Top 10 Mascots of the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament #4 - #2Published March 17, 2009
4. University of Louisville - Cardinal Bird The University of Louisville's mascot is a Cardinal. His official name is Cardinal Bird, but he is affectionately known to students as The "Bird." The Cardinal is the state bird of Kentucky, which gives the team statewide identification, and a sense of state pride. The Cardinal also provided the inspiration for the school's colors of red and black. The mascot is a rowdy presence at games, once even parachuting into the football stadium to make his entrance. www.gozags.com 3. Gonzaga Bulldogs- Spike the Bulldog Human mascots replaced live dogs in 1980 when a Gonzaga student, Mike Griffin, wore a cape and called himself "Captain Zag." A few more students would don the Captain Zag uniform before the Bulldog mascot named "Spike" returned in 1985. Today Spike has become a recognized figure with Gonzaga basketball cheering at every home men's and women's basketball game. Spike's profile rose when he was one of the mascots chosen to appear in Nike's 'Welcome to Bracketville' commercials for the 2000 NCAA Tournament. www.villanova.com 2. Villanova Wildcats - Will D. Cat The Wildcat mascot was determined through a university-wide contest in 1926. While the name wildcat refers to a number of larger, untamed cats, Will D. Cat most closely resembles a bobcat. In the 30s and 40s Villanova had live wildcats that were kept on campus in a cage. All were named Count Villan. However, behavioral problems from caging, being around large crowds and the cold weather caused the school to replace live animals with Will D. Cat in 1950.
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