Ultimate NCAA Mascot Death Match bracket: March Badness, part II

Welcome back to the NCAA Mascot Death Match Bracket. On Wednesday, we brought you Part 1, which broke down all of the Round of 64 matchups. Now we’ll bring you the rest of the tournament. Who will emerge as the deadliest death matcher of all?

Before we begin again, we offer this disclaimer.

This is a fun column. It’s not meant to mock death and certainly no offense is meant by these selections. Secondly, given the current state of our culture and this country’s myriad problems, there will be no guns in this piece. It’s just not gonna happen. So sorry Cowboys and mountain men. You’re going to have to be a little more creative than just pulling out the pistol or musket.

On to the bracket:

East Region

Radford Highlanders vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

We’ve already used the elephant for Alabama, so for this round we need to stay true to their actual nickname. And as far as I know, Highlanders don’t have some weird aversion to the color red. I don’t even know who this might be a death match. So the Highlanders get a walk into the Sweet 16.

Winner: Radford

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Marshall Thundering Herd

The key to a mountain man’s survival is resourcefulness. No right-thinking Jeremiah Johnson would try to take on a  entire herd of bison, but instead wait and bide his time. There’s always one slow, dim-witted, arrogant member of every crew, so the mountaineer waits to find said buffalo, throws on a buffalo-skin overcoat and creeps his way toward him, getting close enough do deliver an arrow into the bison heart (remember, no guns). Let’s go Mountaineers, let’s go drink some beers!

Winner: West Virginia

UCLA Bruins vs. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks

In this matchup, the Lumberjack knows his only way to advance is, like the mountain man, to be patient. He spots a bear in the distance, curiously looking at a group of squirrels playing high in a tree. The bear decides to climb the tree and that’s when the lumberjack strikes, pulling out his razor-sharp axe and felling the tree with a few quick swings. The bear, unable to withstand the fall, perishes upon hitting the ground. Brains over bear brawn every time.

Winner: Stephen F. Austin

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans

The Razorback was able to advance last round because of the matchup. But going up against a Titan is a different story. The titan shoots a lightning bolt down at the boar and gets to enjoy an instantly-ready-to eat platter of roast piggie. If only we all were titans and didn’t have to agonizingly wait 10 minutes for bacon.

Winner: Cal State Fullerton


Radford Highlanders vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

We come to a matchup of people of the mountain. The Highlander is native to the Scottish highlands, while the mountain man inhabits the foothills and mountains of the American West. So it all comes down to weaponry. The highlander is skilled with claymore, the double-hilted sword, while the mountain man is armed with a hatchet (and in this case, a bow and arrow). As the Highlander charges, it renders the bow useless, resulting in a close-quarters battle. And since simple math shows that a sword has about three times the reach of a hatchet, Highlander makes quick work of his opponent. Rest in peace, sweet man of the mountains. It’s been a good ride.

Winner: Radford

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans

Titans don’t like stone. Looking at Medusa in the eye causes them to turn to stone. Prometheus tied to a giant rock while an eagle ate his liver. Kronos was a real piece of work and liked to feed on his children. He was foiled by his wife Rhea, when she fed him a stone wrapped in swaddling clothing. Well you know who is good with rocks? Lumberjacks baby! Digging around rocks to help uproot a tree. Using rocks to sharpen their axes. Eating gravel because, hey they’re lumberjacks! In the upset of the tournament, the lumberjack uses his affinity for stone to disorient the titan, before delivering a lethal blow with an axe.


Radford Highlanders vs. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks

Let’s be honest. If this is the actual matchup you have for your East regional in your actual tourney bracket, your co-workers should thank you for the donation. However, when death is on the line, these are two top-notch opponents.

We referenced earlier that a Highlander (at least in the movie) can only be killed by beheading. And without sparing you the gory details, the lumberjack’s massive frame and ability to withstand being cut by sharp objects, overtakes the Highlander, before delivering the final Game of Thrones-worthy finishing move, removing the Highlander from his head, and removing any doubt about the toughest, baddest dudes in the East region.

Winner: Stephen F. Austin

Midwest Region

Kansas Jayhawks vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack

Jayhawkers advanced last round over Pacifist farmers. This round, they run into ravenous wolves. It’s no contest, as the pack re-enacts the final scene from The Grey , only without the dramatic piano music and Liam Neeson’s rugged handsomeness.

Winner: N.C. State

Clemson Tigers vs. Auburn Tigers

Again, we run into a matchup with the same mascot. So it’s back to the logos. Auburn has had a variety of Tiger logos, but only one is truly menacing. In fact one shows a Tiger in a cute sailor hat with a befuddled look on his face as if he’s trying to figure out who farted. Clemson has even fewer logos featuring a Tiger, but it’s main tried and true logo is a Tiger paw. Very on brand. Throw in that Auburn can’t decide if it would rather be a Tiger or a War Eagle, and Clemson is the winner, just for knowing who it is, and being fine with it.

