FLORENCE, Ky. -- It's time for the inaugural River States Conference Mascot Challenge! The RSC has been awarded two qualifying bids to the "NAIA Mascot Challenge," a national bracket where NAIA schools have their mascots face off to determine a national champion of mascots.

The NAIA Mascot Challenge will be conducted alongside the NAIA basketball national tournaments in March. Since the RSC is a member of NAIA Division II for basketball, the RSC Mascot Challenge national qualifiers will be seeded into the 32-team NAIA Division II mascot bracket. 

But first, we must crown the two schools who will represent the River States Conference at nationals. The RSC Mascot Challenge will be conducted on social media from Feb. 10-18. With your help, your school's mascot can advance through the conference bracket and on to nationals!

Here's how it will work: The RSC Mascot Challenge will begin Friday, Feb. 10 at 12 p.m. ET with all 13 RSC mascots. The first round of the competition will be held on the RSC Facebook page (Facebook.com/RiverStatesConference) with the top eight schools with the most "likes" moving on to the tournament round of eight institutions. Helpful tip: Liking a "shared" post will not count as a like toward the contest. Be sure to "like" the original posting on the RSC Facebook page for your vote to count.

The second round will begin Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 12 p.m. ET with a showdown conducted on the RSC Twitter page (@RiverStatesConf). The eight schools advancing out of the first round will be seeded according to their Facebook likes and be matched up in a bracket round as follows: 1 vs. 8; 4 vs. 5; 3 vs. 6; and 2 vs. 7.

The final round will begin Friday, Feb. 17 at 12 p.m. ET with another Twitter contest @RiverStatesConf. The second-round winners who advanced in the bracket will square with hopes of qualifying for the national challenge. The two winners in this round will be the RSC's national qualifiers, and the school that received the most votes in their final-round matchup will be declared the RSC Mascot Challenge champion and receive our top seed at NAIAs.

RSC MASCOT CHALLENGE -- FEB. 10-18, 2017 (ALL TIMES EASTERN)

First Round -- FACEBOOK VOTING
Fri., Feb. 10 at 12 p.m. -- Facebook voting opens (Top 8 advance) --  VOTE
Sat., Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. -- Facebook voting ends.

Second Round -- TWITTER VOTING
Tue., Feb. 14 at 12 p.m. -- Twitter voting opens (1 vs. 8; 4 vs. 5; 3 vs. 6; 2 vs. 7) --  VOTE
Wed., Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. -- Twitter voting ends

Final Round -- TWITTER VOTING
Fri., Feb. 17 at 12 p.m. -- Twitter voting opens (Second Round Winners) -- VOTE
Sat., Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. -- Twitter voting ends 

The two final-round winners will advance to the NAIA Mascot Challenge bracket in March. The school with the most votes in the finals will be the overall RSC Mascot Challenge champion.