By Caitlin Flynn
Forget player stats and injury reports. Don't bother studying coaches and team strategies. The only thing that matters in this NCAA men's basketball tournament is the mascots. Fresh off a perfect 8-for-8 performance in picking games in the Sweet 16 based on mascot logic, we go right into breaking down and picking winners of the Elite 8 games below.
Let us know your picks in the comments section and make sure to check out all of our previous columns here. We have a combined 20-4 record from the previous two rounds of the tournament.
No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats vs. No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Leprechaun, your luck just ran out. The bright green outfit and shockingly red hair will not camouflage you from an attack by the Wildcats, which absolutely mauled their last opponent, the Mountaineers. The Wildcats' methodical and never-ending hunting strategy will lead to a quick and painless defeat of the Fighting Irish.
No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers vs. No. 2 Arizona Wildcats
The Badgers may be the most effective offensive team in the tournament, but they haven't faced an opponent with the Wildcats' size, strength and athleticism yet. This matchup, which easily would be the National Geographic Battle of the Week, features two teams that will fight to the end in order to survive. In a close finish, it's the Wildcats who will advance in a battle of the ages.
No. 4 Louisville Cardinals vs. No. 7 Michigan State Spartans
With the ability to fly circles around their opponent, the Cardinals will be able to outscore the Spartans at every turn, leaving Sparty with no hope of preventing the onslaught. True, the Cardinals will not be able to mount an effective defense against the Spartans, but their offense will be able to overcome the mighty defensive strategy perfected by Sparty.
No. 1 Duke Blue Devils vs. No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs
Winner: Blue Devils
By late Sunday evening, those adorable Bulldogs will be the property of the Blue Devils. Even though the Bulldogs are headstrong creatures, they will be no match for the master manipulators known as Devils. The crafty, meticulous offense of the Blue Devils will break down the sturdy, but ultimately penetrable defense of the Bulldogs, leading to physical and mental surrender.