By Caitlin Flynn
Our great NCAA Tournament mascot bracket picks have been on quite the roll heading into the second night of Sweet 16 matchups. After posting an impressive 12-4 record in second-round selections, we went a perfect 4-0 Thursday night, highly impressive numbers considering the unpredictability of this year's tourney. Maybe there is something to this mascot system after all.
We continue below with the final four matchups before the tournament advances to the Elite Eight. Check back this weekend for those selections and make sure to check out all of our past picks here and let us know who you believe will win each matchup in the comments section below.
No. 11 UCLA Bruins vs. No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs
The Bruins are a formidable opponent in the wild, but life in Los Angeles has softened these Bruins into superficial, image-obsessed bears who focus only on scoring, forgoing defensive expertise. Bulldogs not only can present a stellar offense, but know how to defend themselves as well.
No. 8 North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. No. 4 Louisville Cardinals
Wolves cannot defend from the air, which will lead to a high-scoring, low-defense battle against the Cardinals. Speed, size and the ability to fly will have the Cardinals attacking the net from above, as the Wolfpack looks on from below, unable to stop what will be sure defeat.
No. 5 Utah Utes (Swoop) vs. No. 1 Duke Blue Devils
Winner: Blue Devils
The Blue Devil is so hypnotic, he can rally an entire campus of highly-intellectual students and turn them into a bunch of Crazies when the lights come on in the arena of battle. That ability will be more than enough to control Swoop, a red-tailed hawk, who will fall under the spell of the Blue Devil and succumb to his power, as so many before him have.
No. 7 Michigan State Spartans vs. No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners
Michigan State's Sparty might be the most imposing mascot in the tournament. From his impressive body armor to a skirt only a guy this tough could pull off, there aren't many who can topple him, especially when he steps his game up to another level at seemingly every NCAA tournament. This is Sparty's time and the Sooner won't be able to stop his march to the Elite Eight.