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What IS a Billiken anyway?

Billiken

The day after Valentine’s Day Virginia Commonwealth University fans had their hearts broken as the St. Louis University Billikens topped the Rams 64-62 in Saint Louis.

Both are Atlantic 10 teams likely to head to the Brooklyn tournament, and their match up is always exciting. Which is good because the Billikens will be headed to Rams territory on March 1.

434px-Slu_billiken

Pic via KC College Gameday

So while you’re rooting for the Rams to pull off this game, you might find yourself asking “What is a Billiken?”

Well friends, it’s essentially a symbol of good luck. It’s a global thing too, not just college mascot.  Though they look a little different in each version, Billikens possess cheery personalities, broad smiles and rotund bellies reminiscent of Buddha.

From Alaska to Japan to Chicago, the Billiken statues and carvings show up as good luck charms.

SLU is the only university to claim the Billiken as its mascot. And the college website claims that the mascot, first drawn in the early 1900s, is now tied to the University’s Jesuit mission.

So maybe bring your rabbit’s foot to the games, and definitely don the Ram’s black and gold for extra measure on Saturday. Because when it comes down to it, what you most need to know is that they are excellent adversaries, that VCU always keeps up with, despite the Billiken’s 25-2 record.

The game is at 7 p.m. EST, and will air on ESPN.

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