NCAA BK

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29581752 Which mascot takes the No. 1 seed? Which+mascot+takes+the+No.+1+seed%3F CBK

The NCAA tournament is set to tip off, and we all know which teams are the cream of the crop. But which mascots bring the most game to the court? Check out our ranking of all 68 in the field — lions and tigers and bears, oh my!


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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29573272 Sparty Sparty CBK

Now this is how you do a mascot from the ancient world. Michigan State's Sparty is the total package. Iconic, imposing and good to look at.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29569236 Bucky Bucky CBK

Wisconsin's trademark badger mascot is as good as it gets. Bucky is one of the poster boys for the Big Ten's strong lineup of cheering critters. From the old-school, candy-striped shirt to the sleek badger head, we're big fans.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29567662 Big Jay Big+Jay CBK

Be honest: You didn't need to look twice to know this one. You can't go wrong with iconic Big Jay, the sharp-looking bird mascot for the Kansas Jayhawks, clad in red, white and blue.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568261 Blue Devil Blue+Devil CBK

With one of the best (and most recognizable) masks in Mascotland, Duke's Blue Devil does the trick for us. It's not easy to pull off the cape tastefully, but somehow this horned guy makes it work.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568259 Albert E. Gator Albert+E.+Gator CBK

In a sea of cats, dogs and bears, the Florida Gators' long-snouted, green-and-orange mascot certainly stands out. Just the right amount of detail and school spirit, right down to the human-sized Gators hat on its head.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29567875 Purdue Pete Purdue+Pete CBK

The Big Ten does it again. How can you not love Purdue Pete with those wide eyes and that pouty face? One of the best out there.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568257 Blue II and Hink Blue+II+and+Hink CBK

We mentioned earlier that we don't like indecisiveness, but both of these mascots are solid on their own accord. A living animal mascot (Blue II) is always a big hit, and Butler's costumed version (Hink) is the most detailed and dynamic bulldog we'll see in this tournament, right down to the jowls.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29570270 Hooter Hooter CBK

Any school with a truly unique mascot has a distinct advantage on this list. Throw in a costume that fits the bill, and you're a shoo-in for the top 20. Hooter, the Temple Owl, doesn't mess around.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29567664 Rameses Rameses CBK

The oddly named Tar Heels of North Carolina thankfully gave us this lovable bighorn ram as their mascot instead of a mascot with a sullied heel. We're not sure what Rameses is doing so far outside his natural habitat, though.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29581609 Pirate Pirate CBK

A relative of UC-Santa Barbara's Gaucho, the Hampton Pirate is as detailed and imposing as they come. Well done by another small school.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568489 D'Artagnan D%27Artagnan CBK

All for one and one for all! The Xavier Musketeers deliver with D'Artagnan, the decked out swashbuckler with the flowing mustache. As for Xavier's other mascot, the Blue Blob, well ... judge for yourself.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29570271 Hook 'Em Hook+%27Em CBK

Bevo is much more jaw-dropping, but Texas understandably couldn't run a live longhorn steer out onto a basketball court. The costumed version (named Hook 'Em) is a fine facsimile and serves as a fitting tribute to his flesh-and-blood peer.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29581751 The Patriot The+Patriot CBK

A nice twist on the "patriotic American" mascot theme: face paint! George Mason's Patriot is one inspiring blend of green and yellow.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29581700 Blaze Blaze CBK

The tourney's only dragon mascot is a huge hit with this committee. The UAB Blazers will be playing in style with Blaze roaming the sidelines.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568454 Chief Osceola and Renegade Chief+Osceola+and+Renegade CBK

We're guessing they won't let Florida State's Chief Osceola bring his horse, Renegade, into the arena. But it's still a nifty way to show Seminoles pride.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29584996 Hairy Dawg Hairy+Dawg CBK

Yes, it's another bulldog mascot, but Georgia's costumed version gets extra points for the imposing, oversized head and shoulders. Were this a football mascot contest, Georgia's live bulldog would be ranked much higher, but we will give the school some hoops credit for Uga IV attending the Final Four in 1983 — Georgia's only appearance in the national semifinals.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29570274 Hey Reb Hey+Reb CBK

Can you tell we take a liking to Old West-looking dudes with outrageous mustaches? The UNLV Runnin' Rebels' namesake character is not someone you'd want to take on in a bar fight.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29572441 The Mountaineer The+Mountaineer CBK

