#1 Kansas Jayhawks vs. Austin Peay Governors
I've tried to figure out the Jayhawks. In one sense, they're more terrifying than most of the bird mascots, purely because they've chosen not only to wear shoes (which I imagine was probably mandated in Jayhawk society because their razorclaws were responsible for too many deaths), but they've also chosen buckles as the fastening device.
That is madness. We are dealing with a bird that may not listen to reason.
Then again, they're not a bird I've seen in the wild (probably because they're fictional), and so I've got to presume they've got some sort of enclave. Unfortunately, despite the pure terror represented by the Jayhawk's shoebuckles, I'm afraid the Governors' control over the budget that allows for the districting of bird preserve territory is overwhelming. At the very least, they'd be able to withhold funding long enough to starve them out.
Austin Peay advances.
#8 Colorado Buffaloes vs. #9 Connecticut Huskies
I always go through these brackets explaining that no, really, I do like dogs. And I do. I like huskies, even. The ones I've met have been very agreeable. They're intelligent and loyal and have a lot of positive traits.
One trait they do not have is "weighing a literal ton" or "having big horns on the sides of their heads." I'm sorry, Huskies. If this were a pound-for-pound comparison, then it'd be close, but this is a dog against something the size of a midsize sedan.
#5 Maryland Terrapins vs. #12 South Dakota State Jackrabbits
I've been doing these brackets for a long time, and I think this is the first time everything's gotten all Aesopian on me. The correct answer, if I'm trying to instruct readers that being lazy isn't a good thing, is that the terrapin overcomes the jackrabbits through sheer force of will.
But I'm not trying to teach you that lesson. I'm trying to teach you the lesson that you should put off work for however long it takes to read one of these exceedingly lengthy posts. As that is the case, I'm going to rely on my own experience in figuring out a fight to the death between two opponents that don't seem to want to fight (what with the focus on defense and escape).
If I walk around my neighborhood, I've seen a lot of rabbits. Sure, they probably get killed by some coyotes now and again, but they're also out in the middle of winter. Most people aren't out in the middle of winter in Chicago, so that's got to speak to some sort of tenacity.
|They don't even have those L heatlamps. I don't get it.|
On the contrary, I very rarely see turtles. Now, it could be that they're in the sewers, out of sight, training with a rat, but it seems somewhat more likely that they're just not around.
South Dakota State advances.
#4 California Golden Bears vs. #13 Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
So, listen. Bears are basically monsters.
But if we're going cinematic with this, I've got to think about what the name is going to mean for the fight.
"Rainbow Warriors" evidently stems from a tradition that Hawaii couldn't lose if a rainbow appeared; I'm going to presume rainbows are more common in Hawaii than in overcast Chicago, so that that becomes a strong predictor. One might then conclude that they're actually using the rainbow as a weapon. Rainbows result from the diffraction of light by water droplets, but the active thing we want to think about here is that these are now Warriors who are using light as a weapon.
|Pictured: Me painting myself into a corner if I ever have to go against Hawaii in this bracket.|
#6 Arizona Wildcats vs. #11 Wichita State Shockers
Wildcats, overall, don't impress much in the Murphspot Mascot Bracket. They're slightly more fierce than, well, feral cats, which is to say that if they were going up against some sort of Rodent mascot. They should be a relatively easy fight, but I actually think they have a shot here. Yes, WuShock is a terrifying wheat elemental, but as someone who owns a cat and has dangled yarn and straws and things in front of the cat, it's pretty clear that wheat should be a natural enemy of the cat.
Even a wildcat, I assume will have an instinctual "must kill" reaction to whatever WuShock can throw at him. Maybe there's some sort of gluten insensitivity, but I don't think Wilbur cares about that. I think he cares only about destruction.
|Well, and hats. Destruction and hats.|
#3 Miami Hurricanes vs. #14 Buffalo Bulls
I've got to think that Buffalo teams all sort of look at the International League's Buffalo Bisons with a bit of jealousy. Every other team in the city has to work something other than a buffalo into their team name while still working a buffalo into the iconography. Professional teams have tried to go with puns (the Bills) or turning their logo into a rebus puzzle (the Sabres).
University of Buffalo could have gotten away with it. Adult male buffaloes are called bulls, but for some reason, their actual mascot (Victor E. Bull) is, as far as I can tell, not a buffalo. Sure, he's still an ungulate, but he's clearly domesticated and even if he's a pretty great blue color, I'm just left sort of disappointed.
|Also, I don't trust a bull in sneakers. Just a rule I have.|
This would have all fallen apart if it weren't for the equally inexplicable decision by the Miami Hurricanes, named after an enormous meteorological event that wreaks destruction wherever it goes, to set a small fish-eating bird as their mascot. I assume that, even if he's not a buffalo, Victor E. Bull is up to the challenge presented by Sebastian.
#7 Iowa Hawkeyes vs. #10 Temple Owls
It's a bird-of-prey off. As mentioned previously, I find the new Herky a little, well, unsettling.
|By a little unsettling, I mean this post was delayed as I threw my computer onto some train tracks.|
This could work to his advantage, but that seems like the sort of thing that Hooter the Owl would handle well. For the purposes of this fight, I'm assuming that Hooter has a pretty high WIS and INT bonus, is proficient in investigation and has advantage on wisdom saving throws. Also, I cannot look at Herky anymore without screaming in terror.
#2 Villanova Wildcats vs. #16 North Carolina Asheville Bulldogs
D'aww. I don't even want to have these two fight. I want this to result in a Merry Melodies cartoon, not the death of one of the combatants. Rocky even looks like a bulldog who just wants to see what you guys are doing over there.
|I imagine the look is intended to be "ferocity" rather than "just heard the word 'walk'."|
The problem is that Villanova's wildcat appears to be an actual big cat, and I fear that this ends poorly for the good-natured Rocky, purely from a size perspective.