Butler mascots prepare to Dance

One of the biggest hits of the Final Four last year -- at least among those in the media workroom at Lucas Oil Stadium -- was Butler mascot Butler Blue II. When he wasn't courtside for Butler's magical tourney journey, Blue II was the center of attention in the media room. Being a dog person, I can't walk past a dog without at least saying hi, and Blue II was no different. Plus, he was wearing his own jersey sweater. Dogs in sweaters are hilarious.

The main key to Blue II's popularity, though, was Twitter, where his "account" -- run by Butler social media staffers from the school's athletics communications office -- amassed a large following in just a few short days. In a college hoops landscape littered with teams constantly vying for attention, Butler's communications department nailed it.

It's tourney time again, and Butler is back in the field; the No. 8-seeded Bulldogs will play Old Dominion in the first round in Washington, D.C. Friday. How is Blue II preparing? By training with fellow mascots "Hink" and Robot Ronald Nored in a viral video, of course (hat tip: Kyle Whelliston):

In case you're confused, Robot Ronald Nored -- his friends call him Ron5Robot -- is the homemade creation of Butler fans. Per the Indy Star's David Woods, Ron5Robot was created after Butler guard Ronald Nored, one of the stars of last year's tournament run, had metal rods surgically implanted in his legs. Since then, Ron5 has his own Twitter account, and he gets to rub elbows with the likes of Hink and Blue II.

Unfortunately, Blue II will not be making an appearance in D.C. this weekend. According to the canine himself, the NCAA told Blue II -- not directly, I assume -- that he wasn't allowed to attend the festivities this weekend. Early reports indicate that Blue II was momentarily bummed out, but his spirits soon recovered after someone scratched behind his ears. More on this breaking story as it develops.