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Like an army, a basketball team can only succeed if it strikes fear into the hearts of its enemies. (Also, like Batman.) This can be accomplished with raw talent and on-the-court dominance, but an intimidating mascot goes a long way. Guyspeed takes a stunningly in-depth, two-part look at "FARM," a.k.a. "Ferocity Above Replacement Mascot":
No. 5 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. No. 12 Oregon Ducks
Even though they won the Pac-12 tournament, not everything is ducky for Oregon. The 12 seed not only represents a travesty in seeding in reality, but a difficult matchup with a gun-toting, mustachioed cowboy in Oklahoma State. Man with gun defeats bird every single time. Advantage: Cowboys.
No. 6 Memphis Tigers vs. No. 11 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders
We love the flying horse of the Blue Raiders. Really, we do. But the horse has to come down sometime, right? And when it does, the tiger (crouching, perhaps) will be waiting for him. Tigers have a very high FARM. Game over, flying horse. Advantage: Tigers.
No. 2 Duke Blue Devils vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State Cowboys
It all comes down to this--which group of men with guns do you think have a higher FARM? A gun-toting cowboy with a mustache or a group of French military men known for "their distinctive blue uniform with flowing cape and jaunty beret"? Against an animal, the French military men win. But against Pistol Pete? No contest.