Most Searched Mascots In North Carolina

Most Searched Mascots In North Carolina
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

Although they don’t play on the field or court, mascots serve an important role for the sports teams they represent. The costumed performers take on different jobs depending on the school or pro team they represent. 

Sometimes, the mascot may perform stunts with the cheerleaders. Other times, they may walk among the crowd, providing some comic relief to take the fans’ minds off the game their team is losing. Mascots will also try to jinx the opposition, trying their best to get the other team to miss a key free throw or field goal.

While they may end up with a SportsCenter highlight or two of their own, mascots often are stuck on the sidelines and away from the main action. That all changes, though, for one day next week.

Next Monday is National Mascot Day, and in honor of the occasion, we wanted to know who North Carolina’s favorites were. To do that, BetCarolina briefly paused North Carolina sports betting updates and used data from Google Trends to examine the search volume for the term “mascot” over the past 12 months. We’ve ranked the most popular mascot searches below.

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Most Searched Mascots In The Tar Heel State



Search Interest (vs. Other Topics in Past 12 Months)

Rameses and RJ (Rams)

North Carolina Tar Heels


Mr. and Mrs. Wuf (Wolves)

North Carolina State Wolfpack


Blue Devil

Duke Blue Devils


Big Al (Elephant)

Alabama Crimson Tide


Stormy (Ice Hog)

Carolina Hurricanes


It’s no surprise that North Carolina’s most popular mascots all hail from the state’s most popular universities and most popular to bet on in North Carolina sports betting apps. While the state is home to MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL and NWSL franchises, the state is still considered by many to be a haven for college sports.

This year happens to be the 100th anniversary of the Tar Heels unveiling Rameses to the world. According to the UNC Museum’s website, a cheerleader felt the school needed an animal mascot to match up with the wolf for NC State and the bulldog for Georgia. 

Vic Huggins, the cheerleader, spent $25 in school funds to order a ram from a Texas farm. The goat was picked in honor of the team’s fullback Jack Merritt, whose nickname was the “Battering Ram,” and thus given the name Rameses. He made his on-field debut on Nov. 8, 1924, helping the Tar Heels beat VMI.

A costumed version of Ramses was first unveiled before the 1987-88 college basketball season, and with his debut, North Carolina became the last ACC school to have a costumed mascot. RJ, which is short for Rameses Jr., was unveiled in 2015.

Not All Mascots Were Popular At First

N.C. State became known as the Wolfpack in the early 1920s, thanks to a former student who was not happy with the school’s football team, who they claimed were “as unruly as pack of wolves,” according to the school. It would become the official nickname in 1947.

A few years later, the school introduced a male costumed wolf mascot, and in 1975, when women’s sports were recognized at the school, N.C. State introduced a female wolf mascot.

Duke’s mascot predates the current name of the school and is not a religious reference. In the years after World War I, when it was still known as Trinity College, students began using the nickname that was tied to French soldiers who were called “les Diables Blues.” While it was not necessarily a popular suggestion, according to the school’s website, the nickname stuck.

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UNC, State Omaha Bound

You might get a couple of chances to see Rameses and RJ and Mr. and Mrs. Wuf in action when UNC and State head to Omaha and plays in the College World Series. This year marks the Tar Heels’ 12th appearance in the NCAA baseball finals. UNC is seeking its first title, having lost in the championship series in 2006 and 2007. It’s the fourth trip for the Wolfpack, and first since 2021. That year, N.C. State had its title hopes dashed as an outbreak of COVID-19 within the team forced it to forfeit and withdraw one game shy of the championship series.

Oddsmakers at Caesars North Carolina Sportsbook have the Tar Heels as their fourth choice in the field of eight. Carolina’s available at +700. Tennessee is the favorite at +250, with Texas A&M at +280 and second-seed Kentucky at +500. N.C. State’s odds are +1100.



Steve Bittenbender
Sports Betting Expert & Insider

As a writer and analyst for, Steve not only covers gaming news and developments in North Carolina but also provides insights into what they mean for bettors, licensed operators and the state. A veteran journalist with 25 years of experience covering sports, politics and business, Steve has reported on the gambling industry intently over the past five years.

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