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Rudy Roo, Max C. Bear duke it out in SUNY mascot contest

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March is here, and as people wait to see how the college basketball season shakes out, the SUNY system already has its brackets set — and they could result in a showdown between a local bear and kangaroo.

SUNY is hosting its first mascot tournament to determine which campus’s costumed representative is the most popular. SUNY Canton’s Rudy Roo and SUNY Potsdam’s Max C. Bear are among the participants.

“They seeded the mascots based on the amount of sports teams they had. That is why we ended up as a 15 seed, and Cortland is number 1,” said Daniel H. Bronson, SUNY Potsdam sports information director.

The SUNY system has set up a website where people can vote for their favorite mascots, which have been arranged in a bracket similar to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Each week, mascots will be paired up and will advance until there are only two left.

“It has been a lot of fun so far. It has been fun to promote our mascot and see how everyone else is promoting their mascot,” SUNY Canton Athletic Director Randy B. Sieminski said. “I’ve been more surprised at how many people have really voted. We’re up over 2,000 votes. We’re pleased with that. We have the most votes out of anybody in the contest so far.”

SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam are on opposite sides of the bracket, meaning they won’t meet each other unless both make it to the final.

“We’re both trying to do the same thing. I think it is a great chance to further our rivalry,” Mr. Bronson said. “We’re in the process of building our programs. It would be great for both north country schools to match up against each other.”

The campuses are using a social media campaign to entice votes for Rudy and Max.

“It is a good way to grow our social media and our Twitter,” Mr. Sieminski said. “We’ve been pushing out to vote for our mascot through both those outlets and encouraged people to like our Facebook page.”

Round 1, which pits Rudy Roo against Alfred State’s Orvis the Pioneer and Max C. Bear against Morrisville’s Mustang, ends today. Currently, Rudy is winning his pairing by a wide margin, while Max is trailing slightly.

To view the bracket and to cast a vote, visit http://blog.suny.edu/2013/03/suny-mascot-madness-round-1.

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