No. 16 seed WKU erases No. 6 seed Oklahoma in Sirius XM’s Mascot Bracket, advances to national championship against fellow No. 16 seed BYU

Big Red poses with the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl Trophy after the inaugural bowl game in Nassau on Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014.

Nick Kieser

After beginning the postseason as a notable snub in the Sirius XM Mascot Bracket, 16th-seeded Big Red has pulled off an unprecedented 6-0 Cinderella run in postseason play, one that has been matched only by its impending opposition in the national title contest — fellow No. 16 seed Brigham Young University.

No. 16 seed WKU and Big Red knocked off No. 6 seed Oklahoma and the Sooner Schooner in the Sirius XM Mascot Bracket on Tuesday, which means the Hilltoppers have advanced beyond their fifth-round matchup and are heading onward and upward to the national championship round of voting.

As voting ended at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, the big-mouthed red blob had tallied 61.7% of the votes, while the Sooner Schooner — sometimes represented by costumed mascots Boomer and Sooner — got 38.3%. In total, 25,154 votes were cast for the lopsided matchup in the Final Four round.

{{tncms-inline account=”College Sports on SiriusXM” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/OEuh1AhpPL">pic.twitter.com/OEuh1AhpPL</a></p>— College Sports on SiriusXM (@SXMCollege) <a href="https://twitter.com/SXMCollege/status/1249729120944238594?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 13, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/SXMCollege/status/1249729120944238594″ type=”twitter”}}

WKU supporters continued to rally behind their beloved Big Red, as Bob Skipper, director of media relations for WKU, sent out a mass email Monday encouraging students, faculty, and staff to vote.

Meanwhile, the verified WKU Twitter account, WKU athletic director Todd Stewart, Conference USA and many other members of Hilltopper Nation encouraged their Twitter followers to support Big Red.

The Hilltoppers have now defeated six consecutive Power 5 opponents, previously knocking off SEC members Ole Miss, LSU, Auburn and Tennessee and ACC member Georgia Tech before this triumph.

{{tncms-inline account=”Big Red” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Started from the bottom now I’m here… in the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!! 😤<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoTops?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoTops</a> <a href="https://t.co/weQd8iogQz">pic.twitter.com/weQd8iogQz</a></p>— Big Red (@WKUBigRed) <a href="https://twitter.com/WKUBigRed/status/1250276201484042242?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 15, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/WKUBigRed/status/1250276201484042242″ type=”twitter”}}

Big Red will now meet No. 16 seed Cosmo the Cougar, which represents BYU’s athletic teams, in the national championship round. BYU earned the right to face the Hilltoppers by defeating No. 3 seed Wisconsin in another high-stakes Final Four matchup on Tuesday.

The Cougars edged out the Badgers 53.8% to 46.2% in a hotly contested poll that saw several lead changes and a whopping 63,640 votes cast over the course of two days.

{{tncms-inline account=”College Sports on SiriusXM” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/a1XQ45yy0b">pic.twitter.com/a1XQ45yy0b</a></p>— College Sports on SiriusXM (@SXMCollege) <a href="https://twitter.com/SXMCollege/status/1249729176841715712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 13, 2020</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/SXMCollege/status/1249729176841715712″ type=”twitter”}}

Like WKU, BYU was also left out of the original bracket, had to qualify via play-in game and has since defeated six schools en route to the national championship round of the Mascot Bracket.

Prior to Wisconsin, the Cougars defeated Boston College’s Baldwin the Eagle, Duke’s Blue Devil, Maryland’s Testudo, Michigan State’s Sparty and Penn State’s Nittany Lion in the first five rounds.

Based on the Final Four schedule, voting for the national championship round of the Sirius XM Mascot Bracket will begin at 11 a.m. on Wednesday and last until Thursday night. With just one more upset victory, Big Red would claim the Sirius XM Mascot Bracket national championship.

Reporter Nick Kieser can be reached at [email protected] Follow Nick on Twitter at @KieserNick.