NCAA Tournament Predictions: Texas vs. Arizona State

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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We Predict the Field

Jonathan Holmes leads the young Longhorns. (AP Photo)
Jonathan Holmes leads the young Longhorns. (AP Photo)

Texas Longhorns (23-10, 11-7 Big 12)-This isn’t Rick Barnes’ most talented Texas team, but it may be his hardest-working. This is an incredibly young group, with no seniors on the roster. Leading scorer Jonathan Holmes (13.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg) is a junior, but he’s big-time player who has proven he can make big shots down the stretch in games. Look for him to take the last shot if it comes down to it.

Sophomore point guard Javan Felix (12.1 ppg,  is quick and a good decision-maker. Freshman guard Isaiah Taylor (12.3 ppg, 3.8 apg) has shown moments of brilliance as well, and his ability to take control of the offense has been Texas’ biggest key to success. 6-9 center Cameron Ridley (11.3 ppg) is capable of going off as well.

Texas has been inconsistent this year, but they’ve severely overachieved in a gauntlet of a league. The ‘Horns own wins over Iowa State, Kansas, Baylor and North Carolina. They have lost 5 of 8 heading into the Big Dance.

KEY STATS:

4th Rebounds per Game (41.8)

238th Field Goal Percentage (.431)

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Carson leads the Sun Devils (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin).
Carson leads the Sun Devils (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin).

10. Arizona State Sun Devils (21-11, 10-8 Pac-12)-The Sun Devils are led by NBA prospect Jahii Carson, a sophomore guard who averages 18.6 points per game. He’s only 5-10, but he’s got tremendous athleticism and scoring ability. Carson has already declared for the NBA Draft this June, so this will be his last go-around in Tempe.

6-4 senior guard Jermaine Marshall also averages in double figures in scoring at 15.4 points per game. The key for Texas in this game will be controlling the Sun Devils’ backcourt. If they can do that, they’ve got a great chance to win.

Arizona State has lost five of seven since a double-overtime win at home over Arizona. Their resume isn’t all that impressive when you consider that this team lost games to Miami, Oregon State, Utah and Washington.

KEY STATS:

72nd Points Per Game (75)

134th Field Goal Percentage (.450)

 

PREDICTION: Texas

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