By Caitlin Flynn
Order in the Animal Kingdom was restored a bit after the first eight games of the second round, as our NCAA Tournament men's basketball selections based purely on mascot supremacy went 6-2 overall. The only mascots to be "upset" in our bracket picks were the Kentucky Wildcats and Utah's Swoop, so it was a solid day in our special part of the basketball world.
Check out our mascot game picks from Saturday here, our opening round picks for Thursday here and Friday here. Now, enjoy our Sunday masccot game picks below.
No. 7 Iowa Hawkeyes
vs. No. 2 Villanova Wildcats
Winner: Villanova: Iowa's Hawkeye is a strong opponent, but Will D. Cat has learned a few tricks this season. Growing out those long claws, the Wildcats will sink their paws into the court and successfully withstand whatever the Hawkeyes manage to throw at them.
No. 14 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack
vs. No. 6 Notre Dame Fighting Irishmen
Winner: Notre Dame: There is an exception to every rule. Yes, the Lumberjacks have axes and should be able to defeat any weaponless man, however, an Irishman is its own weapon. Fierce, stubborn, Fighting Irish can successfully take on any axe-wielding lumberjack.
No. 10 VCU Rodney the Ram
vs. No. 2 Oklahoma Sooner
Winner: Oklahoma: Smaller and faster than the Ram, Oklahoma's offense will be able to evade and avert any defense the Rams attempt. The Rams may be stubborn and larger, but their lack of speed will lead to a Sooner victory.
No. 15 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
vs. No. 10 Syracuse Orangemen
Winner: Syracuse: This is where being tiny and round is a good thing. Those Orangemen will roll around the Blue Raiders feet and easily attack the basket before the Raiders even notice they rolled on by.
No. 13 Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
vs. No. 5 Maryland Terrapins
Winner: Maryland: The hard shell and relentless, however slow, approach of the Terrapins will drive them to an overwhelming victory over Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors will be completely frustrated by the constant and unwavering stamina of the Terrapins that they'll eventually try everything to defeat them. However, playing dirty will only lead to Maryland overtaking them on the foul line and (slowly) cruising their way to the Sweet 16.
No. 11 Northern Iowa Panther
vs. No. 3 Texas A&M Reville (Ms. Rev)
Winner: Texas A&M: Rule No. 4, the unsaid but always correct rule of: women are better than men. Texas A&M's mascot is a girl! Ms Rev is too cunning to ever be defeated by a boy, even if that boy is a Panther. Girls control the world, so naturally they will control the court.
No. 7 Wisconsin Badgers
vs. No. 2 Xavier Musketeer
Winner: Xavier: Lets go hunting for some Badgers! Wisconsin may be able to build a strong defense, but eventually those Badgers will have to leave their den. The moment those Badgers come into view, the Xavier Musketeers will shoot to kill.
No. 8 St. Joseph's Hawks
vs. No. 1 Oregon Ducks
Winner: Oregon: Animal Planet would tell me I'm wrong and that there is no way a Duck can withstand the attack from a Hawk. I would like to reject that statement because Ducks are some terrifying, aggressive creatures. Ever try to get a golf ball back from a Duck? You would lose your hand. Can only imagine how territorial a Duck can be over a basketball!