NCAA Bracket 2011: Texas Could Be the Darkhorse out of the West Region
NCAA Bracket 2011 Could Have The Texas Longhorns Winning The West Region
On paper, the Texas Longhorns have the talent to play with anyone in the country. And they've proven at times that they can step up and play with the college basketball elite, lest we forget it was the Longhorns who went into Allen Fieldhouse and broke the Jayhawks' long home winning streak.
But they're also a young team with three potential first round picks in June's NBA Draft who can sometimes buy into their own hype sometimes and give uneven performances at times, lest we forget Kansas steamrolling the Longhorns in the Big 12 Championship Game.
"The Longhorns have Final Four talent and enough versatility to survive against different matchups," ESPN Bracketologist Charlie Creme wrote about the Longhorns in his scouting report. "The question is whether they have a Final Four personality. Late in the season Texas seemed to lack a killer instinct and didn't have the one player to step forward -- that will have to change if Texas is to play into April."
In terms of that, I completely agree. I don't think they're as guilty of that as Florida has been at times this season, especially since the Longhorns have some quality wins. But the Longhorns will have to show they have the mental resolve to be a Final Four team.
Still, I look at their roster and I see a team that can be a darkhorse to come out of the West Region. There's Tristan Thompson down low, who can absolutely jump out of the building and be a dynamic player. Then there's Jordan Hamilton, who's a lights-out shooter and a dynamic scorer.
Then there's the draw the Longhorns have. If they can get past Oakland, they then could have to deal with both Arizona and Duke. It's definitely not an easy draw by any sense of the imagination, but Arizona is not a great defensive team and the Longhorns have the athleticism and force to play with Duke and be physical with them.
I agree that it'll come down to mental toughness and whether the Longhorns can stay with it. But if they can do that, they can be a tough out and possibly a surprise coming out of the West.
For more March Madness: Bleacher Report's March Madness page, where you can find a printable bracket and a guest column by Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill
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