There’s a time-honored tradition in sports media that involves filling out brackets and making predictions for the NCAA tournament. It’s also a famously inexact science.
USF competes in NCAA Division I, and is a charter member of the West Coast Conference. Its rivalries include Santa Clara University and Saint Mary’s College of California.
Anteaters are a unique mascot among NCAA Division I schools. They are also the only college mascot with an anteater as its official symbol. The university’s ant-loving mammal mascot is named Peter the Anteater, and he’s got quite a following.
The UC Irvine Anteaters basketball team has made it to the NCAA tournament in every season since they started playing in 1960, winning three national championships along the way. The team plays its home games in the Bren Events Center, a state-of-the-art venue located on campus that can hold up to 60,000 people.
According to UC Irvine, the Anteaters’ nickname was proposed by two water polo players, Pat Glasgow and Bob Ernst. They reportedly liked the character of an anteater from a comic book called “B.C.” and voted for it to be their mascot.
In 1965, a student-run campaign resulted in the Anteaters becoming UC Irvine’s official mascot. Students voted 56 percent in favor of the anteater, and it became UCI’s official logo.
It was a whimsy, but one that reflected the social climate of the campus in the 1960s. The mascot was chosen over traditional options such as the sea lion, banana slug and unicorn, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Banana Slugs
The Banana Slugs, or UCSC Banana Slugs as they’re known in campus lingo, are the mascot of UC Santa Cruz, a university that’s known for its stunning backdrop and laid-back atmosphere. A bright yellow slug, indigenous to the redwood forest that surrounds the university, was adopted as the school’s unofficial mascot in the 1970s and soon morphed into a beloved mascot.
The slug first earned its official designation in 1986, when students voted overwhelmingly to adopt it as the school’s mascot. The school’s chancellor fought the vote, but ultimately gave in due to student consensus. The slug was chosen for its mellowness and as an alternative to the muscled gladiators that were the school’s original choice.
In 1980, when UCSC joined NCAA Division III in five sports, the school’s chancellor tried to change the mascot to something more dignified and suitable for serious play. He favored the sea lion, which would be more “legitimate” than the slug.
But the slug won out when students began to cheer it on at all UCSC athletic events. Even when a regal sea lion was painted on the basketball court, students continued to support the slug.
Eventually the slug became the official mascot, and it’s been used ever since. The slug is now the logo for UCSC’s Department of Recreation and has appeared on countless T-shirts, hats, and other merchandise.
A slug is a large, yellow mollusk found in many different regions of the United States and Canada. It has a unique respiratory opening called a pneumostome, which allows it to breathe underwater.
The Don is the name of the mascot of the University of San Francisco. This small but mighty school of about 50,000 students competes in the NCAA Division I and is a charter member of the West Coast Conference (WCC). It is also home to the oldest basketball program in the Bay Area. The Dons have won three national titles, but they are best known for their defense of their home court.
The mascot is a metallic masked man with sword in hand. It is displayed in the form of a large box that sits proudly atop War Memorial Gym, the home of the Dons. It is also a magnet for students and faculty alike who appreciate its size and design.
The Don has been a staple in USF athletics since 1855. It is the mascot of choice among alumni and fans alike. The team is a perennial powerhouse and the Dons have made a few memorable runs in recent years including a trip to the NBA playoffs and an appearance in the NCAA tournament. There are many reasons to root for the Dons, but the best way to do so is by cheering on their student athletes, both on and off the court.
The Sea Lions
One of the most beloved mascots in San Francisco basketball is the Sea Lions. Not only are they a fun sight to see at Pier 39, but they also serve as a reminder of the importance of protecting the ocean home that we all share together.
The Sea Lions first began showing up on PIER 39’s K-Dock after the Loma Prieta earthquake hit the Bay Area in 1989. While some local residents and business owners were initially unhappy with the boisterous pinnipeds, they quickly learned to love these jovial creatures.
Since then, the Sea Lions have occupied their own little corner of the wharf, serving as a constant reminder to keep our world safe and beautiful. They are also a popular attraction for tourists to visit during their trip to San Francisco.
For a while, the Sea Lions were known as a “Pier 39 Pet.” But when they got to be too noisy and started making too much of a mess around the dock, it was decided that the animals would stay where they are. The sea lions are known to be very social, so they often stick around for quite a while.
If you are looking for a fun day out in San Francisco, check out the USF basketball game at Oracle Park. The proceeds from the game benefit the Dante Benedetti Foundation, which helps under-privileged youth in San Francisco learn to play sports and get a great education.