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NCAA Basketball March MadnessTennessee Volunteers

5 Reasons Why Tennessee Basketball Will Win the 2014 NCAA Tournament

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5 Reasons Why Tennessee Will Win the 2014 NCAA Tournament

Tennessee Basketball
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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.

5. Ability to Shutdown Top Players

Tennessee Vols Basketball
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

5. Ability to Shutdown Top Players

Tennessee Vols Basketball
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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.

4. Chip on Shoulder

Jarnell Stokes Dunk
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

4. Chip on Shoulder

Jarnell Stokes Dunk
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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.

3. Jordan McRae and Jarnell Stokes

Jordan McRae
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

3. Jordan McRae and Jarnell Stokes

Jordan McRae
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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.

2. Strength of Schedule

Cuonzo Martin Tennessee
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

2. Strength of Schedule

Cuonzo Martin Tennessee
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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.

1. Hot Streak

Jordan McRae Tennessee
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

1. Hot Streak

Jordan McRae Tennessee
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

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.