The Texas Longhorns enter the first round of the NCAA Tournament carrying a host of momentum behind them, following their first-ever Big 12 Tournament championship last weekend.
The Horns, who have now won five consecutive games, were awarded the three seed in the NCAA tournament's East Region as a result, potentially matching them up with the national powerhouse Michigan Wolverines in the Elite Eight on March 29-30
So what are the Longhorns' odds at reaching the Final Four, or perhaps even taking home the national title?
Not as poor as you might think...
The Longhorns currently sit with 5/1 odds (+500) in the region to reach the final grouping, just behind the top two seeds in the aforementioned Wolverines, and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
As far as the national title goes, however, the Longhorns also look to be in a good position, sitting tied with the Houston Cougars (No. 2 seed), West Virginia Mountaineers (No. 3 seed), and Florida State Seminoles (No. 4 seed) with 20/1 odds (+2000).
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The Wolverines, who currently stand in the Longhorns way in the East, sit with the third-best odds in the tournament to take home the title at 6/1 odds (+600), just behind the Baylor Bears at 5/1 (+500) and the top-overall seed Gonzaga Bulldogs at 2/1 odds (+200).
No matter what, it will be a difficult task for the Longhorns, as just four No. 3 seeds in the history of the NCAA tournament have emerged on top at the end, including the 2003 Carmelo Anthony-led Syracuse Orangemen, who defeated a No. 1-seeded Texas in the final four.
The other No.3s to win the title include the 2006 Florida Gators, the 2011 Connecticut Huskies, and the 1989 Michigan Wolverines.
The common thread between those four teams? A bonafide NBA star in the making in Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse), Kemba Walker (UCONN), Glen Rice (Michigan), and Al Horford (Florida) leading their respective teams to the promise land.
If Texas is going to match them, it seems that one of the NBA talents on Shaka Smarts roster is going to have to emerge. The only question is -- Which one?
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CONTINUE READING: Texas Longhorns Revealed As No. 3 NCAA Seed on Selection Sunday