By Taylor Sturm @TSturmRS on March 17, 2014
Mark my words, the No. 11-seeded Tennessee Volunteers are going to be the 2014 NCAA tournament’s Cinderella team despite being in a play-in game. They've only lost one game all season long by double-digits, and are actually in a favorable position to advance to the round of 32. However, do they have what it takes to win it all? Here are five reasons why the Vols can win the Big Dance.
Chris Denson and Jabari Brown led the SEC in scoring this season. In Tennessee’s last few games of regular season play, the Vols held both of those players to just 2-of-20 from the field. The Vols' defense is fantastic.
After being cheated in the SEC tournament semifinal, they received a very disappointing tournament seed. There’s nothing more dangerous than a team that the Selection Committee wronged. Tennessee deserved to make the tournament without playing in the play-in game, but will use that anger to drive them deep into the Big Dance.
Stokes is an elite college basketball player. He gets double-doubles almost every game. However, sometimes when the Vols are down, he seems to get lazy; that’s where McRae steps in. McRae is the type of player who can change the momentum in the game with a block, a clutch three or a SportsCenter-caliber dunk.
Tennessee has played some good teams this season, and, if you take away those two losses to the Texas A&M Aggies on last second game winners by Antwan Space, then the Vols haven't really lost to any bad teams. Their schedule has prepared them for a tough 2014 NCAA tournament slate.
Tennessee may have lost to the No. 1 Florida Gators in the semifinal of the SEC tournament in part due to bad refereeing, but before that, the Vols defeated their last five opponents by an average of over 20 points.
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