Ranking the Best Mascots of March Madness 2012
March Madness has some serious competition on the court, but nothing is more competitive than the mascots.
A team's mascot can mean everything. It is their identity. A mascot can represent how fierce or weird a school is, or even sometimes it just stands for tradition.
Whatever it is, the debate of top mascot is always up in the air.
With the field of 68 set, here is where each team's mascot ranks in this year's Big Dance.
68-65: No Mascots? Boo!
Apparently, it is optional for a team to have a mascot. Well, that just isn't cool so best of luck to you Michigan Wolverines, Indiana Hoosiers, Harvard Crimson and Mississippi Valley State.
Hopefully they will be regretting their decision by the end of this list.
64. Kansas State Wildcats
Look, Kansas State. If you are going to buy the headpiece, you might as well buy the rest of the outfit. This just looks like a creepy Wildman.
63. Wichita State
As the school's website describes it, this is a strong piece of wheat. Let's just stick to bread.
62. Montana Grizzlies
I like the Bruce Springsteen homage, but that is about it for me.
61. Norfolk State
Norfolk State actually rents this out from Michigan State. I see a bit of a controversy if these two meet in the Elite Eight. Then again, Norfolk is the 15 seed in that region, so I don't see a problem happening.
60. New Mexico State
Don't you just hate it when crazy, drunk fans find their way onto the court?
59. South Dakota State
I prefer Bugs Bunny, and I prefer Space Jam even more.
58. Detroit Titans
Going up against Kansas in the first round, one thing is for sure: We won't remember the Titans.
57. Saint Louis Billikens
Ahhhh! What is that? If I was a player going up against Saint Louis, I would likely be too distracted by the Billiken standing under the basket.
56. Saint Mary's
I AM THORRR!
55. Lamar University
This picture is from a tryout to be a mascot for Lamar University. Considering how hard it was to find a picture of this Cardinal, I am not sure anyone actually got the gig.
54. Creighton Blue Jays
Word is Blue Jay is retiring after this season, as he is getting a nice settlement from Twitter.
53. BYU Cougars
Not going to lie. BYU's mascot kind of freaks me out. Is it half man, half cougar? Or is it all cougar? Probably all cougar, but I'm still lost.
52. Murray State
It is a horse in a jersey. Nothing creative, nothing bad. Just a horse in a jersey.
51. Purdue Boilermakers
Nothing better than a person dressed up as a...person?
50. Ohio University
After getting in a fight with Brutus of Ohio State, the committee made sure to keep Rufus the bobcat away from any other mascots during the tourney.
49. South Florida
Do you remember watching that show Dinosaurs back in the day? I do now.
48. Loyola Maryland
This greyhound just looks old. No teeth, no tongue. Poor thing.
47. California Golden Bears
Why does this bear have the hands of a man?!
46. Belmont Bruins
Ah, yes now that is a real bear. Except it looks pretty vicious. Hopefully the Bruins will have that same mentality against the Georgetown Hoyas.
45. Temple Owls
This owl scares me for one reason. Is that a steel beak? If so, that thing is pretty dangerous.
44. Virginia Cavaliers
The only reason why the Cavaliers get negative points is because their mascot should most definitely have a curly mustache.
I feel like I am looking at Abraham Lincoln mixed with the Mad Hatter to just get...well this.
42. Vanderbilt Commodores
All we need is some tanning, and this guy is totally living the GTL lifestyle.
41. LIU Brooklyn
Anybody else having freaky flashbacks from watching The Birds? Yeah, moving through quickly.
40. New Mexico
Yeah, nothing smells better than a wet, dirty lobo.
39. Kentucky Wildcats
I don't watch a whole lot of National Geographic, but I have to ask.
Are Wildcats known for having ridiculously thick uni-brows?
38. San Diego State Aztecs
I give this guy credit for going through with this every game, but honestly, I don't go to the games to see the Chippendales do their routine.
37. University of Vermont
Always in shock. Well, that face will continue to be just like that, as Vermont first has to get past Lamar in the First Round.
36. Florida State Seminoles
The getup is pretty sweet, but come on, Florida State. If the Fighting Illini had to change, you've got to change!
35. Long Beach State
This is Prospector Pete. After the gold mines ran dry, he had to settle for this gig with Long Beach State.
34. Cincinnati Bearcats
Bearcats don't have red noses, so what gives? This is like a bear mixed with Rudolph. This needs to be straightened out.
33. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Compared to all the other bulldogs out there, Gonzaga, you should be ashamed.
32. Davidson Wildcats
There is such a thing as too animated. And that is this.
31. Louisville Cardinals
I used to really like the Louisville Cardinal, but than I realized he was nothing compared to Iowa State's Cardinal.
(At least you still have a better team, Louisville)
30. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
I have a hard time calling this a mascot, because he's more like a fan. But for someone to have to go all through college being called a leprechaun, well, he deserves the the honor of being named this high on the list.
29. St. Bonaventure
I honestly don't have much to say about this mascot. It is mediocre, and that is why it is sitting in the middle of this list.
