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ROC the Panther appears on ‘The Tonight Show’

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NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt mascot ROC the Panther seldom makes headlines despite spending most of his time in the spotlight at university events, but he stepped out of the shadow of the teams he supports on Monday for an appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

During Fallon’s opening monologue, Hashtag the Panda, a recurring character on the show that dances across the stage whenever a joke about a panda is told, dove into his usual schtick when Fallon brought up two baby pandas in Finland.

Fallon sent Hashtag away after explaining that he wasn’t actually trying to summon him. He then told a joke about a ram, which prompted the North Carolina Tar Heels mascot to dance onto the stage and get dismissed as well.

That went on, and eventually, Fallon started to tell a joke about the movie “Black Panther,” bringing out ROC, who was one of several mascots in New York City for the ACC tournament. The group also included the mascots for Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia.

The skit was just a quick plug for the tournament, which gets underway Tuesday. Pitt will face Notre Dame at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Day 1 of the tournament at 2 p.m. ET.