We've been hard on the obviously human mascots so far. This is the exception. Something about that outfit just gets us fired up for basketball.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29581622 Ole Gaucho Ole+Gaucho CBK

If you had to pick one mascot to have your back, it just might be UC-Santa Barbara's sinister-looking Gaucho.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29581611 The Alabama State Hornet The+Alabama+State+Hornet CBK

Another great one from the small schools, Alabama State's hornet mascot is well-executed. Now we'll see if the team can make it to the main draw.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29573273 Smokey Smokey CBK

Extra points for Tennessee for the creative dog breed it found to represent its namesake Volunteers. The bluetick coonhound (both costumed, at left, and real) mascots are a nice touch. And you can't beat that jacket.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29585135 Rowdy Rowdy CBK

Texas-San Antonio scores huge creativity points with Rowdy the roadrunner. Looks like the cousin of the Phillie Phanatic.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29585134 Pouncer Pouncer CBK

We wonder what that facial expression is supposed to mean, but Memphis' Pouncer is still the definitive tiger mascot in the field thanks to his getup and tiny hat.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29570813 Blackbird Blackbird CBK

With one of our favorite small-school mascots in the tourney, the Long Island Blackbirds have given us one sharp avian fan.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29564868 Big Blue Big+Blue CBK

Old Dominion's lion is our second king of the jungle on the list. And it has a mighty high opinion of itself with that royal crown on its head. Overall, an inspired costume from the Monarchs.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29581612 Rhett Rhett CBK

We know the Boston Terriers' Rhett can skate, but we'll soon find out how he does on the basketball court.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29573279 Joe Bruin Joe+Bruin CBK

UCLA's cuddly bear may need to hit the gym (look at that belly sticking out), but it's still a classic look for a classic team.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29570269 Otto the Orange Otto+the+Orange CBK

Syracuse's smiling orange ball is a little ridiculous at first glance, but the more we look at it, the more we appreciate it.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29564879 Boss Boss CBK

How about a live terrier to add to the dog diversity? And it's nice to see the real-life pup, Blitz II, living in harmony with her costumed buddy. Well done, Wofford.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568558 The Bearcat The+Bearcat CBK

If you haven't had enough bears and cats on this list, here's the best of both worlds. A fine offering from Cincinnati with an eye-catching head.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29567663 Grizz Grizz CBK

It's tough to impress with the been-there-done-that bear mascot, but Summit League champion Oakland put an attractive creature together here to represent the Golden Grizzlies.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568566 Reveille Reveille CBK

You'll see live bulldogs on this list, but Texas A&M is truly unique. The Aggies chose to throw us a curveball with their mascot and give us this adorable canine replete with school pride.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29584221 The Nittany Lion The+Nittany+Lion CBK

Penn State's iconic lion mascot is suited up and ready to play. Not much in the way of frills, but in a tournament full of bears, tigers and wildcats, the lion somehow stands out.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29567873 Brutus Brutus CBK

Why did we toss Brutus — one of college's most famous mascots — in the middle of the list? Because it seems you either love this Ohio State Buckeye or think he's a total nut.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568258 Bruiser Bruiser CBK

A solid bear offering from the folks at Belmont. There's nothing flashy about the Bruins' mascot, but it does the job.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29584220 Tommy Trojan Tommy+Trojan CBK

He's similar to San Diego State's Aztec mascot, but Tommy Trojan gains a significant edge thanks to his notoriety. However, he's much more popular as a football mascot.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29577252 Klawz Klawz CBK

This bear just looks happy to be doing its job, doesn't it? Northern Colorado's Klawz may have the look of a raggedy teddy bear, but the obvious charm overcomes it.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29574518 Golden Eagle Golden+Eagle CBK

The Marquette Golden Eagles went the straightforward route with their namesake mascot. Takes more than that to top this list.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568456 Roc the Panther Roc+the+Panther CBK

Pitt's imposing panther mascot is one of the more effective efforts from the feline genre. Simple, yet effective.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29584938 Peacock Peacock CBK

The mascot of the St. Peter's Peacocks gets points for the distinctive beak and vibrant color scheme, but it is marked down for a slightly ragged look and those oh-so-disturbing flat eyes.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29570273 Big Blue Big+Blue CBK

We're not quite sure what to make of the Utah St. Aggies' dark blue bull. Nose ring. Hairy shoulders. Sinister smirk. Somehow, it kind of works.