Winner: Clemson

Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Michigan State Spartans

An interesting matchup, as it would seem difficult to defeat a devil. But let’s not kid ourselves. This is a death match. And THIS IS SPARTA!!! Supernatural being or no, the Spartans, who themselves were a very religious people and worshipped several Greek gods of strength, power and austerity, are not going down like that. Besides, they not only fear hell, they are actually excited to get a good meal there!

Winner: Michigan State

Rhode Island Rams vs. Iona Gaels

Invoking William Wallace as a Gael may only get Iona so far, but in this fortuitous matchup, they move on. You know what animals were plentiful in Ireland and Britain during the time of the Gaels? Sheep. And a ram is just a male sheep. And I’m fairly certain there were not too many instances of a ram killing its owner. Iona advances.

Winner: Iona


North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Clemson Tigers

In a 1-on-1 battle, this is no contest. But even against the entire pack, the Tiger comes out on top. As we see here , the first brave (stupid) wolf that tries to attack, gets what’s coming to it, and it serves as a message to the rest. Don’t try to tame the Tiger. You’ll end up all kinds of dead.

Winner: Clemson

Michigan State Spartans vs. Iona Gaels

Two brave warriors. But only one has armor. And most importantly, only one has killer abs. Wallace fought for freedom and to avenge the love of his life. Spartans fought because it was part of their culture. Death match is a Spartan’s game, baby!

Winner: Michigan State


Michigan State Spartans vs. Clemson Tigers

One of the toughest matchups of the tourney so far, and one truly worthy of sending a team to the Final Four. Does the tiger use its power and elusiveness to overtake the Spartan, or will the warriors weaponry and armor give it an advantage. For this, I can only harken back to Russell Crowe killing a tiger while fighting in the Coliseum in Gladiator. And since gladiators and Spartans are fairly similar. Let’s go with that. Sparty marches to victory.

Winner: Michigan State

South Region

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Kansas State Wildcats

For this matchup, the Wildcat must put itself in the mind of the cavalier. How does one fight a skilled swordsman. By finding one of your own to master the craft himself. Yes, our old friend Puss…. in boots , from Shrek takes on the Cavalier and given his speed and elusiveness, is able to fend off blows from the cavalier, before eventually slicing him to ribbons.

Winner: Kansas State

Kentucky Wildcats vs. Buffalo Bulls

See Wildcats vs. Bulls from last round . No need to re-invent the wheel here.

Winner: Buffalo

Miami Hurricanes vs. Wright State (Raiders) Vikings

The Hurricanes had a surprise advancement in Round 1, but meet their match in Round 2. Listen, I know storms can be very destructive, but if there’s one mascot that’s truly worthy of withstanding 120-mile-an-hour winds, it’s the Vikings who sailed the stormy seas for centuries, in between all of the pillaging and murder, that is. The Vikings simply go below deck and catch some shut eye and wait for the little windstorm to pass.

Winner: Wright State

Nevada Wolfpack vs. Georgia State Panthers

In a 1-on-1 matchup, this is a tough call, but I have to go with the Panther. It’s just too big and powerful, and similar to the tiger vs. wolf battle we saw earlier, claws and teeth cancel each other out, but the lightning quick Panther outweighs the wolf by a lot and one powerful swipe with its paw would disorient the wolf, allowing Panther to go in for the kill. Sorry I can’t be more creative than that. It’s just simple physics.

Winner: Georgia State Panthers


Kansas State Wildcats vs. Buffalo Bulls

Seriously?!?! How is Buffalo the luckiest school in the bracket that it gets to defeat the same exact animal for three straight rounds? And handily at that. The only obvious answer is the selection committee has a lot of money down on Buffalo in this Mascot Death Match bracket and lined the teams up to give the Bulls an easy road to the Elite 8.

Winner: Buffalo

Wright State Raiders (Vikings) vs. Georgia State Panthers

It’s been a nice run for the Panthers, but going up against a fully-armored Viking, complete with a helmet, shield, chain mail, it will be difficult for Panther to land any lethal blows. Even if it gets on top of the Viking and goes for the neck, there are layers of beard hair, hardened by windblown salt air and dried up mead and grease. The Viking strikes down the pouncing Panther with its giant war hammer, and finishes it off with a sweeping death blow with the battle axe.

Winner: Wright State


Buffalo Bulls vs. Wright State Raiders (Vikings)

Bulls unfortunately die in battle with humans all of the time.  And those are “fought” by wispy little Spanish dudes in colorful outfits, not war-hardened Nordic demigods. It gives me great pleasure to eliminate the Bulls, after three rounds of having to put forth zero effort to win. Vikings advance. Skol! Skol! Skol!

