Power Ranking the Best College Basketball Mascots of the Sweet 16

NCAA Tournament: Best Mascots in the Sweet 16

NCAA Logo
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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?

16. Stanford Cardinal

Stanford Cardinal
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

16. Stanford Cardinal

Stanford Mascot
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

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.

15. Arizona Wildcats

Arizona Wildcats Mascot
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

15. Arizona Wildcats

Arizona Wildcats
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

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.

14. Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky Wildcats Mascot
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

14. Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky Wildcats
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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.

13. Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee Volunteers
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

13. Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee Volunteers Mascot
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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?

12. Michigan Wolverines

Michigan Wolverines Basketball
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

12. Michigan Wolverines

Michigan Wolverines
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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.

11. Baylor Bears

Baylor Bears Mascot
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

11. Baylor Bears

Baylor Bears
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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.

10. Louisville Cardinals

Louisville Cardinals Logo
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

10. Louisville Cardinals

Louisville Cardinals
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals are another overdone mascot, but Louisville has a classic look and logo that helps them from falling too far.

9. UCONN Huskies

UCONN Huskies Mascot
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

9. UCONN Huskies

UCONN Huskies
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

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.

8. San Diego State Aztecs

Xavier Thames San Diego State
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

8. San Diego State Aztecs

Xavier Thames SDSU
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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.

7. UCLA Bruins

UCLA Bruins Mascot
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

7. UCLA Bruins

UCLA Bruins
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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.

6. Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State Cyclones
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

6. Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State Cyclones Mascot
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

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.

5. Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia Cavaliers Mascot
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

5. Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia Cavaliers
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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.

4. Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State Spartans Mascot
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

4. Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State Spartans
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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.

3. Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin Badgers Mascot
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

3. Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin Badgers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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.

2. Florida Gators

Florida Gators
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2. Florida Gators

Florida Gators Mascot
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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.

1. Dayton Flyers

Dayton Flyers
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

1. Dayton Flyers

Dayton Flyers Mascot
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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