NCAA Basketball March Madness

5 Reasons Why George Washington Will Win 2014 NCAA Tournament

George Washington Colonials: 5 Reasons Why They Will Win the 2014 NCAA Tournament

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On Sunday, the George Washington Colonials got word that they were one of the field of 68 in the NCAA tournament and as such, will start to prepare for their clash with Memphis on Friday. Picked by many to finish near the bottom of a very competitive Atlantic 10 conference, the Colonials have surprised many with their sudden rise from four games under .500 last season to top-30 RPI team this year. Here are the reasons why they could win it all.

5. Frontcourt Play

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Anthony Gruppuso- USA Today Sports

5. Frontcourt Play

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Anthony Gruppuso- USA Today Sports

One of the hallmarks of George Washington's success this season has been its dynamic and powerful frontcourt of Isaiah Armwood and Kevin Larsen. Both men are agile enough to create problems for opposing defenders from 15 feet in, but also possess the ability to crash the boards and body up bigger opponents. This frontcourt advantage could help GW against any smaller, less physical opponent.

4. Coaching

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Anthony Gruppuso- USA Today Sports

4. Coaching

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Anthony Gruppuso- USA Today Sports

Mike Lonergan, the former coach at the University of Vermont who replaced Karl Hobbs at George Washington in 2011, has turned a program that had fallen on hard times in recent years back into a team not to be taken lightly. Although Lonergan doesn't earn much of the national acclaim of some of his peers, he can scheme with the best of them as GW's remarkable turnaround this season attests to.

3. Well-Rounded Starting Five

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3. Well-Rounded Starting Five

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Whereas many teams in this year's tournament are heavily reliant on one or two players, the Colonials boast a starting five with each player capable of taking over a game if need be. Along with the frontcourt of Armwood and Larsen, the Colonials feature Patricio Garino, Maurice Creek and Joe McDonald to round out their starting five. At different times this season, each one of these players has been called on to be the key to a victory.

2. Underdog Mentality

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Anthony Gruppuso- USA Today Sports

2. Underdog Mentality

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Anthony Gruppuso- USA Today Sports

Last year, more than ever, the tournament was rife with upsets as top seed after top seed fell. The level of intimidation that the bigger programs used to prey on has dwindled with each passing year. With an "anything can happen" mentality, the Colonials could be this year's Wichita State, a No. 9 seed who made it to the Final Four last season.

1. Incredible Parity

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1. Incredible Parity

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As we've seen all season, there has been perhaps more parity this year than any in recent memory. Top teams went down routinely, some to smaller programs, including George Washington's signature win over Creighton on a neutral floor where the Colonials became the only team to hold Doug McDermott under 10 points. With such a small difference between seeds this season, it shouldn't surprise anyone if many of the lower seeds advance again.