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Ranking All March Madness Teams by Strength of Mascot

By Noah Stern:

In honor of the first weekend of March Madness, we at the Milking Cat would like to present our definitive rankings of all 64 NCAA competing tournament teams (yes, even though many of them have been eliminated already). Rankings will be based on how dominant a school’s mascot would be on the court.

First, a couple of ground rules: A mascots strength will be defined in many ways throughout the listing, but mainly, the rankings will be determined based on a mascots ability to win by any means necessary.

Second, it is important to note that even though some teams have their team names/mascot in a plural sense, (i.e Yale Bulldogs), mascots will be represented and judged by just one unit of themselves. For example, instead of having 300 Michigan State Spartans who could probably run away with this thing, Michigan State will have only one Spartan who would probably just get mauled by a bear.

So without further ado, let’s start off the list:

#64. Syracuse Orange

Starting off this list, we don’t think any mascot would be less effective on the court than a literal orange. Oranges are known in most fruit basketball leagues for their streaky shooting and lack of hustle.

#63. Ohio State Buckeyes

According to the official Ohio State website, a buckeye is a “small, shiny, dark brown nut.” Haha, a nut.

#62. Maryland Terrapins

A terrapin is a small turtle and is officially defined as “edible” by the Oxford dictionary. Needless to say, a real terrapin would not succeed on the hardwood.

#61. Louisville Cardinals

A cardinal is a robust, seed eating bird. Fun fact: they have been observed to suppress the West Nile virus. However, this in no way makes them good at basketball.

#60. Kansas Jayhawks

What even is a Jayhawk?

#59. Oregon Ducks

Ducks are known for their small size and quick dribble moves, but unfortunately do not have the stamina or durability to last through a Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

#58. Virginia Tech Hokies

Rounding out the bird section are the VA Tech Hokies. A hokie(?) appears to be a muscular, turkey-ish bird that most likely would be eaten by some other larger mascot.

#57. UC Irvine Anteaters

The male anteater’s genitalia are located internally between the rectum and the bladder.

#56. Wofford Terriers

Terriers are generally very small dogs, and the largest, the bull terrier, is that yucky looking target dog.

#55. Yale Bulldogs

While there are several bulldog mascots represented in the tournament, we feel that the weakest bulldog would have to be the one from Yale. Considering mascots are a reflection on the school they represent, frankly put, this bulldog would most likely be an entitled caucasian canine or an overachieving mathematically-gifted bulldog of Asian descent.

#54. Mississippi State Bulldogs

A bulldog from Mississippi would, statistically, experience some of the nation’s worst health care services and infrastructure, be born to an unmarried mother, and be more likely to develop heart disease.

#53. Gonzaga Bulldogs

A bulldog from Spokane, Washington would probably have a cool, Pacific West Coast vibe that the other mascots would dig.

#52. Gardner Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs

This mascot leads us to believe that the bulldogs from before were either jogging, walking, or not moving at all. This lack of frequent exercise may contribute to the Mississippi bulldog’s heart condition.

#51. Northeastern Huskies

Huskies are pretty cool dogs, making them better than the bulldogs but not good enough to defeat a human.

#50. Washington Huskies

Washington is closer to Alaska, the ancestral homeland of the husky, therefore this dog would be stronger than a Northeastern Husky on the court.

#49. Purdue Boilermakers

Finally, at the bottom of the human group are the Purdue Boilermakers. A boilermaker is a steel fabricator. At The Milking Cat, we have to assume that a person who assembles parts of trains probably worked in an Industrial Revolution era factory and has severe respiratory issues, making them a liability in the paint.

#48. New Mexico State Aggies

An Aggie is a student at an agricultural college. We believe that the average agricultural enthusiast is not good at basketball.

#47. Utah State Aggies

Utah is better in agriculture than New Mexico by virtue of not being a desert, so by default, their agricultural students must be superior.

#46. & #45. Iona Gaels & Saint Mary’s (Cal) Gaels

We couldn’t decide which person of Irish descent would be best with a ball, but it is safe to say that the common Irishman, who is statistically 5’10 and Catholic, would not have the court vision to make it in the Big Dance.

#44. Tennessee Volunteers

If you Volunteer to play, you must at least be pretty decent, but unfortunately the average person from Tennessee probably could not out-rebound a golden eagle and other mascots further down the list.

#43. Oklahoma Sooners

The term Sooner is derived from a group of eager pioneers that settled the land that is now Oklahoma. That’s cute and all, but modern medicine renders these dysentery-ridden fools obsolete.

#42. Murray State Racers

The average sprinter would be able to avoid most of the other mascots looking to maim/dismember them, however we are not confident they could not put up enough points to win. Sorry Ja Morant fans.

#41. Northern Kentucky Norse

The average Scandinavian is actually a pretty tall and hardy individual. One could even assume that the Norse mascot is meant to really mean a Viking. However, most of the animal mascots in the tournament are North American, unfamiliar to the Norse’s now crippled hunting sense.

#40. Wisconsin Badgers

Badgers are very cool animals but their largest prey is the hedgehog, meaning that any armed human or large animal could defeat it.

#39. VCU Rams

The Rams sounds like a good idea for a mascot until you see the animal in real life.

#38. North Carolina Tar Heels

Giving North Carolina the benefit of the the doubt, we’re going to say that a tar heel is just a ram since that’s what their actual mascot is at games. However, if a Tar Heel is just some dude with tar on his heel, then UNC should be closer to the Aggies section.

#37. Bradley Braves

Going off of the background of other teams insensitively named “Braves,” we can assume that a Brave is a Native American. Known for keeping in good shape, being athletic, and inventing lacrosse, we believe a Native American would have a good shot at the title.

