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Why your mascot sucks: The Bracket

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Time to see who sucks the least...

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Wisconsin vs Nebraska David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

After a long season of mascots here at Bucky’s Fifth Quarter, we wanted to take the time to bring a sense of closure to the mascot landscape that was the 2019-20 collegiate sports year.

The plan was to inform our readers of the mascots (and also roast them) associated with Wisconsin’s various opponents in the 2020 NCAA Tournament, but sadly with the tournament being cancelled, we finished the season with 23 mascots being covered.

Some of those came from schools with multiple mascots, such as Purdue, who features both Purdue Pete and The Boilermaker Special.

There were three schools that do not and have not had any sort of mascot in recent years – Michigan, Central Michigan and Indiana. With those three schools dismissed, we have a field of 20 mascots competing to see who sucks the least…

Seeds for the tournament were determined by the VERY SCIENTIFIC Mascot Suck Index (MSI), which functions on a scale from 0-100, 100 being the most one can suck (unless you’re The Nittany Lion, who is so cringe-worthy it scored a 101).

Opening Round

No. 17 Purdue Pete – Purdue University (92 MSI) vs. No. 16 Flash the Eagle – Kent State University (90 MSI)

First and foremost, Pete is straight up nightmare fuel…with eyes like those they pierce into my soul and give me an overwhelming sense of unease…

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

However, Flash and I have a checkered past.

Things got a little heated back when we published Flash’s mascot post and I will take the blame for that, as I spent so much time researching the 15 mascots that came before Flash at Kent State and I missed the fact that Flash has a Twitter. Flash took the ensuing good-natured ribbing a bit too seriously (too much MACtion?).

For that reason, Peter survives and advances.

No. 13 Herky The Hawk – University of Iowa (85 MSI) vs. No. 20 The Nittany Lion – Penn State University (101 MSI)

Herky advances past the burlap sack, Penn State tries to pass off as a mascot.

NCAA Basketball: Bucknell at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

No. 19 Goldy Gopher – University of Minnesota (100 MSI) vs. No. 14 Herbie Husker & Lil’ Red – University of Nebraska (86 MSI)

This match-up is a tough one. We have a second-lowest seed in the tournament, against the one and only tandem of mascots in Nebraska’s Herbie Husker and Lil’ Red. When determining their MSI the corn-fed duo received the same score, as they both sucked equally.

While I would love to see Goldy lose in the first round, because he deserves nothing good in life… I have to advance him past Nebraska’s pair, as just like with corn having no nutritional value, these two have no value in staying in the tournament.

In the immortal words of philosopher, Eleanor Shellstrop…

Ya basic!

No. 15 Chief Illiniwek – University of Illinois (89 MSI) vs. No. 18 Brutus – Ohio State University (94 MSI)

Welp… don’t wanna touch that. Brutus advances.

Illinois, you did a bad thing for a long time. Consider the Alma Otter.

I mean, should we even be surprised? This came from the state that seriously has signs on the roads, reminding drivers to stay in their own lane, as if that wasn’t already inherently obvious.

Sweet Sixteen

No. 1 Buckingham U. Badger – University of Wisconsin (0 MSI) vs. No. 17 Purdue Pete – Purdue (92 MSI)

Alright kids, this is a Wisconsin Badgers dedicated blog, if you have any question in your mind as to who is advancing, this must be your first time here…Bucky moves into the Elite Eight and Pete can go back to haunting the dreams of well…everyone.

No. 9 Testudo the Turtle – Maryland (62 MSI) vs. No. 8 Willie the Wildcat – Northwestern University (62 MSI)

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Maryland vs Belmont John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Willie, who as his name implies, is a wildcat, which is one of the most basic and commonly-used mascots in college sports. So common, in fact, that Kansas State’s mascot is also named Willie the Wildcat. Of the two, Northwestern’s Willie is way better. Kansas State’s Willie is just a guy wearing a wildcat head. While Northwestern’s Willie costume is head-to-toe.

Sorry, I seem to have gotten on a Willie-tangent. Time to get out in front of the curve. Long and short of it, Northwestern tops Kansas State in this Willie measuring contest. (Editor’s note: NSFW?)

While Willie would best his name-twin in a match-up, his competition is Testudo and Testudo is a terrapin, which is a type of turtle and what do Zombie Boy and I have in common?

That’s right, we like turtles…Testudo advances.

No. 5 Puddles – University of Oregon (45 MSI) vs. No. 12 Roboduck – University of Oregon (70 MSI)

Ahhh yes, the fabled 5-12 match-up and what makes this one even more special is the fact that the two mascots squaring off are from the same school. One of which, is the school’s long-running mascot, the other was a marketing ploy that didn’t quite land on its webbed feet.

