5 Reasons Why Texas Will Win The 2014 NCAA Tournament

5 Reasons Why Texas Will Win the 2014 NCAA Championship

Texas Longhorns
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Not too long ago, Rick Barnes was on the hot seat as his Texas Longhorns were thought to have a miserable season. The team that many believed would finish near the bottom of the Big 12 and fall short of the NCAA tournament now hold the No. 7 seed in the Midwest Region and kick off their pursuit of the 2014 national championship on Thursday against No. 10 Arizona State. Here are five reasons why Texas will cut the nets in Dallas.

5. Size in the Post

Size in Post
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

5. Size in the Post

Size in Post
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The Longhorns' most apparent advantage this season has been their overwhelming size in the paint. Between Cameron Ridley, Jonathan Holmes, Prince Ibeh and Connor Lammert, Texas has a distinct size advantage. This bodes well for the Horns and their hopes of a deep tournament run.

4. Defense

Defense
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

4. Defense

Defense
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Going hand-in-hand with Texas’ size is their defense. With the size of the Longhorns' frontcourt, even great teams will struggle to have much success in the paint, as seen with their regular season matchups against North Carolina, Kansas and Baylor. Isaiah Taylor, Javan Felix and Demarcus Holland have held their own on the perimeter as well, which takes pressure off of the Texas frontcourt.

3. Guard Play

Guard Play
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

3. Guard Play

Guard Play
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Texas found a diamond in the rough this season in PG Isaiah Taylor, who has become one of college basketball’s top young guards. Factor in Javan Felix’ scoring ability and the supporting cast of Demarcus Holland, Kendal Yancy, Martez Walker and Damarcus Croaker, and you have the potential to match any backcourt in the country.

2. Battle-Tested

Battle-tested
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

2. Battle-Tested

Battle-tested
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Texas maneuvered through their schedule well considering the depth of the Big 12 Conference. With the experience of playing and beating Kansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Kansas State, the Horns have already proven they can take down some of the NCAA tournament’s hottest teams.

1. Can be Streaky

Streaky
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

1. Can be Streaky

Streaky-Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

For those who don’t remember, Texas went on a streak in January and February in which they won eight straight and nine out of 10 games -- four of which were against Iowa State, Kansas State, Baylor and Kansas, who were all ranked at the time. March Madness is where the hottest teams can find themselves advancing, and another streak against premier talent will see the once-underestimated Longhorns hanging a national championship banner.

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