Southpaw, the University of South Alabama’s Jaguar mascot, successfully zipped through the last of 6 voting rounds this week to win the “Best Mascot of the NCAA Tourney.”
Southpaw’s final opponent was Baylor’s mascot, Bruiser, but the Jaguar giant snared 51 percent of the vote, with more than 500,000 fans voting.
Earlier, Southpaw beat out mascots from Butler, Tennessee, St. Joseph’s, Arkansas and Villanova on his way to the top slot.
The NCAA mascot competition was the brainchild of “Redeye Chicago,” a hip Web site run by the “Chicago Tribune” that is aimed at young urban residents inside the city. Many of the Web site’s young readers are also NCAA basketball fans who love their college mascots almost as much as their favorite teams and players.
Voting for the mascots mimicked the NCAA bracket with mascots advancing through rounds like their basketball teams for the past month. With each win, Southpaw slowly, yet steadily, advanced by relying on thousands of votes from USA students, alumni and loyal fans.
To view Southpaw’s victory, go to http://redeyechicago.com/mascot or www.usajaguars.com.