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Jed Jacobsohn - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/55-utahstaggies_20100314211228_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/55-utahstaggies_20100314211228_70_70.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29585133 The Tiger The+Tiger CBK

Why isn't this aesthetically challenged tiger at the bottom of the list? It's a part of history! The Princeton Tiger was among the pioneering mascots in collegiate athletics, dating back to the 1800's, and has been relatively unchanged since. You have to tip your hat to longevity.

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Brian Bahr - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/13/7_2011031317125920_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/13/7_2011031317125920_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29567665 Rocky Rocky CBK

So many bulldog mascots in collegeland make it tough to distinguish, but UNC-Asheville delivered with an especially fierce and hungry adaptation.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29567661 Cardinal Bird Cardinal+Bird CBK

Louisville's Cardinal Bird sports a refined, classic look that's highlighted by the great headdress. The shaggy, all-red body suit is a little unsightly and lazy.

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Andy Lyons - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery14-JW_20110309133516770_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery14-JW_20110309133516770_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29567654 Wilbur Wilbur CBK

Everything's going just fine for ole Wilbur, right up until you see that hat. Is it raining in Arizona? We prefer this to Kentucky's Wildcat, but there's still room for improvement.

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Ethan Miller - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery1-JW_20110309133141745_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery1-JW_20110309133141745_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 11043254 Mr. C Mr.+C CBK

Vanderbilt's eponymous commodore does the job just fine ... he just doesn't wow us.

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Jamie Squire - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/24-vandycoms_20100314205233_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/24-vandycoms_20100314205233_70_70.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29581610 Bucky Bucky CBK

It's a pretty dead-on look for a bison, but Bucknell's big-headed Bucky is a bit hard on the eyes for our tastes.

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Ronald Martinez - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/13/4_201103131709407_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/13/4_201103131709407_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29574520 Harry the Husky Harry+the+Husky CBK

An interesting concoction here from Washington, though we're not sure we could identify it as a husky if we didn't know.

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Jonathan Ferrey - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/43-washhuskies_20100314210403_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/43-washhuskies_20100314210403_70_70.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29582395 Rodney the Ram Rodney+the+Ram CBK

The VCU Rams' main man Rodney seems a little too cartoonish to make it to the top of the heap.

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Jim McIsaac - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/13/031311-CBK-Mascot-Gallery-4_20110313194227165_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/13/031311-CBK-Mascot-Gallery-4_20110313194227165_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29581623 Spidey Spidey CBK

Richmond could have really done something great with a nickname like Spiders, so it's unfortunate that we just get a dude in a cape and bizarre head covering.

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Mitchell Layton - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/13/8_2011031317125919_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/13/8_2011031317125919_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568478 Will D. Cat Will+D.+Cat CBK

Why can't anyone seem to get the wildcat quite right? Villanova's representative is probably the best of the bunch. But he looks a little too feral to warm up to.

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Jim McIsaac - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/65-vnovawildcats_20100314211514_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/65-vnovawildcats_20100314211514_70_70.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568262 Spike Spike CBK

We might appreciate Spike more if not for the laundry list of "Bulldog" teams in the NCAA tournament. Gonzaga's effort looks more like a stone ogre with flabby arm skin than a rough-and-tumble canine.

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Ethan Miller - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery10-JW_20110309133245758_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery10-JW_20110309133245758_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568263 Truman the Tiger Truman+the+Tiger CBK

Looking like a bad ripoff of Tony the Tiger, Missouri's Truman is a little lacking in creativity and flair. Bonus points, though, for the homage to former U.S. president and Missouri native Harry Truman in the name.

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Ronald Martinez - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery15-JW_20110309133516768_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery15-JW_20110309133516768_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29567655 Cosmo Cosmo CBK

It seems the manufacturer forgot to include eyes on BYU's scruffy Cougar mascot. Another negative: the gloved human fingers sticking out below the brown sleeves. Sort of hurts the illusion.

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Ethan Miller - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery5-JW_20110309133141743_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery5-JW_20110309133141743_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29567656 Jonathan the Husky Jonathan+the+Husky CBK

Expressionless face and a silly name (a tribute to Connecticut's first governor) hamper the UConn Huskies' beloved showman. We understand he kind of has to be all white, but is that really doing it for anyone?

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Andy Lyons - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery6-JW_20110309133141742_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery6-JW_20110309133141742_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568260 Jack the Bulldog Jack+the+Bulldog CBK

With far more inventive bulldog mascots on the list, the Georgetown Hoyas' all-gray Jack certainly loses its luster ... though we do like the toe detail.

