson Trout or the Fairleigh Dickinson Housecats, it'd be Florida Gulf Coast all the way. 

What they are going up against is a blue horse named Knightro.

Also, the Chess Piece Logo has some pretty great late 80's feathering going on with his mane.

To future readers who are looking to start up a college for the sole purpose of winning this Mascot Bracket, the keys to victory are puns and ostentatious mascot colors. I'm even willing to overlook the logo being a chess piece. That's how much I like Knightro.

Fairleigh Dickinson advances.

#11 Michigan Wolverines vs. #11 Tulsa Golden Hurricane

In recent years, Captain Cane has been a generic-ish looking superhero with control over the weather, so I'm pretty sure that if my knowledge of Marvel's lore were better, I could find a comic in which Wolverine and Storm had some manner of explosive falling out.

As it stands, we've got a relatively fierce but pretty small creature trying to fight against what is apparently called an Atmokinetic, and I just don't see that working out well for the wolverine.

Tulsa advances.

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