Photo: Jaron Lane celebrates after UNCA Men’s Basketball’s big win over Coastal Carolina that put them into the Big South Conference regular season lead.
If you follow #Asheville on any form of social media, you’ve probably read about this “NCAA 6th Fan” competition. So what is this competition that has clogged your news feeds since January? “6th Fan” – a play on the “6th Man” title given either to the best reserve player off the bench or a team’s fans – is a contest between all Division I member institutions in which both schools and individual fans can win cash and prizes. Set up like a typical bracket, all member schools competed for a month for the top 16 spots because all Sweet Sixteen entrees receive sweet, sweet $10,000 scholarships each.
Last week, after feverish Facebook, Twitter, and online voting, UNC Asheville succeeded in landing a spot amid the top 16, garnering a $10,000 scholarship to be dispersed to random students (in the university’s own reward competition.)
But, just as Sweet Sixteen competitors still have 4 more games to win it all, UNCA has to make it through 4 more voting rounds to win the ultimate prize – $100,000 in scholarships. That’s where you, Asheville’s loving community, can help! With only 25 hours to go, Asheville is tied with round adversary Bryant University. Every single vote counts, so for UNCA to move on, we need to take to the Twitter-verse, the Facebook-osphere, and the world wide web (sorry, I ran out of creativity for that one.) Simply use the hashtags #UNCA #6thFan together for every Facebook or Twitter post, or vote for UNCA at 6thfan.ncaa.com. There is no limit on the number of votes per day, so vote your fingerprints off!
But wait, “what’s in it for me?” On top of awarding scholarships, the 6th Fan contest also gives away an iPad Air for each round, and all entrees are submitted to the final drawing for an all expenses paid trip to the 2015 Final Four in Indianapolis. So, let’s bring the “madness” to February and push UNCA in the Elite Eight!
-Adrian Etheridge, UNCA Cross Country and Track runner, photographer