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Jim McIsaac - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery9-JW_20110309133237754_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery9-JW_20110309133237754_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29574517 The Clemson Tiger The+Clemson+Tiger CBK

Our first of many Tiger offerings to come. Clemson's low-rent cat with the oversized sneakers doesn't quite cut it.

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Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/45-clemsontigers_20100314211015_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/45-clemsontigers_20100314211015_70_70.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29569237 Willie the Wildcat Willie+the+Wildcat CBK

Well ... it's a great head. But where's the rest of it? Kansas State's version of the wildcat starts off strong before becoming a big disappointment.

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Ronald Martinez - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/32-kstatewildcats_20100314205626_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/32-kstatewildcats_20100314205626_70_70.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568265 Beaker Beaker CBK

A solid traditional look here with the plain "M" sewn on the shirt. But we're a little thrown off by the face of the Morehead State Eagles' mascot. The crossed eyes and gaping mouth make Beaker look like he had a few too many while celebrating the team's Ohio Valley Conference title.

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Jamie Sabau - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery16-JW_20110309133516769_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery16-JW_20110309133516769_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568266 The Kentucky Wildcat The+Kentucky+Wildcat CBK

Someone get this cat some food. Kentucky's skinny, mangy Wildcat mascot hasn't received an upgrade since its inception in the late 1970s. Maybe it's time to do that. To be fair, Kentucky has a more modern-looking model as well, though we can't reward indecisiveness too much.

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Getty Images - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery13-JW_20110309133516767_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery13-JW_20110309133516767_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29581608 Zippy the Kangaroo Zippy+the+Kangaroo CBK

Well, this is awkward. Another school perhaps hampered by its odd nickname, the Akron Zips went with Zippy the Kangaroo to lead their cheers. Let's hope their jump shots are more on the money.

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Jonathan Ferrey - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/13/1_201103131709406_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/13/1_201103131709406_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568264 Sycamore Sam Sycamore+Sam CBK

What the heck is this? Restricted by the limitations of the nickname Sycamores, Indiana State took a shot with this furry blue creation and airballed it. They'd be better served making Larry Bird their mascot.

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Indiana State/Collegiate Images - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery11-JW_20110309133516765_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery11-JW_20110309133516765_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29567876 Montezuma the Aztec Warrior Montezuma+the+Aztec+Warrior CBK

San Diego State's costumed human looks more like an "American Gladiators" contestant.

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Jonathan Ferrey - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/11-sdsuaztecs_20100314204431_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2010/03/14/11-sdsuaztecs_20100314204431_70_70.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29568271 The Leprechaun The+Leprechaun CBK

Let the hate mail begin! While plenty of our fine readers surely will disagree, we just aren't inspired by a guy in a green suit. Notre Dame's Leprechaun is iconic and fits the Fighting Irish name perfectly, but he's not scoring any points in the creativity department.

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Chris Graythen - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery19-JW_20110309133613778_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/030911-CBK-Ranking-the-NCAA-tourney-mascots-gallery19-JW_20110309133613778_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29564873 Thunderbird Thunderbird CBK

Yeesh. One thing's for sure — you certainly won't miss this guy. Thunderbird, the in-your-face mascot for the St. John's Red Storm, is nothing if not flashy.

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St. Johns University - Special to FOXSports.com http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/SJU_20110309202157433_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2011/03/09/SJU_20110309202157433_107_80.JPG
CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29567657 The Arkansas-Little Rock Trojan The+Arkansas-Little+Rock+Trojan CBK

We'll forgive a little bit because of the likely athletic budget disparity between the surprise Sun Belt Conference champions and some of the other college basketball powers, but this guy looks like an obsessed fan at a high school game.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29581859 Michigan Wolverines Michigan+Wolverines CBK

Though it briefly had live wolverine mascots in the 1920s and again in the late 1930s (it was deemed too dangerous to the animals and their handlers to continue), Michigan has had a proud tradition since of not having a mascot.

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CBK 99 43 Ranking the NCAA tournament mascots 29581761 Illinois Fighting Illini Illinois+Fighting+Illini CBK

Illinois gave up its controversial "Chief Illiniwek" mascot in 2007 after some heavy objections but has yet to find a replacement. For that we have no choice but to put the Fighting Illini at the bottom of the list. That's a very nice capital I though.

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