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The Tourney's Most Embarrassing Mascots

The college mascot is the embodiment of all that a university stands for. It's a symbol of strength, of spirit, and, in many cases, of Third-World athletic department budgets. But, hey, that's the greatest strength of the Tourney, right? It's an open tent. Team No. 300 has the same shot at a championship as team No. 1. But in its willingness to invite the Martin Lawrences of college basketball alongside its Will Smiths, there's invariably going to be some hurtful laughter. Presenting Big Momma's Mascots 2008...

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The Stanford Tree
Seriously? A frigging tree? No wonder everybody hates the Ivy League.

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South Paw, the South Alabama Jaguar
Apparently, on the way to the tourney, the Jags decided to pick up a mascot at The Salvation Army.

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The Notre Dame Leprechaun
Unless you’re Leprechaun V: Leprechaun in the Hood, you’re not scaring anybody.

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The Austin Peay Governor
An Eliot Spitzer costume would’ve been more intimidating. 

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The Michigan State Spartan
We know Spartans are badass and they’re bloodthirsty murderers and all that. But this guy’s name is "Sparty," which sounds like the lovable neighbor from an '80s sitcom. And we’re pretty sure with that skirt on, half the television audience has now seen his taint.

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Purdue Pete
He looks like the seventh member of the Village People. Is that hard hat to protect him from all the raining men?

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The Oregon Duck
Call us prudes, but we like our cute and cuddly ducks with their pants on.