Posted on Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

March Madness – College Basketball’s Battle of the Bulldogs

March Madness Dogs

With March heating up for college basketball, many will be glued to their televisions, computers, and phones to catch the exciting games of the college basketball tournament. Small-town teams will match up against storied programs in hopes of a Cinderella story and each game will surely leave you on the edge of your seat! Everyone has something to be excited for during these games – your favorite school, your favorite snack, and even your favorite mascot!

College schools have great mascots that feature some of our favorite animals and this year’s college basketball tournament is no exception. Of the 68 teams invited to the tournament, five schools adorn one of our favorite paw pals as a mascot – the bulldog! Even Bleacher Report cited “bulldogs” as the nickname or mascot most frequently used by college teams. So much love…and drool! Here’s a little preview of some of the schools and their pawsome mascots:

Georgetown University

Georgetown has a rich basketball history with multiples trips to the tournament. Bulldogs have always been a part this history, cheering (more like barking) down the sidelines as official mascots. The Hoyas adopted the English bulldog as their official mascot in 1962 and named him Jack after no other named seemed to stick (it was a perfect fit). Although the mascot was later transitioned into a human mascot in the 1970’s, the school said a “Bring Jack Back” campaign in 1999 introduced a new Jack to the university. This Jack later retired in 2003, but on May 3, 2003, today’s Jack the Bulldog was born! He was welcomed to the Georgetown community with open arms. Georgetown’s popular bulldog is ranked eighth among the 125 most famous dogs in pop culture by the American Kennel Club! From watchdogs to student pets, Jack the Bulldog is part of a long history of bulldog love at the university.

Photo credit: Jack the Bulldog Facebook Page

Photo credit: Jack the Bulldog Facebook Page














Gonzaga University

Gonzaga has our tails wagging for a great tournament. The school was ranked first in the nation this season and is one of the four number one seeds this tournament. No other Gonzaga team has received this top honor in school history. That’s definitely something for Gonzaga’s Maddie to wag her tail at! Like Georgetown, the Zags have a long history of bulldogs and mascots, said the university. They have been barking the school onto victory since 1965. Human mascots eventually replaced live dogs in 1980, eventually leading to the school’s first human bulldog mascot in 1985 – what we know today as Spike the Bulldog. But, Maddie is the Bulldog of Gonzaga that Gonzaga Magazine said “brings life to our mascot” in their list of “125 Things We Love About GU.” She certainly does bring life and is in-store for a memorable month!

Photo credit: Maddie (Bulldog of Gonzaga) Facebook Page

Photo credit: Maddie (Bulldog of Gonzaga) Facebook Page











Butler University

With a 2013 season filled with big wins (including one against a top team in this post) and recent trips down the tournament road, Butler’s bulldog is no stranger to big games. Dawning his signature vest with the Butler “B,” Blue II is a nine-year-old English bulldog that won the hearts of many fans across the country during the school’s great showing in the 2010 and 2011 tournament. Washington Post even cited the celebrity bulldog as having its own Twitter handle and martini named after him! This year marks the end of Blue II’s tenure as he recently retired at the end of the regular season.  Indy Star covered the ceremony and explained that he will still continue his role through the tournament. The bulldog reigns will be passed on to a new pup named Blue III, or Trip for short. We’re sad to see Blue II go, but we love how cute Trip is!

Photo Credit: Robert Scheer/The Star

Photo Credit: Robert Scheer/The Star

We wish each school the best of luck and can’t wait to see each of the bulldogs. What team or mascot will you be cheering for this year?

This content is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.