The Artificially Sweet Elite 8 Brought To You By Coke Zero

So it’s down to the Elite 8.  Last year I wrote that the Elite 8 ain’t all that greight, but this year, that ain’t still true.  The Elite 8 could be called the Great 8.  And because the tournament is sponsored by Coke Zero, they technically could be called the artificially Sweet 8.

  • So who’s left?  Louisville, Duke, (As Falls Wichita, so Falls) Wichita State, Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Syracuse and Marquette.  So we have a Cardinal, a Blue Devil, a Shocker, a Buckeye, a Wolverine, a Gator, an Orange and a Golden Eagle.  That would be two birds, a fruit, a nut, a grain, a cartoon character, a weasel and a reptile.  If I were a betting man, my “money” would be on the Alligator.  And they may just have the best team in the tournament, the Florida Gators, that is.
  • Florida would have the home court advantage in Atlanta and would be the only team left in the field that has played and won a game in Georgia this season – v. Georgia 64-47.  And Florida has held opponents to exactly 47 points five times all in wins.  Florida has held opponents to under 47 points 7 times.
  • We could have an all bordering states final four:  Louisville (Kentucky), Ohio State, Michigan, and Marquette (Wisconsin).
  • There are some interesting rematches in the Elite 8. Syracuse lost @Marquette earlier in the year 74-71.  In November, Duke beat Louisville @Louisville, 76-71.
  • The 3 and 4 seeds emerged from the South and the East Regions.  Florida (3) v. Michigan (4) and Marquette (3) v. Syracuse (4).
  • All of the teams have been to the Final Four at least once and all except Wichita State have won at least one National Championship.

Top Mascots advance to Elite 8


After the first night of Sweet 16 play, the 4 teams with the most imposing mascots advanced to the Elite 8 as predicted. The top ranked Missouri Tigers defeated the Memphis Tigers, who were a better team as Memphis State. The Villanova Wildcats easily trounced the timid and depressed Blue Devils of Duke. The Pitt Panthers ambushed the anachronistic Muskateers who gave a good fight, but misfired in the end. And the rabid Huskies of UCONN drove the Boilermakers to the basement for good.

Here are the results from last night with their mascot rankings:

1 Missouri Tigers 101 2 Memphis Tigers 92

3 Pitt Panthers 60 10 Xavier Muskateers 55

7 Villanova Wildcats 77 11 Duke Blue Devils 54

4 UConn Huskies 72 12 Purdue Boilermakers 60

Tonight should be a night of upsets as mascot power prevails.

#6 Arizona Wildcats should defeat #15 Louisville Cardinals. Cat takes a bird every time.

#9 Gonzago Bulldogs should take a bite out of the #14 North Carolina Tar Heels.

#5 Michigan State Spartans should have a master military plan to take down the flying #8 ranked Kansas Jayhawks. Maybe a trebuchet?

And in a matchup of two of the worst mascots, the #13 Oklahoma Sooners should defeat the #16 Syracuse Orange, which as a fruit or a color is simply defenseless.

Tap on the link for mascot power ratings.