#36. Iowa Hawkeyes

There’s no great answer for what a hawkeye is but we think they were named after a Native American chief so let’s go with that. It’s also a little racist, but due to its ambiguous meaning, less so than “Braves”.

#35. Florida State Seminoles

Like all other people from Florida, Native Americans from Florida would most likely have nothing to lose and be coked up out of their minds, making them more dangerous than the indigenous peoples from Iowa or wherever Bradley is.

#34. North Dakota State Bison

Native Americans cared too much about the Bison population to kill them, hence they rank behind the Bisons, but all of the other Caucasian, destiny-manifesting mascots don’t care about the sacred balance between humans and the animals they share land with. They came here for the rings, baby.

#33. Ole Miss Rebels

Not gonna do much research here but judging by the history of Mississippi we think it’s safe to say that this is probably a Confederate soldier with a rifle that is slow to reload.

#32. Colgate Raiders

A “Raider” here is going to be defined as a good, old fashioned 16th century pirate, too confused and drunk to be able to achieve much on the floor.

#31. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Like the Colgate ones but with the added bonus of...being red?

#30. Virginia Cavaliers

A Cavalier isn’t as cool as a knight but we think they’re generally the same thing.

#29. Fairleigh Dickinson Knights

A knight’s armor weighed around 110 lbs. While this is good for self preservation, we think this would be too heavy to allow this nobleman to sky for any rebounds.

#28. UCF Knights

Like the Seminoles before them, Knights from Florida would have the added bonus of being coked up out of their minds

#27. Michigan Wolverines

For the sake of realism we have to assume that Hugh Jackman isn’t going to be running around the court slicing that stupid Syracuse Orange to pieces.

#26, #25, #24, & #23. Kansas State Wildcats, Villanova Wildcats, Kentucky Wildcats, & Abilene Christian Wildcats

Way to be original, guys.

#22. Buffalo Bulls

We’re pretty confident a bull could mess up any of the previous humans/wildcats. Not many people know just how massive cows are, but, like, they’re freaking huge.

#21. Michigan State Spartans

Just look up facts about Spartans and tell us one of them couldn’t destroy those other guys.

#20. Houston Cougars

Once again, for the sake of realism we have to assume this won’t be an attractive woman in her fifties trying to seduce all of the Aggies.

#19. Vermont Catamounts

A catamount is basically a panther, so this cat amounts to number 19 on the list.

#18. Georgia State Panthers

A panther from Georgia would, statistically, make around $53,000 per year and work in fabrics/textiles.

#17. Florida Gators

The alligator is nature’s perfect killing machine, having been untouched by evolution for centuries. Unfortunately, their short arms make them poor defenders in open space.

#16. Auburn Tigers

Tigers have no natural predators and can run at speeds of 55(!) miles an hour. They have also been known to hunt and kill crocodiles.

#15. LSU Tigers

A tiger from Louisiana would have the added bonus of knowing how to party.

#14. Seton Hall Pirates

A Somali Pirate with an AK-47 would be hard for any of these previous animals to defeat since they can’t really sneak up on him in a gymnasium.

#13. Belmont Bruins

Bears can approach speeds of 40 mph and are the main reason that American schools should arm teachers.

#12. Baylor Bears

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including (most likely) this bear.

#11. Old Dominion Monarchs

The Monarch is depicted as a bear wearing a crown. One has to assume the other bears would bow down to it.

#10. Nevada State Wolfpack

As we enter the top ten, we have to acknowledge the sly way Nevada State creates a competitive advantage. One wolf would get destroyed by a bear, but one wolf pack (which can contain up to 15 wolves) would probably be able to take down even the king of bears.

#9. Montana Grizzlies

The Joe Rogan podcast has convinced us that grizzly bears are the single scariest things on the planet.

#8. Cincinnati Bearcats

All the strength and raw power of a bear, combined with the dexterity and precision of a cat? Well played Cincinnati, well played.

#7. Liberty Flames

No matter the size of the flame, a basketball court is made out of wood and would soon become a fiery death trap for everyone but the final six competitors.

#6. Minnesota Golden Gophers

The melting point of gold is 1,948℉. A gopher made out of solid gold would be impervious to bullets and bear attacks.

#5. Marquette Golden Eagles

As the only natural predator to the golden gopher, the golden eagle possesses all the incredible predatory instincts of the eagle combined with the incredible impenetrability that comes with being made out of gold.

#4. Iowa State Cyclones

A full tropical cyclone would wreak absolute havoc on a basketball court. The only mascots that could possibly contend would have to be straight out of mythology.

#3. Saint Louis Billikens

We know what you’re thinking: “Does the top 3 really start with whatever the hell a Billiken is? Furthermore, just what even is a Billiken?” Well, loyal reader (who definitely didn’t skip down to the bottom of the list), a Billiken is a mythical figure that represents good luck. As such, we have to assume that it is some form of minor god and is therefore immortal. The Billiken would be able to defeat any Earthly opposition from the likes of wild predatory felines to golden gophers.

#2. Duke Blue Devils

Duke really has to be good at everything tournament related, huh? It is safe to say that the devil himself would be quite the challenge to stop on the hardwood. From his insanely quick first step, to his command of the underworld, and to his defensive hustle, El Diablo would put on a show.

#1. Arizona State Sun Devils

Finally, at number one is a devil that can harness the full power of the sun. This devil would completely eradicate the entirety of this list, especially Duke’s devil (which in comparison only has the ability to harness the power Wow, knowing you could pick an all-powerful sun-wielding mega demon for a mascot sure makes Syracuse and Ohio State look real dumb right now.


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