The road ends here.
(please don’t sue me, CBS/NCAA/whoever owns that slogan)
This is the moment mascots have dreamed about their entire lives. From when they were just tiny balls of fur at Mascopolis General Hospital, all they wanted to do was compete for your vote in the Final Four of an SB Nation blog’s bored summer time-waster. And here we are.
Let’s meet the National Semifinalists:
East Regional Champion: Bill the Goat (Navy)
Bill the Goat had perhaps the quietest dominating run to the Final Four in the field. He didn’t need any massive Twitter or Facebook campaigns. No fun graphics or gimmicks. He simply went out and dominated his four east region opponents, including No. 1 overall seed Handsome Dan.
Wikipedia has you covered for all your Bill trivia (if you haven’t been reading these posts so far), but here are some quick Bill facts:
- Debuted in 1893, so he’s old as hell.
- Debuted at an Army-Navy football game that Navy won 6-3 because football is stupid.
- A gorilla, a cat, a bulldog, and a carrier pigeon have also been Navy mascots. None as great, however, as the goat.
- If he wins the whole thing, we will have a ton of fun with goat/G.O.A.T. jokes.
Midwest Regional Champion: Magnus (Cleveland State)
I made one huge mistake when seeding this field: I did not take into account which schools were likely to rally behind their mascots via social media. Magnus is a great example of this. I thought him to be a somewhat ordinary viking — worthy of inclusion in the bracket, but not so much of a high seed. Then the Cleveland State athletic department began promoting the hell out of the vote, and here we are. Magnus advanced by beating Rudy from Dayton, showing that the power of Twitter far outweighs the power of one of the best mid-major basketball programs of all-time.
South Regional Champion: Sammy C. Hawk (UNC Wilmington)
Like Magnus, Sammy supporters have taken to Twitter to rack up the votes, so us adding a Twitter voting feature for the Elite Eight was a huge help for the UNCW mascot. Despite narrowly losing the Google vote to Scrappy from Chattanooga, Sammy advanced with 57 percent of the Twitter vote. He’s beaten human mascots, a camel, and a bird, and now must face a Scrappy for the second week in a row.
We’ve told you a lot about Sammy so far in this contest, but one thing we haven’t done is share this video of him dunking. Enjoy!
West Regional Champion: Scrappy (North Texas)
Scrappy the scrappy underdog fought his way through a loaded West region by taking down some of the best mascots in the game today. It started with an opening-round upset over Iggy from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and as Scrappy moved through the field, he only gained momentum. A tremendous Facebook campaign with a little help from Twitter pushed Scrappy into the Final Four, beating Thunder from Grand Canyon in the Elite Eight.
At first glance, Scrappy appears to be a relatively simple eagle mascot, but check out those talons on his feet. Maybe that’s been his secret. He’ll have to beat Sammy in an avian showdown if he’s going to advance to the title game.
Voting will run all day Monday and Tuesday, both here and on Twitter. That gives you two chances to vote! If you’re having trouble viewing the embed below, just follow this link to go to the Google form.