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5 Reasons Why Michigan Will Win the 2014 NCAA Tournament

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5 Reasons Why Michigan Will Win the 2014 NCAA Tournament

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After losing in the final game of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the Michigan Wolverines are ready for another March Madness tournament in 2014. After returning a ton of key players, there are plenty of reasons to believe they could get back in the big game.

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5. National Championship Experience

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

5. National Championship Experience

john beilein
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Although they ultimately lost to the Louisville Cardinals in 2013, John Beilein and this Michigan team have already been to the big game. The Wolverines returned key starters from last year’s National Championship game, and there is no reason why they can’t get back their again at the end of the tournament. Mitch McGary has also said he will be available if Michigan makes it to Dallas.

4. Free-Throw Shooting

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

4. Free-Throw Shooting

glenn robinson iii
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

As a team in 2014, Michigan shot .757 from the charity stripe. That number is good enough for 13th in all of college basketball. When games are coming down to the wire and free throws are must-makes, Michigan will have the advantage. Hitting free throws is a terrific formula for winning games in the tournament, and this is something the Wolverines do well.

3. The Emergence Of Zak Irvin

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Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

3. The Emergence Of Zak Irvin

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Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

In the past month or so, Zak Irvin has been a pleasant surprise for Michigan fans. At 6-foot-6, 200-pounds, Irvin has a nice body to go along with his ball-handling ability. With his length, Irvin will make a name for himself this March. He has also shown the ability to play really well off of Stauskas.

2. Three-Point Shooting

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

2. Three-Point Shooting

spike albrecht
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

In this past college basketball season, the Wolverines shot .398 from beyond the arc. That number was good enough for 7th in all of college basketball. Michigan is a guard-heavy team, and they will need to make a ton of deep balls to stay in games. Michigan does not get a lot of scoring from inside the paint. This means that the Wolverines will need to be hot from deep to compete in games in the next few days.

1. Nik Stauskas

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

1. Nik Stauskas

nik stauskas
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Nik Stauskas has blossomed in front of our eyes this past season as the starting point guard for the Wolverines. In 2013, Stauskas was a three-point specialist who excelled next to Trey Burke. Many thought it would be Mitch McGary who would lead this team in 2014, but Stauskas has been the primary weapon of this Michigan team. When he gets hot from deep, it will be hard to stop him in the NCAA Tournament.