London, ON, CAN: College Court Report, the Canadian-based NCAA basketball website, has released the full bracket for the 2nd Annual College Court Report Mascot Mayhem Challenge, presented by RabbleTV. On the heels of a successful launch in advance of the 2014-15 season, in which over 15,000 votes were cast for various mascots around the NCAA, the contest was brought back for a second year.
“After the mascots were separated into random groups of 16, it was time to select the pairing for the opening round,” said College Court Report owner Tyler Bennett. “This process was done entirely at random to ensure that there was no bias of any kind involved in the selection process.”
Last year’s Final Four mascots each received the top spot in their respective regions, and the other mascots were then randomly assigned.
“The names of the mascots from each region were placed into a bin, and simply drawn out one at a time. The two names that were drawn out together were considered a first round match-up, and we did that for the entire field of 64 mascots,” added Bennett.
In last year’s challenge, Maryland-Eastern Shore’s Harry the Hawk took home the inaugural title of the “NCAA’s Top Mascot” thanks to a large contingent of votes from people with close ties to the university. The Hawks are represented by HH3 this season, and he will take on Big Blue out of Old Dominion in the opening round.
“With this year’s opening round pairings, and overall region breakdown, expect the unexpected to happen,” says Bennett. “Mid-major mascots are taking on power conference representatives, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see mid-major programs make deep runs for the second year in a row.”
In the inaugural year of the challenge, votes were primarily cast on polls on the website itself, with little representation on social media. With the continued growth and presence of fans on social media, the 2nd Annual Mascot Mayhem Challenge will focus on social media to increase votes for the mascots.
Through new voting methods, fans will now be able to vote via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the website itself with the polls.
“Social media is a big part of everyday life for a lot of people in today’s society, and it’s only going to continue to grow,” says Bennett. “By expanding the social media component of the challenge, the hope is that it will entice more people to vote for the favourite mascots, and push them along in the contest.”
Like last season, each mascot will be given a unique hashtag that voters can then use on either Facebook or Twitter to cast a vote, as long as they tag ‘College Court Report’ in their post. However, the hashtags become more powerful on specific days throughout the contest.
On Facebook, Fridays will provide mascots with double the points. ‘Facebook Friday’ will allow voters to cast two votes with each use of a hashtag.
On Twitter, Tuesdays will provide voters with the same type of power. Every use of the hashtags on Twitter on Tuesday, coined as ‘Twitter Tuesday’, will result in two votes for the respective mascot.
Also this year, we have expanded to include Instagram as a way to vote. We will post a picture of each mascot in the round, and fans can cast votes through the photo. Each LIKE on the photo results in one vote, and each COMMENT results in half a vote (2 comments = 1 vote).
For Facebook and Twitter, one use of the hashtag per day is the limit. Any others in a day will not be included in the tally. On Instagram, the limit is 1 comment and LIKE per round, per person. Multiple comments from a single person will not be tallied.
Fans can also vote via the website polls, just like last year.
“By expanding our social media presence, the hope is that we can increase the number of voters, and build more excitement as we inch closer to the start of the 2015-16 season,” concluded Bennett.
Voting for the contest opens on Monday. August 17th, 2015. For the full list of first-round pairings, please click here.
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