A lot of exciting things have been happening for the Binghamton Men's Basketball team. Earlier this week, they announced that the "interim" tag would be dropped for Levell Sanders and he would be the new permanent head coach.

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He signed a five-year deal that will run through the 2026-27 season. Coach Sanders has led the team to its most wins in over ten years and the Bearcats are getting prepared to play in the America East tournament on Sunday, March 6h.

Speaking of the Bearcats, I've often wondered what a Bearcat was and do any of them really live in New York. In 1999, Binghamton changed its name from Colonials to the Bearcats. In 2001, we found out that his name was "Baxter."

So why a Bearcat? Binghamton wanted a gender-neutral, powerful and dignified mascot. They ended up with the Bearcat name because it's a mythical animal that has the power and ferocity of a bear along with the cunning and quickness of a cat."

The word that stuck out to me was "mythical." Does that mean that there is no such thing as a Bearcat? There answer is: yes there is...kind of.

What Is A Bearcat?

What we call a Bearcat is known as a binturong (try spelling that three times without looking). The binturong is a native of South and Southeast Asia and is neither a bear or a cat.

Binghamton went by the name because of the power, ferocity, cunning and quickness of the Bearcat. In reality, the binturong (Bearcat) is a small, shy, bushy-tailed animal that smells like popcorn.

The Bearcat Smells Like Popcorn

Before you start to think, "Wait a minute, I love the smell of popcorn," you might want to know why it has that smell. It's because the bearcat urine has a compound that is also in popcorn.

After the bearcat pees, it stomps its feet in it and drags its tail around it too. That spreads out the scent and it gets stronger over time. Way to ruin the smell of popcorn for me, I hope that I can just unsmell it.

I think I'll stick with the mythical ferocious Binghamton Bearcat instead.

Take A Look At Binghamton University's Mascot Timeline

You know the Binghamton Bearcats, but they've only been the Bearcats for a relatively short period of the university's history. Take a look at the mascots the Southern Tier forgot about.

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