The comic strip “B.C.” debuted in 1958, a full seven years before the birth of the UC Irvine basketball program.
When students chose the Anteaters as the school’s nickname, it was based on the creature from the comic strip. In the cartoon, “Zot” was used to whenever the anteater’s long tongue attacked an ant.
A 2011 story on the UC Irvine website about the history of the mascot says students drew an anteater that resembled the playboy bunny, but also wrote to B.C. artist Johnny Hart asking if they could mimic his anteater and “Zot!” In a special election, students opted for a mascot based on the B.C. anteater over the Playboy version.
Thus, Peter the Anteater officially became the school’s mascot.
Even the school’s chancellor in 1965 was yelling “Zot!” at sporting events, and UC Irvine uses ZotMail, ZotZine, Zot!Wire and Zot-n-Go. On Twitter, the hashtag #Zot is preferred by Anteaters fans.
Here is the anteater from “B.C.” and his trademark “Zot:”