Stony Brook’s zany mascot, Wolfie Seawolf, has earned a spot in the finals of the SUNY Mascot Madness tournament after edging out a narrow victory over Binghamton University’s Baxter Bearcat in the competition’s semifinal round, Thursday, March 28. Wolfie, who garnered 52 percent of the online votes in his win over Baxter, will square off against Hugo Hawk, SUNY New Paltz’s mascot, in the championship round. Hugo won his semifinal matchup against another Long Island mascot, Farmingdale State College’s Rambo Ram.
Wolfie’s march to the finals is only the latest in a string of long runs by Stony Brook competitors. In the last calendar year alone, baseball reached the College World Series, football reached the second round of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Playoffs and men’s basketball won the America East Conference’s regular season championship. Unfortunately, none of these teams achieved ultimate glory. Baseball was blown out in both of its College World Series games, football lost in the second round of the FCS playoffs to Montana State and men’s basketball fell to Albany in the America East Tournament semifinals.
Wolfie, only the seventh seed in Mascot Madness, faced an uphill climb to reach the championship round in this NCAA-bracket style tournament, which began on Sunday March 3 with mascots representing 30 different schools from the SUNY system. In the opening round, Wolfie picked up a fairly easy victory over the Panther of Tompkins-Cortland, earning 62 percent of the vote. Wolfie also dominated his second round matchup, collecting 64 percent of the vote in a rout of the SUNYIT Wildcat, the eighteenth seed. The third round game against the tournament’s twentieth seed, the Morrisville Mustang, proved closer with Wolfie only collecting 57 percent of the vote. This triumph set up Wolfie’s slim upset victory over the third-seeded Baxter Bearcat.
Hugo Hawk’s margin of victory against Rambo Ram was even slimmer than that of Wolfie’s win over Baxter Bearcat; Hugo, the competition’s seventeenth seed, earned only 51 percent of the vote in his semifinal game. Prior to winning this nail-biter, Hugo defeated the Purchase Panther, the top-seeded Cortland Red Dragon and the Maritime Privateer in succession.
With Wolfie in the finals, a Stony Brook representative has another chance to reach the summit of a competition. Between noon on Friday, March 29 and noon on Thursday April 4, students and fans of both Stony Brook and New Paltz will cast online ballots for their respective mascots. These votes will determine whether Stony Brook will have SUNY’s top mascot or if it just has another solid competitor who couldn’t quite go the distance.