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Best and worst NCAA basketball mascots ranked by fans (survey)

Sports Reports
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7min read
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Not all NCAA basketball mascots are created equal. From cuddly and adorable, to pure nightmare fuel, there’s certainly a mascot to fit every taste. Dog lover? We’ve got you covered. Bird enthusiast? Check. Into 6-foot tall amorphous blobs with sneakers? Surprisingly, we can accommodate you as well. It’s a group as diverse as any. And perhaps these mascots might just help you make your picks if you decide to try your hand at online sports betting on one of the best betting sites

To find out how the fans rank the mascots, we asked college basketball fans to rate the 70 mascots whose teams have the most appearances in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. So sit back, relax, maybe check out some live betting sites, and enjoy the ultimate, most diverse ranking of college basketball mascots anywhere on the internet. 

Top 25 Ncaa Basketball Mascots Ranked By Fans

NCAA basketball’s best mascots

The verdict is in, and the NCAA basketball mascot who reigns supreme is the beloved Oregon Duck, at 3.86 out of 5. Sure, the Duck doesn’t even have a name, but the friendly-faced waterfowl has clearly won the hearts of fans. The Duck topped Pac-12 rivals, including UCLA’s Joe Bruin (3.57), the USC Trojan (3.35), Washington’s Harry the Husky (3.22), Arizona’s Wilbur Wildcat (3.16), Utah’s Swoop (3.03), and Cal’s Oksi the Bear (2.37).

Moving down the list, Michigan State’s Sparty placed second with a respectable score of 3.64 out of 5. His B1G rivals, unfortunately, didn’t fare so well. Wisconsin’s Bucky Badger (3.01) was the only other Big Ten mascot to score over 3 out of 5. Iowa’s Herky the Hawk (2.90), Ohio State’s Brutus Buckeye (2.76), Maryland’s Testudo (2.57), and Purdue Pete (2.46) wrap up the entries for the oldest Division 1 conference in the nation.  

Other fan favorites included Georgetown’s adorable Jack the Bulldog (3.63), UNC’s Ramses the Ram (3.60), and Texas’ own Hook ‘Em (3.58). A tight race rounds out the top 10 spots, as Florida’s aptly named Albert Gator (3.56), Jonathan the Husky from UConn (3.55), and Louisville’s Louie (3.54) finished neck and neck. Princeton’s Tiger, whose home state offers New Jersey online sports betting, earned an impressive rating of 3.31.

Worst Ncaa Basketball Mascots

NCAA basketball’s worst mascots

As will be the case when the NCAA tournament tips off, there will be winners, and unfortunately, there will also be losers. And the fans we surveyed made it clear, there are a number of losers among NCAA mascots. 

At the bottom of the list, sitting alone in a corner of shame as the only mascot to score under 2 out of 5, is Providence’s positively petrifying Friar Dom at 1.99. Scoring slightly better is perhaps the most bizarre mascot in all of sports, Stanford’s Tree, at 2.20. Not to be excluded from the world of weirdness, Xavier’s Blue Blob (2.51) and Western Kentucky’s Big Red (2.49), also fell into the bottom ten.

Mascots In The Real World

Close encounters

We felt bad that NCAA mascots usually only get to come out during sporting events or pep rallies. So we decided it might be nice to envision them in a couple of real-world scenarios. 

First, we asked fans which of the mascots they would be most likely to invite to a child’s birthday party. Not surprisingly, the Oregon Duck, the mascot rated highest by the fans, was the top choice in this category. Perhaps physical similarities the Duck shares with a certain Disney character helped him to land the top spot. A surprise was found a bit farther down this list. The Blue Blob from Xavier, who ranked in the bottom 10 of the overall ratings, was voted the fourth most likely to be invited to a child’s birthday party. 

Of course, life isn’t always a party. If we do decide to unleash the mascots into the general population, we’re likely going to encounter them in some unsuspecting places as well. When we asked fans which mascot they would least like to meet in a dark alley, our lowest-rated mascot, Friar Dom from Providence, was the overwhelming winner. There must be something about those giant, lifeless eyes that really gives fans the heebie-jeebies. 


To determine our ranking, we surveyed 1,490 NCAA basketball fans across all 50 states. We asked them to rate the 70 mascots from the schools whose men’s basketball programs have made the most NCAA tournament appearances. Our respondents were 57% male and 43% female.  The average age was 38. Note: although Indiana, UNLV, Illinois, and Michigan rank in the top 70 for tournament appearances, they do not have official mascots, and thus were excluded from this list. 

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