Mascot Madness: Sweet Sixteen & Elite 8
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Mascot Madness: Sweet Sixteen & Elite 8

College Basketball, Sam Wicks

Mascot Madness continues! We’re halfway through the tournament and this is no time to hold back. More than bragging rights are on the line: who will make our Final Four?



Sweet 16

(8) Colorado State Rams vs. (12) South Dakota State Jackrabbits

It’s tough to win three in a row when you’re a jackrabbit whose first name is as uncreative as Jack. It’s even harder when 65% of the voting population picked a different option for you.

Winner: Colorado State Rams

Colorado State









(10) Temple Owls vs. (11) Wichita State Shockers

According to government data, wheat is the main food grain grown in the United States. There are five major classes of US wheat and United States is the world’s leading wheat exporter. As the unofficial cereal of champions, wheaties literally have the word wheat in their name.

Winner: Wichita State Shockers

Wichita State Shocker









Elite 8

(8) Colorado State Rams vs. (11) Wichita State Shockers

Here are a few facts about sheep: they have no teeth on the top of the mouth. They have four compartment stomachs and their wool is flame retardant. Where did we learn this? On CAM’s website because he’s dedicated to livestock education. Oh, and those stomachs help them digest wheat.

Winner: Colorado State Rams

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Sweet Sixteen

(4) Duke Blue Devils vs. (8) Saint Joseph’s Hawks

France may be our oldest ally, but the student chosen to be the Hawk is not only given a scholarship, but is considered a full member of the basketball team.

Winner: Saint Joseph’s Hawks

Saint Josephs Hawks







(2) Oklahoma Sooners vs. (6) Texas Longhorns

Even mascots can’t escape the Red River Rivalry. According to an article published in 2012, not all UT students are aware that Bevo and Hook ‘Em are two different things. Plus, Oklahoma has mentioned that Boomer and Sooner were created specifically to attend charity events and to visit children’s hospitals. That’s tough to beat.

Winner: Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma Sooners









Elite Eight

(2) Oklahoma Sooners vs. (8) Saint Joseph’s Hawks

The Hawk is decorated with numerous accolades and awards. He’s been regularly recognized as one of the nation’s top mascots and one of the best traditions in college basketball. Sports Illustrated called him the Mascot of the Century. But back in the 20s, Oklahoma found a dog and adopted him as their own. When he died of old age on April 30, 1928, the entire University shut down for his funeral and procession two days later. He was buried under the stadium.

Winner: Oklahoma Sooners

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Sweet Sixteen

(1) North Carolina Tar Heels vs. (13) Stonybrook Seawolves

Legend has it that in the Ram’s first game appearance, UNC scored the game’s winning (and only) points after Bunn Hackney rubbed Rameses’ head. Impressive and immediate results like that are needed this far into the tournament.

Winner: North Carolina Tar Heels

North Carolina Tar heels










(2) Xavier Musketeers vs. (3) West Virginia Mountaineers

Let’s not forget: The Xavier Musketeer is not alone. He has a sidekick that’s blue and shaped like a blob. They call him the Blue Blob. But the solitary nature of the Mountaineer is made more impressive by the fact that, unlike many other mascots, only one man is selected to play the role. And he has a rifle.

Winner: West Virginia Mountaineers











Elite Eight

(1) North Carolina Tar Heels vs. (3) West Virginia Mountaineers

Can you tell me who portrays the costumed version of Ramses? Probably not. Can you tell me who portrays the Mountaineer? Michael Garcia. He’s a West Virginia native too.

Winner: West Virginia Mountaineers

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Sweet Sixteen

(1) Virginia Cavaliers vs. (5) Purdue Boilermakers

Just like Virginia, Purdue has had a few assistants to go along with the main mascot. Purdue Pete graduated from bookstore advertising icon to full bodied pep-star in 1956 and nothing can keep him off the field. Not even when his head falls off in Iowa.

Winner: Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue Boilermakers









(2) Michigan State Spartans vs. (6) Seton Hall Pirates

Sparty has held Olympic champion Kerri Strug. Twice. He was in a commercial where he rode a rocket. People who act as Sparty have lost 3 to 5 pounds while wearing the suit.

Winner: Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State Spartans










Elite 8

(2) Michigan State Spartans vs. (5) Purdue Boilermakers

Sparty’s website is as impressive as they come, but he’s only been around since 1989. Not only does the Boilermaker Special have 49 years of history on Sparty, but the current incarnation (VII for those keeping track) is built from pieces taken from its retired and worn out predecessors. Tradition literally lives on at Purdue.

Winner: Purdue Boilermakers

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Sam Wicks

Sam Wicks is a Fordham University graduate and a consistently average fantasy football enthusiast. He was born in Seattle, raised in Boston, and currently lives in New York where his team loyalty is varied, but no less fierce. He loves all things football and track and field related. Outside of sports, Sam is a big fan of plants, dinosaurs, and scuba diving.



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