Even though we are just under a week until the brackets are revealed, we have a pretty good idea of the majority of the teams that we’ll see in this year’s NCAA Tournament. A fun way to pick your brackets is by basing your choices each matchup on what mascot would win between the two teams. While in the case of a Stanford against Wisconsin matchup the choice may be easy, things might not be so cut and dried when the Kentucky Wildcats play the Memphis Tigers.
Today we’re not going to be asking what mascot would help you win your bracket, but we do want to know which mascot is the best amongst teams likely for this year’s NCAA Tournament. Don’t try and tell us you are going with Benny Beaver from Oregon State since the 3-27 Beavers still technically have a chance to make the NCAA Tournament because they could win the PAC-12 Tournament. We will accept a selecting the Xavier Musketeer since the Big East team from Cincinnati is currently on the bubble.
One mascot that is off limits for this exercise is Brutus Buckeye. We all know that Brutus is automatically the best mascot in the country, so there is no point in allowing him to be picked for our little game today. Also, if you pick the Michigan Wolverine, you are automatically a loser today since skunk bears are definitely not cute or feared.
Today’s question: What is your favorite mascot from a likely headed to the NCAA Tournament?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s answer: Purdue Pete
There certainly are some interesting mascots that will likely be involved in this year’s NCAA Tournament. The first one that was interesting to me was San Francisco’s “Don”. Had it turned out that the mascot was just some mafia mob boss, then I wouldn’t have had to look any farther for my choice. Unfortunately, San Francisco’s mascot isn’t going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.
Another option that fell just short is whatever Western Kentucky’s mascot is. It’s like if they took the body of Cookie Monster and gave him the red coloring from Elmo. All I know is that this thing scares the heck out of me. Unfortunately at 19-12 heading into the Conference USA Tournament, the only way the Hilltoppers will be able to bring their garbage can shaped mascot to this year’s Big Dance is by winning their conference tournament.
All that to say, I’m going with Purdue Pete. Look at that mascot, he’s a physical specimen. He gets points for wielding a sledgehammer, too. My favorite overall mascot in sports in Timber Joey of the Portland Timbers, mainly because he gets to use a chainsaw at Timbers home matches. I’m all for giving mascots props and tools. I just wish there was a way that Brutus Buckeye had a cool item that he could always have with him to add to his lore.
Another reason I love Purdue Pete is because he is downright terrifying but also hilarious. Pete has got those big eyes like he was just working on some rails of a different kind before the game. Add in the giant Jay Leno-esque chin and the hilarity has hit its peak. Then again, Purdue Pete was pretty much standing above Ohio State’s grave laughing at the Buckeyes in 2018 after what the Boilermakers did to Urban Meyer’s team in West Lafayette.
Meredith’s answer: Friar Dom
If I were a fan of the team not in the Big Ten, the answer to this question would be none other than Brutus Buckeye (no, obviously I’m not biased at all). Brutus is unique and absurd enough (a giant nut?) that it’s impossible to not be entertained by his antics.
But I’m already a fan of Brutus and maybe a little biased, so I’m going to go with Friar Dom of Providence.
Though considered by some to be among the creepiest mascots in the NCAA (false, Big Red of Nebraska is much creepier), Friar Dom, I find, to be one of the more charming human-like mascots — even if he is missing his teeth. It doesn’t hurt that his mascot buddy is a dalmatian (or that the original mascot of Providence was a live dalmatian), nor that they’re trying to bring Taylor Swift into their brand.
However, my own bias might be at play even with Father Dom. I had the good fortune to attend a First Four game in Dayton a few years ago featuring Providence, and couldn’t stop watching at the dancing monk (who, I later learned, was Father Dom). He enthusiastically danced the sprinkler to “When the Saints Go Marching in.” What’s not to love?
Then again, apparently he scares the children. At least he’s iconic