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The creepiest mascots in March Madness history

Profile Picture: Annie Moore

March 19th, 2021

Ah, March. As nature begins to bloom anew, and we spring into warmer weather, some of March’s indigenous species emerge from their year-long hiatus to join us in the NCAA tournament.

No doubt there will be sightings of eagles, tigers, and cats of many kinds. But these majestic creatures are often accompanied by far more sinister ones. These hideous beasts emerge from the deepest, darkest places in college basketball. Some go years without showing their awful faces, but when they do emerge, they’re as bone-chilling as ever.

Here’s a field guide to the creepiest mascots in March Madness history.

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The Providence Friars mascot during the second half of the Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame game. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

The Providence Friar

With a face only Beelzebub could love, this beast has been terrorizing the Big East, and children everywhere, since he first showed up on the scene. While he hasn’t had the chance to spread fear outside conference play since 2018, it’s best to keep your head on a swivel.

Is he named "Forever Friar" because he stays in your nightmares forever, or because he’s immortal? You decide.

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The Richmond Spiders mascot during the Atlantic 10 Tournament. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

The Richmond Spider

Just when you thought Australia had the market cornered on seven-foot tall spiders, this guy comes scrambling in from Virginia. Why is he sporting a sweatband? Spiders don’t sweat. What secrets is he hiding under that thing? He’s equipped with eight, large, fuzzy legs, which he often deploys to mow down anyone in a 10-foot radius.

If his size, giant furry legs and suspect wardrobe choices weren’t enough, consider this.. his name is WebstUR. Trying to lure us into a false sense of security with a punny name? I think NOT.

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The Saint Louis Billikens mascot during the Atlantic 10 Tournament. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

The St. Louis Billiken

Okay, what even is a Billiken? We’ll allow some leeway on mascots within reason. Nobody really knows what a Hoosier is, but we don’t see them when we close our eyes at night, so it’s all good. THIS GUY, on the other hand, is a haunting troll-devil who belongs under a bridge, not in our beautiful tournament.

The school’s official site says he’s a "mythical good-luck figure," but that sounds like a front if we've ever heard one.

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The Wichita State Shockers mascot, WuShock. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)

Wichita State WuShock

If you’re walking along and hear the rustle of wheat behind you, don’t walk - RUN away! Wichita State folklore (read: Ghost stories whispered in hushed tones over campfires) has it that WuShock came to be in 1904. After many horrific evolutions, they landed on the current version in 1948.

His murderous gaze obscured slightly by the wheat bangs in his face, he is called a wheat stalk… but wheat stalker sounds more applicable.

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The Iona Gaels Mascot conducts the pep band prior to a game between the Monmouth Hawks and the Iona Gaels. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Iona College

No, we don’t mean Rick Pitino, we mean Killian, the Gael. Let’s be honest, if you’re out in the woods and a strange man approaches, you’re probably heading the other direction. Now imagine he’s eight-feet tall, has a thick beard, and an immovable thousand-yard stare.

This alternate-reality Abraham Lincoln wasn’t raised in a log cabin, but rather in a pit somewhere deep underground, plotting our downfall.