The No. 7 seeded Texas Longhorns are one of the wild cards of the 2014 NCAA Tournament after an extremely impressive season in the Big 12. On top of beating the North Carolina Tar Heels in the non-conference portion of their schedule, Texas beat the Kansas Jayhwaks, Baylor Bears, Iowa State Cyclones and the Kansas State Wildcats in a four game back-to-back streak in late January.
Now, the Longhorns will attempt to hold off the upset-minded No. 10 seeded Arizona State Sun Devils in order to advance past the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament on March 20th in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Arizona State on the other hand, are lucky to be in the Big Dance. Their schedule and resume are unimpressive. However, with a huge win over the Arizona Wildcats in double overtime proved how good this team can be when they are focused. The Sun Devils are the clear underdog against Texas, but have everything it takes to pull off an opening round upset.
What to Watch For
Arizona State has a high-scoring offense, but Texas’ ability to rebound is outstanding. Cameron Ridley and Jonathan Holmes are two elite college basketball players, so Jahii Carson and Jermaine Marshall will have to make up for lack of rebounding ability by scoring 15+ points each. Expect a lot of shots, and the game to come down to offensive rebounding.
In all honesty, I don’t think the PAC-12 is as good as everyone thinks it is. Arizona State beat absolutely no one in non-conference play and tied with five other teams in the PAC-12 for third place. This game will be close, but expect the much more battle-hardened Longhorns to pull out the victory.
Texas 70, Arizona State 64