28. Iowa State Cyclones
Oh yeah, here is that Iowa State Cardinal. Smiling from ear-to-ear with its eyes wide open. This guy is ready to go!
27. Southern Miss
I like a bird who thinks. This Golden Eagle seems to be thinking through its next moves very meticulously.
26. UNC Asheville
Somebody throw this dog a bone so he will shut his mouth. Poor thing probably has lockjaw by now.
25. Colorado State
Colorado State did a nice job with the Ram, but they were definitely outdone by VCU. Still, I've got to give them props for how realistic this thing is. It is like straight out of a museum.
24. Xavier Musketeers
Now that is full-out Musketeer! My only issue, at least with this picture, is the hands are not at all proportional to the body. Imagine how long it must take for this guy to gel his beard and 'stache.
23. Lehigh Mountain Hawks
The Hawks' mascot has it all—but wings. You know what though, I've got to give the head gear the credit it deserves, and that is one detailed face with impressive neck feathers (once again, I am not an expert in this field).
22. UNLV Running Rebels
Yeeehaw! Look at that mustache! This running rebel has it going for him. From that big grin, big hat and big stache, this is one mascot you don't want to mess with.
21. Duke Blue Devils
Duke's a great basketball program, but I can't lie. Their mascot kind of freaks me out.The only reason why I give them as much credit as I do is because it somewhat resembles a super hero. So that is pretty cool.
20. UConn Huskies
UConn must love basketball season. Without a doubt, this mascot must get real dirty during the football season. That mascot is so clean!
19. Memphis Tigers
I hope that eventually Memphis will cough up the extra dough to get their mascot some shades that will fit. I am not sure if the two-lenses per eye (or ear) really is working well for this big guy.
18. Baylor Bears
That is one crazy looking bear! But I like that, and that is why Baylor ranks that high on this list. The Bears' mascot also doesn't skimp out on anything, so that deserves some appreciation.
17. Marquette Golden Eagles
Another well-detailed mascot comes out of Marquette. Their Golden Eagle has it all going on, and he definitely sets the standard for all real birds in the tournament.
16. Texas Longhorns
That is a longhorn wearing a hat. Enough said! The only thing that would make this mascot even better is if it had even longer horns, as I guess some grow their horns up to seven feet.
15. NC State Wolfpack
Where's the party at?
14. Wisconsin Badgers
Bucky the Badger is always an entertaining figure to watch. Considering the Big Ten is lacking mascots, he is going to have to carry a lot of the weight.
13. West Virginia
Wait, is that Seth Rogen? I think it is!
Ah, nah. Always gets me.
12. Missouri Tigers
I give him credit for being naked. That definitely isn't easy in front of a crowd.
11. Georgetown Hoyas
Georgetown one-upped Missouri. Not only is he naked, but he has a hat on!
10. Florida Gators
Give respect to the back-to-back mascot champion.
9. Michigan State Spartans
The Spartan is a classic, and a regular in the NCAA tournament. Expect him to be around for quite some time this year, but hopefully he won't start fist pumping like he looks as if he is about to do.
8. North Carolina Tar Heels
Obviously this isn't a tar heel, as a giant foot just wouldn't be that great of a mascot. Actually, it would be pretty cool, but you have to like UNC's take on the ram. It looks tough, and yeah, he never smiles. Never.
7. Colorado Buffaloes
Chip is the Buffaloes' costumed mascot, and while I usually would send him to the back of the line for "Tebowing", the team plays in Colorado so I will give him a pass.
You've got to like Chip for his guts, as well as the fact that he competes with a real buffalo for the status of mascot.
6. Western Kentucky University
Big Red, which is just a big red blob, is just awesome.
It has nothing to do with anything, and that is why it is awesome. You just want to like jump at it. You hope that there is a chance that it is bouncy, but in all likelihood you and a mascot are going straight to the ground.
Hopefully Big Red will get past Mississippi Valley State so we get more blob, otherwise this tourney can turn depressing rather quickly.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes
So Brutus is an Ohio State student wearing a buckeye nut on his head.
So simple, but so brilliant!
To your average viewer, Brutus is just something weird. To those who know, which includes all of you now, the Buckeyes have a very unique mascot. And a student who has been at school for way too long.
4. VCU Rams
Yes, here is the ram that tops them all. VCU's Rodney the Ram has it all. He is ripped, he is happy and he has horns that wrap perfectly around his ears.
Rodney is likely still happy after VCU's run last year, so he'd better hope that they can do the same thing again.
3. Syracuse Orange
This is an orange. The same thing you can find at your grocery store. I am not sure if it is awesome or just lazy, but I am giving Syracuse the points because I am still intrigued. Also, it is pretty gutsy.
2. Kansas Jayhawks
The Jayhawk is a legend amongst mascots, so it is no surprise that he is so high on this list.
While Kansas' mascot isn't a real animal, it is still pretty cool. It is like part chicken, part hawk and part something else. Whatever it is, it is one unique mascot that has a rich history in the NCAA tourney.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
I like the fact that perhaps the most unathletic thing in the world is a mascot. Also, where do Crimson Tide and elephants mix? Plus-one for confusion.
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