16 March Madness Mascots Ranked By Randomness
If you're still having a bit of trouble filling out your bracket for the 2016 March Madness, look no further than the mascots. Yes, it sounds silly, but since this year's NCAA tournament is anybody's guess, why not have a little fun with your choices? SBNation already did a bracket figuring out who could win based on which March Madness mascot is most delicious. CBS Sports did another where they ranked their winning teams by which NCAA team mascot is the fiercest animal. But, for our mascot bracket, we've taken a different approach. Since this year's tournament seems pretty random, why not rank the mascots by their randomness?
Now what constitutes randomness, you ask? Well, anything that goes against the traditional mascot picks. They aren't any hawks or bears on this list. We're instead going with animals that you rarely see on the sidelines. Having a real animal as a mascot definitely ups the chances of you being noticed, since what's more random than the thought of having a real animal come to cheer on the team? Funny and, yes, punny names certainly help, and, well, if the school's mascot just doesn't seem to make much sense (what is a WuShock anyway?) you might find yourself in the Final Four.
Better known as Miss Rev around the Texas A&M University campus, the purebred Rough Collie has been the First Lady of Aggieland since 1931. She's also one of the few female mascots in the NCAA so, you know, bow down.
15. The Lumberjack
With a slogan of "Axe 'em, Jacks," it's clear this lumberjack from Stephen F. Austin University in Texas isn't your usual Paul Bunyon type. There's something a bit fiercer about this guy who has ditched the flannel and kept the beard. He's not interested in maple syrup; he's actually out for blood.
14. Big Red & Tusk
Also known as the "Fighting Razorback," Arkansas University's basketball team has two mascots, one real and one costumed hog.
13. D'Artagnan & The Blue Blob
Xavier University is one of those schools that has two mascots, one of which makes total sense, and one that really, really doesn't. Since their team name is the Musketeers, it's obvious why D'Artagnan, one of the three musketeers written by Alexandre Dumas, would be chosen to represent them. So why wouldn't they just select one of the other two swashbuckling musketeers as their second mascot, you ask? Because D'Artagnan was already too scary for some kids, and a second one may put them over the edge. That's why the school came up with The Blue Blob, D'Artagnan's goofy sidekick, who, unlike the musketeer, doesn't make kids cry. You know, one blob for all, and all blobs for one, or something like that.
12. Bucky Badger
The official mascot of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a lovable badger in an adorable red and white striped "W" sweater. He's a classy mascot who is down with the kids. He's so on trend that he created his own parody of the song "Teach Me How To Dougie," which was renamed "Teach Me How To Bucky." But, watch out, this badger will try and steal your girlfriend.
11. Judge Joy and Judge Lady
Texas' Baylor University having a black bear as its mascot may not seem that unique, until you find out that their mascots are actual real live bears. Yes, Joy and Lady are the current bears that stop by games to support the team, but also help educate people about bears. The current mascots, Joy and Lady, live in the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat on campus, where they are trained by professional bear trainers from the movie industry and live like royalty. Yes, these are Hollywood caliber bears with two pools, which makes them a whole lot different than just a run-of-the-mill bear mascots. The team does have one of those too, but how can you possibly care about that once you hear about Joy and Lady? You just can't.
10. The Oregon Duck
When you see the University of Oregon mascot in his green sailor uniform, you can't help but think of Donald Duck. Don't worry, that was the plan. The school based their design on the classic Disney character, and the company agreed to let them keep the mascot in a handshake deal that was later put into writing. According to ESPN, the mascot is sometimes wrongly referred to as "Puddles" when in fact, his name is just "The Duck." Unlike other ducks, he is known for his upper body strength, regularly doing pushups after big wins. He is also very good at doing the horsey dance, as shown in The Duck's "Gangnum Style" parody video.
9. Purdue Pete & The Boilermaker Special
Purdue University has an interesting history of mascots. While many would say Purdue Pete is the official mascot, they'd be wrong. The school first real mascot is the Boilermaker Special, a replica of a Victorian-era locomotive. But it's hard to turn that into a costume that people will adore, so there's Pete, a boilermaker or steel craftsman who's ready to strike down the hammer at games. The rumors that he's wrestled his fair share of opposing mascots and once lost his head while riding the Boilermaker Special (it was never found) just endears him to his fans.
This longhorned steer from the University of Texas known as Bevo is clearly one of the toughest-looking mascots in not just college sports, but in sports. But the real steer doesn't come out during basketball games; instead he's replaced by a costumed steer named Hook'em, who is actually kind of cute with his little cowboy hat.
7. Wolfie The Seawolf
When you base your mascot on a mythical creature, like New York's Stony Brook University has, you definitely deserve a shout out. While the myth goes that the seawolf lost its life in a epic battle against hero Jack Lewin, nicknamed "The Great Ginger One," Wolfie is known for his gregarious nature, doling out high fives and hugs to all his fans. Hard not to root for this guy, even if he isn't real.
6. Phlash The Phoenix
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay's mascot was chosen to help them standout from the other school. And the bright green bird wearing the school's jersey definitely does standout amongst the other birds in the NCAA. But some at the school have complained about the color, with one even telling the school paper, "I understand that the school's colors are green and white, but I have never seen a green Phoenix in any mythological drawings." Perhaps, when this phoenix is eventually reborn from the ashes, it will be a different color.
5. Mike The Tiger
Louisiana State University's mascot has been an actual tiger since 1938. But, unlike the team's Fighting Tigers moniker, Mike is a Bengal tiger that is more of a lover than a fighter. Mike, who is officially Mike VI, is as even-tempered as they come, spending his days in its habitat on the LSU campus, just lounging around. While the real Mike will often be pulled around in his cage for football games, he does not go to the basketball games. Probably better that way.
The University of Maryland used its state's reptile, the Diamondback terrapin, as their mascot. And, at first, he was a cute freshwater turtle that looked a bit like Yoshi, but, apparently, the school wanted something a little scarier. In 2004, they went for a new hyper-realistic take on the animal that is terrifying fans. But if your own team is terrified, imagine how scared your opponents are of a terrapin on steroids. Turtle power, indeed.
3. Ralphie The Buffalo
The University of Colorado's mascot makes perfect sense. They are called the Buffaloes, after all. But it's still a unique choice that sends a message every time he charges onto the field.
It's a wheat stalk on steroids. That's the best way to describe the Wichita State Shockers mascot, which got a pumped-up redesign in honor of his 50th anniversary back in 1998. Since then, he's gone through a few more makeovers that attempted to make the shock of wheat, a nod to the school's harvesting heritage, look more intimidating to everyone, not just those who have a serious wheat allergy. Seriously, don't underestimate this guy, since SBNation is already saying the Shockers have a March Madness advantage despite their 11th seed ranking.
1. Otto The Orange
An anthropomorphic orange is a very interesting mascot for Syracuse University to choose being that no one has ever thought of an orange as being a very athletic fruit. Sure, it'll give you the vitamin C boost you need to make it through the second half, but it doesn't really strike fear in the hearts of your opponents. But, according to those who previously wore the orange suit, Otto is not supposed to be scary, but "kind of this curious 6-year-old, who gets in trouble a lot." Aww, how cute.
We'll have to wait and see if Otto can help his team win the whole thing. But I'd like to say right now that, if he does, I'd love a cut of your office pool. You know, just as a thank you.