By Daniel Schmelzer @D_Schmelzer on March 24, 2014
With the Sweet 16 upon us, it is time to rank the remaining teams. No, not by who I believe is the best, or even the top offense or defense. Who cares who the best rebounding or three-point shooting teams remaining are? This is a power ranking of the best mascots remaining in the NCAA Tournament. Where does your favorite school end up?
I understand that it is Cardinal as in the color and not the bird, but why the heck do they have goofy looking tree rooting them on during games? Stanford University has never named an official mascot, making them an easy call to bring up the rear on this list.
There is nothing wrong with being the Wildcats, but it is one of the most common mascot names out there. The lack of uniqueness makes Arizona slide down the list.
Why are there so many Wildcat mascots? Even though they have the exact same mascot, I gave Kentucky the slight edge in the Wildcat discussion simply because their on-court mascot does not wear a ridiculous hat.
Tennessee is the Volunteer state. A simple Google search showed me that is because they received a ton of volunteer soldiers in the War of 1812. Hey, that's awesome, but it is a weird name for a sports team. And who knows how the dog mascot makes sense?
Overall, Michigan has a solid mascot. The Wolverines, it is unique and a ferocious animal is always a plus. That being said, the University of Michigan does not showcase its mascot at all with no on court mascot and nothing on their logo. It is almost like they are a team without a mascot. This obviously bumps them down the list.
A Bear is another overdone mascot, and that certainly causes Baylor to slide down this list. However, their prominent use of the mascot in their logo helps their case.
The Cardinals are another overdone mascot, but Louisville has a classic look and logo that helps them from falling too far.
Voted on by Connecticut State College (later University of Connecticut) students in 1933, Uconn has been known as the Huskies for a long time. While a Husky is far from a unique mascot, the all white version that Uconn uses adds a different dimension.
While Native American mascots are certainly controversial right now, I kind of like the San Diego State Aztec Warrior mascot. I also give SDSU a ton of credit for going with the Aztec name, not simply calling themselves the Indians.
While the Bear mascot is far from unique, UCLA gets a lot of credit for calling itself the Bruins instead of just easily going with Bears. The Bruin is also featured on many UCLA logos.
It is a little weird that a team called the Cyclones uses a bird as their mascot. However, the Cyclone nickname is very unique, and their bird mascot "Cy" has been around for a very long time.
I had a hard time finding why the University of Virginia called itself the Cavaliers. That said, a sword swinging royal escort sounds pretty cool to me.
Borrowed from the warriors from ancient Sparta, the Michigan State Spartans have a good mascot. Not only is it fairly unique, but you cannot get much tougher than a Spartan warrior. Michigan State uses the Spartan logo proudly, making the Spartans the total package.
Wisconsin is called "The Badger State" so the connection is obvious. Badgers are ferocious animals and make for unique mascots. This certainly went a long way into this high ranking for Wisconsin.
With tons of alligators in the state of Florida, the Gator mascot and nickname is very obvious. That does not mean it is not awesome. The mascot is unique and Gators certainly put fear into their opponents. Also, the fact that Gatorade was named after the Gators gives it a bit of a boost.
The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, invented and built the world's first successful airplane. They are Dayton, Ohio natives, and the Flyers' mascot and nickname is an homage to them. Not only are they completely unique, but their on court mascot is awesome. The Dayton Flyers are not only the biggest Cinderella team in the tournament, but they also have the best mascot remaining by a landslide.
December 28, 2014 by Tyler Ruby
With their latest victory over the Louisville Cardinals, the Kentucky Wildcats will go unbeaten this season. Read More
December 27, 2014 by ericlaboissonniere
Although the WCC is a mid-major conference, Gonzaga, BYU and St. Mary's put the conference on the map. Read More
December 27, 2014 by Tim Letcher
Given the circumstances facing the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, most teams would have folded. Read More
December 27, 2014 by Kelly Anderson
After facing what will be their toughest challenge of the regular season in Louisville, the Kentucky Wildcats are on their way to making history. Read More
December 26, 2014 by Taylor Sturm
The Indiana Hoosiers and Georgetown Hoyas face off Saturday at Noon ET in Madison Square Garden. Who will come out on top? Find out, here. Read More
The two best teams in the WCC face off on Saturday afternoon as the Gonzaga Bulldogs travel to take on the BYU Cougars. Find out more, here. Read More
The Louisville Cardinals face the Kentucky Wildcats in the biggest matchup of the college basketball season so far. Here are five ways they can pull off the upset. Read More
December 26, 2014 by Bryan Zarpentine
Here is a preview and prediction of the college basketball showdown between Louisville and Kentucky. Read More
The Kentucky Wildcats face off with the Louisville Cardinals in the biggest game of the season. Here are five reasons why the Wildcats will blow out the Cardinals. Read More
December 26, 2014 by Jerry Landry
Kentucky and the Big Blue Nation take on Rick Pitino and the Cardinals in the Bluegrass state's biggest rivalry, and Louisville looks to return the favor of the upset from last March. Read More
December 26, 2014 by ericlaboissonniere
These 10 teams have a chance to beat the Kentucky Wildcats. Read More
December 25, 2014 by Alex Drude
Losing at UNLV may not have been the way Arizona wanted to end 2014, but it might end up being a great gift. Read More