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A Popular Mascot Has Been Banned From The NCAA Tournament Arena

A photo of a basketball ahead of a game between Oregon and Louisville.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Butler, a No. 10 seed in the East Region, is set to begin its NCAA Tournament run on Friday. The Bulldogs are set to take on No. 7 seed Arkansas.

The program will be without its mascot at tipoff, though. He's not being allowed inside the arena.

Unfortunately, the NCAA has a rule that prohibits live mascots from entering the arena for NCAA Tournament games. So, Butler's bulldog, Blue, is going to have to wait outside (or somewhere else).

Butler announced the news on Twitter with some very sad photos.

"Unfortunately, due to NCAA rules, this is as close as I’ll get to the action this weekend. No matter, because I have plenty to keep me busy in the Detroit area. You can’t keep a good Dawg down," Butler wrote.

The rule makes sense (you don't want a live tiger or something inside a confined space like an arena) but what's the worst a chubby bulldog could do?

Barring a last-second change, Blue is going to have to watch his boys play on TV.

Tipoff is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. E.T. The game will be televised on truTV.

Butler is a 1.5-point favorite, despite being the lower seed.