On the heels of a successful inaugural Mascot Mayhem contest in advance of the 2014-15 basketball season, we set out to try and determine the best mascot in the NCAA for the 2015-16 season.
The contest kicked off on Monday, August 17th, when the hand-picked op 64 mascots from across the NCAA were put into four regions of 16 in an NCAA-tournament style tournament. Fans can vote on their favourite mascots to try and help them advance through the rounds.
Last season’s champion, Harry the Hawk of the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks, retired from mascot competitions, which means there will be a new champion crowned this season.
The contest expanded to increase the overall presence on social media. This season, fans can vote on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as the polls on the website.
In the opening round alone, upwards of 1,500 votes were cast over the various platforms. Instagram was the social media platform that was used the most, with over 500 votes coming in over the two weeks.
Below, you can find the results from the opening round of the contest, plus some notes on how the round played out.
Izzy the Islander (Texas A&M-CC) def. Big Jay (Kansas)
The Duke (Duquesne) def. Norm (Charlotte)
Howl (Arkansas State) def. Rameses (North Carolina)
Pistol Pete (Oklahoma State) def. Smokey (Tennessee)
Monte (Montana) def. Bevo (Texas)
Buster Bronco (Boise State) def. Torero (San Diego)
Victor E. Bull (Buffalo) def. Willie the Wave (Pepperdine)
HH3 (Maryland-Eastern Shore) def. Big Blue (Old Dominion)
East Region Notes
- HH3, who is replacing Harry the Hawk as UMES’ mascot, cruised to an early-round victory over Big Blue from Old Dominion.
- Newcomers Howl and Buster Bronco scored opening round victories, using comebacks in the final few days to come away on top.
The Billiken (Saint Louis) def. Too-Fly (Delaware State)
Sebastian (Miami) def. Durango (Omaha)
Super Frog (TCU) def. Pistol Pete (Wyoming)
Bucky (Bucknell) def. Boomer (Oklahoma)
Rocky (South Florida) def. WuShock (Wichita State)
Sparty (Michigan State) def. The Bird (Air Force)
Bucky (Wisconsin) def. Billy (Creighton)
Sam the Minuteman (Massachusetts) def. Don (IPFW)
West Region Notes
- Durango lead Sebastian in vote totals on the polls, but Miami’s mascot used a heavy presence on Instagram to pull away and score the victory.
- The Billiken got a heavy presence from social forums and link clicks to help score the victory over Too-Fly.
- Sam the Minuteman, one of the Final Four members from a season ago, cruised past Don to advance to the Round of 32 for the second straight year.
Peter the Anteater (UC Irvine) def. Rudy Flyer (Dayton)
Puddles (Oregon) def. Rocky (Toledo)
Joe Bruin (UCLA) def. Mario the Magnificent (Drexel)
Ralphie (Colorado) def. Emmitt S. Burg (Mount St. Mary’s)
Damien (Albany) def. Big Al (Alabama)
John B. Stetson (Stetson) def. Captain Cane (Tulsa)
YoUDee (Delaware) def. Judge (Baylor)
Bernie (Siena) def. Kaboom! (Bradley)
South Region Notes
- Last year’s runner-up, Kaboom!, was upset in the first-round by Bernie of the Siena Saints.
- Peter the Anteater was the only newcomer in the South Region to score a victory in the opening round.
Ozzie the Osprey (North Florida) def. Thunder (North Dakota State)
Petey (Canisius) def. Butler Blue (Butler)
Chauncey Chanticleer (Coastal Carolina) def. Ace (UL-Monroe)
Lucas the Stag (Fairfield) def. Big Blue (Utah State)
Elwood Lancer (Longwood) def. Victor E Viking (Northern Kentucky)
Ole! (UC Santa Barbara) def. Marco (Marshall)
Hey Reb! (UNLV) def. Buzz (Georgia Tech)
Sammy C. Hawk (UNC-Wilmington) def. Testudo (Maryland)
North Region Notes
- UNLV’s Hey Reb! was the top vote-getter of Round One, using a strong presence on Instagram to record over 400 total votes in the round.
- Four bird mascots advanced to the 2nd Round. Birds went an impressive 4 – 1 in the opening round of the North Region.
The second round will open on August 31st. Polls will open at 10am EST, and Instagram will open shortly thereafter!