The best mascots in this year's March Madness bracket

So many teams, so little time -- how is the casual fan supposed to tackle their March Madness bracket?

There are plenty of strategies on how to make your picks, but one of the most enjoyable methods is to take a good, hard look at each of the schools' mascots. 

College and university mascots in the U.S. range from the cute to the bizarre, from good dogs and majestic tigers to ever-so-slightly frightening humanoids like boilermakers and friars. 

If you're still having trouble making your picks ahead of Thursday's first round games, check out some of the best mascots in the tournament below. Who knows? Maybe one of these characters will carry you to the championship. 

The best mascots to pick during March Madness
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The best mascots to pick during March Madness

No, there's no team called the "Ibises" in the tournament this year. Sebastian the Ibis is the mascot for the Miami Hurricanes. It's a little misleading, sure, but you can't say an ibis isn't unique in this bracket of tigers, bisons and wildcats.

(Photo by Richard C. Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A regular old pig wouldn't be that intimidating. Luckily for Arkansas, a bright red hog called a "razorback" is a pretty big step up. 

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The South Dakota State Jackrabbit would probably fare pretty well in a game of basketball. He's a mean, lean, speedy machine. 

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Somehow, putting a bandana on a bipedal grizzly bear makes it much more endearing. Good job, Montana. 

(Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)

No. 1 seeded Virginia boasts a Cavalier as its mascot. Normally, human mascots aren't all that exciting, but we have to give this guy credit for that impeccable goatee. 

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Yes, UMBC retriever, you are a good boy.

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Do not challenge the Michigan State Spartan to any sort of physical competition. You will lose. 

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

As weird as the Syracuse Orange may be, it's a classic. Never count out the Orange.

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Hey, Cincinnati, what is a bearcat? Is it a bear? Is it a cat? Is it half bear, half cat? We need answers! But we love it, regardless. 

(Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Did you know that originally, a "jayhawk" was a Civil War guerrilla fighter? That makes the Kansas Jayhawk a lot more impressive.

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

TCU's horned frog looks like an amphibian made of stone. That'd be hard to play basketball against, and also, it just looks super cool.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The undeniable top dog of this and every year's crop of mascots is the Butler Bulldog. Though Butler is a 10 seed and likely won't make it to the championship, the team's mascot deserves all the treats and belly rubs in the world.

(Photo by David Hahn/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)

BONUS: Do not ever pick the Providence Friars. We would also recommend avoiding direct eye contact. This thing is terrifying. 

(Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


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