2013 NCAA Men's Sweet Sixteen Mascots Breakdown

Have you been wondering how many animal mascots are in the Sweet 16 this year? How many teams don't have mascots? Wonder no more. 

Before this knowledge bomb drops, think about the difference between the team nickname and the mascot. They are not always the same and that can affect the mascot stats. For example, North Carolina's team nickname is the Tarheels but their mascot is a ram. So, when counting the types of mascots in the tournament would North Carolina be in the person category or the animal category? (You don't have to worry about that this year because they're already gone.)

In this post we'll look at the team mascots in this year's Sweet 16.  (We also have the breakdown by team name.)

2013 Sweet Sixteen summary by mascot:  8 animals, 3 plant based, 2 people, 2 mascotless teams, & 1 spirit

Not enough detail? Let's dissect the animal mascots: 

6 w/feathers, 1 w/fur, and 1 w/scales = 1 duck, 2 eagles, 1 gator, 1 ibis, 1 jayhawk, 1 wildcat.

Here's the list. 

Arizona Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat
Florida Albert and Alberta Gator
FGCU Azul the Eagle
Kansas Big Jay & Lil'Jay (fictional birds)
Louisville Cardinal Bird
Marquette The Golden Eagle
Miami Sebastian Ibis
Oregon The Duck
Ohio State Brutus the Buckeye (nut)
Syracuse Otto the Orange
Wichita State WuShok, wheat sheaf
La Salle The Explorer
Michigan State Sparty the Spartan Warrior
Indiana no mascot
Michigan no mascot
Duke The Blue Devil

Breaking down the tournament by mascot minutia, that's 64mascots.com. I'll leave the basketball analysis to GregGumble and compnay. 


2013 NCAA Men's Sweet Sixteen Teams and Mascots

What are the mascots for the 2013 Sweet Sixteen? Glad you asked. Here's they are, listed by region. (True students of mascotolgy will note that some of them don't have a mascot and some mascots don't match the team nickname.)

If this list doesn't satisfy your need for mascot info, check out the Sweet 16 breakdown by mascot and team name. (Yep. They're different lists.)


2013 Sweet Sixteen March Madness Mascots  
EAST Washington, D.C.
School/Team Nickname Costumed Mascot
Indiana Hoosiers none
Syracuse Orange Otto, orange
Miami (FL) Hurricanes Sebastian, ibis
Marquette Golden Eagles Golden Eagle, eagle
WEST Los Angeles, CA
School/Team Nickname Costumed Mascot
Ohio State Buckeyes Brutus the Buckeye, nut
Arizona Wildcats Wilbur and Wilma T. Wildcat
Wichita State Shockers WuShock, wheat sheaf
La Salle Explorers The Explorer
MIDWEST Indianapolis, IN
School/Team Nickname Costumed Mascot
Louisville Cardinals Cardinal Bird
Oregon Ducks The Duck
Duke Blue Devils Blue Devil
Michigan St. Spartans Sparty, Spartan warrior
SOUTH Arlington, TX
School/Team Nickname Costumed Mascot
Kansas Big Jay & Lil' Jay, jayhawks
Michigan Wolverines none
Florida Gators Albert & Alberta, alligators
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles

Azul, eagle


This Google Doc has the Sweet Sixteen and the other mascot lists from 64mascots.com


5 Tips for Picking Your Bracket by Mascot

This post is for all you deep thinking lightweight bracketeers who choose your winners based on mascot. (Don't confuse that with team name.) It's a little food for thought to give you something to chew on as your bracket deadline nears. 


1. Aggies aren't what they seem. 

North Carolina A&T's mascot is a bulldog, not a farmer. It's an odd-colored yellow bulldog. Could it be an animal husbandry class project gone awry? 

The mascot of the other Aggie team, New Mexico State, is human. Pistol Pete is a cowboy, based on Frank "Pistol Pete" Eaton, an actual person.

2. Don't take severe whether too seriously. 

As a Texan, I'm used to tornado warnings. I take those seriously. Not so much with the severe whether monikers in this year's tourney bracket. Why? A closer inspection of the Iowa State Cylcones and the Miami Hurricanes reveal they are nothing more than birds.

The Cyclones mascot is a cardinal. Granted, it's a cardinal with teeth, so that's a little weird, but it's still a bird. The Hurricanes mascot is an ibis. (Punnage: the ibis of the hurricane.) An ibis does have a long beak that could poke your eye out. An eye-kabob would be awful, but doesn't have the widespread destructive potential of a hurricane. 

3. Consider your imagination. Do you believe in unicorns? 

You obviously have some imagination if you're reading this, a blog about costumed characters. But when it comes time to pick a winner, you may want to choose fantasy over reality or vice versa.

I know it may be shocking, but some of the mascots aren't even real! What?

Kansas Jayhawks are mythical birds. The St. Louis Billiken is inspired by a good-luck charm. (Okay, that's borderline real, but the little tchotchke wasn't actually walking around.)

What about the Notre Dame Leprechaun? Real or note real? If the mascot matched the team nickname, there would be no question. 

Middle Tennessee State's mascot is a winged horse. (Though their First Four loss saved you having to think about that.) Probably not real. 

 4. Consider your spirituality, or theology. 

What do you do with the Duke Blue Devil or Northwestern State's Vic the Demon? Do you refer back to tip #3 or do you look for the Providence Friar in the bracket? (Providence didn't make the tourney this year, by the way.) 

5. No mascot, no win. 

If you're using mascot merit only as the criteria for advancing in the bracket, a team with no mascot is out of luck. (Kind of funny since the word mascot used to simply mean something that brought a household luck.)

Nevermind that Indiana is a #1 seed. They have no mascot so out they go. Michigan and Illinois will be joining them. 

This is some serious mascotology. Will it help your bracket? I doubt it, but it's a nice break from the usual pre-tourney analysis. 

If you're looking for a lighter mascotolgy with graphics, check out the Mascotology: 7 Rules at InsideHook.com. 

 Slate.com also has cool printable brackets you can pick by team colors or mascot logo. (I could be jealous, but I'll just admire them instead. They are cool.)

Shaka Smart, Scarface, & the Morris Twins

Shaka Smart was on the Dan Patrick Show (a well-listened to nationally syndicated radio show) this morning. A few things caught my ear: 

*His only hobby: collecting quotes. He has about 120 pages of quotes, which is uses with his team.

*He also likes to use movies, funny and inspirational. 

Dan said that was too deep and asked for another. 

Combining the use of quotes and movies, Smart went to a line from Scarface. Tony Montana, under the influence, says, "There goes the bad guy."  He likens this to people doubting VCU and used it to motivate his team. 

I thought this was sweetly ironic, in light of one the Kansas Jayhawks' Morris twins smack-talk before the Kansas-VCU tip off.  

If you haven't heard about that, here's a clip from an AP story on Yahoo!Sports after that game:

"Once again we felt like nobody really thought we could win going into this game," said VCU coach Shaka Smart, the budding star of the tournament. "Our guys have done a phenomenal job of putting all the doubters aside, all the people that didn't believe in us, and going out to do their job."

VCU guard Joey Rodriguez counted one of Kansas' vaunted Morris twins — Marcus or Markieff — as one of those many doubters. During a pregame captains meeting with officials, Rodriguez said one of the brothers offered him some parting words: "The run ends here."

"We'll see," Rodriguez shot back.

There goes the bad guy.