Winner: Wright State

West Region

Texas Southern Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles

The Seminoles defeated the Tigers last round, there’s no reason to think they won’t do it again, as Tigers from south Texas seem no more harmful than Tigers from Missouri. Seminoles in another laugher.

Winner: Florida State

South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs. UNC Greensboro Spartans

Ummm … No. Unless the jackrabbit all of a sudden morph into Killer Bunny from Holy Grail, then we’re not even gonna dignify this matchup with any analysis.

Winner: UNC Greensboro

San Diego State Aztecs vs. Montana Grizzlies

Tough draw for the Aztecs. Against nearly any other human mascot, they’d have the advantage. Did I mention that they practiced human sacrifice and cannablism? Killing is second nature. But it’s a lot harder to kill a 600-pound monster that stands 10-feet tall on its hind legs and can take your head clean off with a single swipe. For as funny as bears are in circuses and in the movies, in a death match, they are not to be trifled with. Not even by one of the most savage warriors in history.

Winner: Montana

Providence Friars vs. Lipscomb Bison

Friar only advanced last round because it made its opponent a pet. That won’t happen this time, as the bison charges the pacifist Friar, who is simply out tending the garden. But no need to shed tears of the holy man. He will have his reward in heaven.

Winner: Lipscbomb


Florida State Seminoles vs. UNC Greensboro Spartans

It’s all about fitness and armor. The Seminole is lean and muscular and wears leather and feathers. While the Spartan is massive and shredded and wears armor made of steel. Spartan is able to deflect any blows from the Seminole, whether they be from a hatchet or arrows. And once Spartan is able to get close enough, he delivers an onslaught of attacks with sword and spear, until … well, at this point in the article, we all know what happens.

Winner: UNC Greensboro

Montana Grizzlies vs. Lipscomb Bison

On the surface, this is a battle between two enormous animals, each with power, girth and mass advantages against most other mascots. However, in a death match, claws and fangs beat hooves and horns every time. The charging bison may be able to get the bear on the ground, but how is it going to kill it? Nature wins out in this one, as it’s predator over prey.

Winner: Montana


UNC Greensboro Spartans vs. Montana Grizzlies

This is a toss-up, truly. So looking ahead at the bracket, we can’t have two Spartans in the Final Four. So Grizzly wins. And if you think I’m not being true to the spirit of the Death Match, well, you’re probably right. But I’ve written about a gazillion words on this story already. So you’ll have to be fine with it.

Winner: Montana Grizzlies

Final Four

Wright State Raiders (Vikings) vs. Montana Grizzlies

Led by Latavius Murray’s two rushing scores and 111 yards on the ground, the Vikings downed the Bears 23-10 to earn a first-round bye. (Sorry, I forgot what we were doing here for a second.) But the result holds true, as the Viking’s ferocity and willingness to take on anyone at any time, including a 600-pound Grizzly, prevails. As we see in the History Channel series Vikings, after stabbing the bear repeatedly, Bjorn (perfect Viking name) lands the finishing blow with his axe to the bear’s head . (WARNING: It’s gross.) Vikings win again. Poor Bears fans.

Winner: Wright State

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks vs. Michigan State Spartans

Two may enter. One will leave. Listen, the lumberjack doesn’t even really like fighting. He’s jovial. He loves paper towels and has a giant blue ox as a best friend. He’s just really, really good at it. And that will be to his disadvantage. With no armour and lacking the killer instinct that the Spartan has, the lumberjack is not able to withstand the onslaught of the Spartan. Credit to the lumberjack for getting this far, but this is what Sparty does. He destroys foes come March.

Winner: Michigan State


Wright State Raiders (Vikings) vs. Michigan State Spartans

Our final battle for mascot death match supremecy pits two fierce warriors. Scandanavia’s finest, the Vikings, squaring off with the baddest dudes on the planet (at least in 5th century B.C. Greece), the Spartans. Both are killing machines. Both are bred for battle. Both have an arsenal to be feared of swords, spears and axes. Both are battle tested. So it seems the only way to settle this is to let Deadliest Warrior the the Game decide.

Viking holds his own, delivering blows with axe and sword, but in the end, Spartan finishes the Viking off with the famous leaping sword thrust made popular in 300. It’s a fitting way to end what has been a brutal tournament.

So there you have it. In the end, the Michigan State Spartans emerge victorious in the NCAA Mascot Death Match bracket. Let’s see if Miles Bridges and the real Spartans can have their victory as well and make it all the way to San Antonio.

The post Ultimate NCAA Mascot Death Match bracket: March Badness, part II appeared first on Diehards.

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