The problem was that Roboduck, aka Mandrake, was a bit ahead of its time and it’s hard to replace a mascot modeled after the infamous Donald Duck. Just as in real life when Roboduck faded away, he will in the tournament as well. There will be no 12-seed upset win this year.

No. 13 Herky The Hawk – University of Iowa (85 MSI) vs. No. 4 Pouncington Theodore Panther – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (40 MSI)

Pouncington Theodore Panther may be one of the best looking panther mascots in college athletics.

Look at the detail in his face, the whiskers, the teeth…

And then there’s Herky, a bird with teeth. Thank you, next.

Pouncington pounces on.

No. 3 The Boilermaker Special – Purdue University (10 MSI) vs. No. 19 Goldy Gopher – University of Minnesota (100 MSI)

In this match-up we have the only motorized mascot in this field, versus a ground squirrel.

Goldy is roadkill.

Chugga Chugga.. Choo Choo!

No. 11 Sir Henry – Rutgers University (64 MSI) vs. No. 6 AJ – Rider University (60 MSI)

Gotta go with the B1G-bias here and punch Henry’s ticket onto the Elite Eight.

No. 7 Rocky the Bull – University of South Florida (60 MSI) vs. No. 10 Sparty – Michigan State (63 MSI)

In arguably the most buff match-up of the tournament, both of these mascots are swole.

But, no one, I repeat no one can rock a pair of jorts like Rocky.

Sparty, down.

No. 18 Brutus – Ohio State University (94 MSI) vs. No. 2 Smokey – University of Tennessee (8 MSI)

I have to excuse Brutus from the tournament, because a nut is a stupid mascot. And it’s not even one that is easy to eat…you have to cook it first so it’s no longer toxic…

Smokey, who is SUCH A GOOD BOY advances.

Before we move to the Elite Eight, let’s enjoy the beating that is the Ohio Bobcat, beating up Brutus.

Elite Eight

No. 1 Buckingham U. Badger – University of Wisconsin (0 MSI) vs. No. 9 Testudo the Turtle – Maryland (62 MSI)

Crab cakes and football, may be what Maryland does, but not as well as Sconnie.

Bucky moves on. Sorry Turgeonites.

No. 5 Puddles – University of Oregon (45 MSI) vs. No. 4 Pouncington Theodore Panther – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (40 MSI)

As this tournament goes on, the choices become more and more difficult. On one hand, you basically have Donald Duck, beloved Disney character and on the other hand, you have arguably one of the coolest looking mascots, with arguably the coolest name.

Pounce advances.

No. 3 The Boilermaker Special – Purdue University (10 MSI) vs. No. 11 Sir Henry – Rutgers University (64 MSI)

As a father of a train-obsessed child, I know I would not be able to sleep at night, if I did not advance the Boilermaker Special into the Final Four.

No. 7 Rocky the Bull – University of South Florida (60 MSI) vs. No. 2 Smokey – University of Tennessee (8 MSI)

Tennessee uses both an anthropomorphic dog mascot, as well as a live dog, to spread cheer. I’m all about that…come here, boy!

Smokey is on to the semifinals.

Final Four

No. 1 Buckingham U. Badger – University of Wisconsin (0 MSI) vs. No. 4 Pouncington Theodore Panther – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (40 MSI)

As I mentioned, the further along you get into the bracket, the harder the choice is. I think Bucky is the only mascot that I could take over Pounce in this bracket. It is with a heavy heart, that I bid a fond farewell to our neighbor from the Cream City and advance Bucky into the finals over Pouncington.

No. 3 The Boilermaker Special – Purdue University (10 MSI) vs. No. 2 Smokey – University of Tennessee (8 MSI)

This may be the toughest choice yet to date… trains or dogs… I asked my son, as he is an expert in trains and puppies.

Me: “Cam, who do you think should win, a train car or a dog?”

Cam (mouth full of fruit snacks): “Train car”

There you have it. A tightly contested match-up determined by a nearly 3-year-old eating fruit snacks.

Championship

Here it is, for all of the proverbial marbles, to see who sucks the least…

No. 1 Buckingham U. Badger – University of Wisconsin (0 MSI) vs. No. 3 The Boilermaker Special – Purdue University (10 MSI)

I didn’t bother asking my son, because I fear I would have to disown him…

Without further ado, the 2020 Why Your Mascot Sucks: The Bracket, Champion is the one and only, Buckingham U. Badger.

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Wisconsin vs Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Raise the banner, UW.

This one goes out to all of our losers…