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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bona Wolf Pack Reaches
Sweet 16 in National Contest

St. Bonaventure is back in the national basketball spotlight again.

The university has advanced to the Sweet 16 in the Naismith Awards Student Section of the Year contest, finishing fifth in the three weeks of fan voting that ended at midnight Wednesday, Feb. 6.

St. Bonaventure’s Wolf Pack cracked the top 25 on Jan. 28, and vaulted all the way to the top five in less than 10 days.

“People might be wondering how a school our size did this, but we’ve always known how passionate our students, alumni and fans are,” said Tom Missel, director of marketing and media relations. “Now, since the vote totals reset to zero for the next round, we need all of them to keep up the good work.”

New voting to cut from 16 schools to eight begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8, and continues through midnight, Feb. 22. Almost 160 Division I colleges participated in the first round of voting.

The schools who reach the final eight will then be evaluated by the Naismith Board over a two-week period using additional criteria, from coordinated attire and percentage of crowd made up by students, to photo and video submissions capturing the spirit of the student section.

The grand-prize winner, to be announced on March 8, will receive a $10,000 donation to the school’s general scholarship fund.

Voting is located on a dedicated Facebook page, but you don’t have to be Facebook member to vote.

Go to www.facebook.com/ilovecollegehoops and click on the “Student Section Vote” icon just under the thumbs-up “Like” button to register.

Votes can be submitted once per day, per email account. Click on the “Already Registered” link at the top each day you vote, and then type in your email address. That’s all that’s needed for a new vote to register.

Buttons for Facebook and Twitter users to share the voting page to their pages can help the pace of voting tremendously, Missel said.

“Our voting push through the university’s social media channels really helped drive us up the leaderboard,” Missel said. “Twice in the last three days, we had the second-most votes in the country.

“As the smallest school in the top 16 going up against schools like VCU, Kansas, Purdue and Indiana (the top four schools in the voting), anything we can do to make our voting more viral will help us reach the final eight.”

The Naismith Student Section of the Year Award — presented through a partnership of The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), an affiliate of IMG College; and the Atlanta Tipoff Club, administrators of the Naismith Awards — is dedicated to celebrating fans that love college hoops and provide support to their college basketball team with devotion and passion.

For more on St. Bonaventure athletics, visit www.gobonnies.com or download the university’s app at www.sbu.edu/app.

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