Thanks to over 1,000 votes in the Sweet 16, the Regional Final matchups are set.
Elite Eight voting in the 2017 Mid-Major Madness Mascot Melee begins today and will continue through the weekend, both here and on Twitter.
A look at the matchups:
East Region: Bill (Navy) vs. Peacock (St. Peter’s)
Bill the Goat pulled off a monumental Sweet 16 upset, taking down No. 1 overall seed Handsome Dan. As the only live-animal mascot left in the field, Bill is looking to ram his way into the Final Four. I’m not kid-ding. But to do so, he will have to get past the Peacock, who might be a baaaaaad matchup. The Peacock has had an impressive run of his own, taking down two Atlantic 10 opponents en route to the regional final. Can the mascot who represents the CIT champs move on to a far more prestigious Final Four?
Midwest Region: Rudy (Dayton) vs. Magnus (Cleveland State)
Rudy has a humongous basketball fanbase behind him, but Magnus has waged a Twitter campaign for the ages. That makes the Midwest Regional Final a true tossup. Rudy and Magnus are the only two human mascots left in the field and their merits are equally strong. On one hand, you have a pilot who can fly circles around you. Anyone who can take to the air is automatically a strong competitor. Then there’s a gosh darn viking, with a helmet and everything. Sign me up.
South Region: Scrappy (Chattanooga) vs. Sammy C. Hawk (UNC Wilmington)
A southeast avian showdown. Jimmy Fallon describes Scrappy as “a sledge-hammer wielding mockingbird with a heart of Blue & Gold.” Sammy C. Hawk is a world-famous literary star. Whoever comes out of the South is sure to be a force in the mascot Final Four. In the Sweet 16, Scrappy defeated a dang pepper, showing he is cool-as-can-be under pressure. Sammy advanced by defeating Gaylord the Camel, which shows he is resourceful enough to not just survive, but thrive, in the desert.
West Region: Thunder (Grand Canyon) vs. Scrappy (North Texas)
Thunder got a late boost yesterday when Grand Canyon Twitter mobilized to push him past Paydirt Pete from UTEP. The two had been locked in a 50/50 split since voting began, but Thunder ultimately survived with 52.5 percent of the vote. Scrappy, who does most of his work on Facebook, had a Sweet 16 matchup that was quite the opposite. He had no problem taking down the Lumberjack from Stephen F. Austin, 65 to 35 percent. Which fan base is stronger? This is where we find out.
Voting closes Sunday afternoon. Get started here or wait for us to tweet out Twitter polls this morning.