As the NCAA Tournament cranks up this week and your work productivity plummets, it’s always good to have some quality tidbits about the Big Dance to drop on friends, coworkers, and know-it-all losers in your bracket pool. Here’s a look at six of the best mascots in this year’s field of 68.
Is this not the type of shocker you are used to hearing about?
Wichita State Shockers
Named the Shockers because of the ‘shocking’ that is done when harvesting wheat fields in Kansas, Wichita State is now the favorite mid-major of young males everywhere who love throwing up the ‘two in the pink, one in the stink’ symbol. (play #8 Pitt on Thursday)
South Dakota State Jackrabbits
Any mascot from the Dakotas is guaranteed to be both unique and awesome, and the jackrabbit does not disappoint. Super star guard Nate Wolters will try and lead the team to a big upset, but win or lose, they will have the honor of representing a school that has a mascot that can leap up to ten feet at once, and run 40 miles an hour. (play #4 Michigan on Thursday)
‘Big Red’ is the craziest blob you have ever known.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
It’s tough to argue with a red amorphous blob as your official mascot, and that is what WKU offers with ‘Big Red.’ Called the Hilltoppers because of the huge slope the campus was built on, Western Kentucky shares the distinction of cool mascot and small school with rich basketball tradition. One Final Four and seven Sweet 16 banners hang from the rafters at Diddle Arena. And it was the place where yours truly slaved over academics for seven years before earning a degree that helped land me this lucrative job of blog writing. (play #1 Kansas on Friday)
MAC Champion Akron was originally called the ‘Zippers’, which were rubber overshoes popular almost 100 years ago, and manufactured by the local BF Goodrich company. It was later shortened to Zips, and a female kangaroo was adopted as the official mascot. A marsupial mascot and three straight regular season titles? Cheers to you, Akron. (play #5 VCU on Thursday)
This is a billiken, which seems like it could be related to the gremlin or demon.
Saint Louis Billikens
Apparently, a long time ago there was a charm doll called a Billiken, and SLU’s football coach reminded a local sports writer of this fictional character. The name has stuck for over 100 years, and casual fans have remained confused for the past century. (play #13 New Mexico State on Thursday)
Albany Great Danes
Huge dogs that can knock unsuspecting people over are always cool with me, so it stands to reason that the Great Danes would make this list. In 2006, Albany almost shocked the world as a 16-seed, leading top seeded UConn by 12 almost halfway through the second half before the Huskies mounted a comeback. Most will be cheering for Albany to do the same this season against one of the most hated teams on the planet. (play #2 Duke on Friday)
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