SEC Tournament Quarterfinal
(2) No. 12 Arkansas (21-5, 13-4) vs. (7) Missouri (16-8, 8-8)
- Time: 4PM PST | 6PM CST | 7PM EST
- Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
- TV: SEC Network
It’s been a season of transformation for the Arkansas Razorbacks as coach Eric Musselman’s team has won 11 in a row in the SEC and 11 of their last 12 and the Razorbacks have been playing the best basketball in the SEC over the last month. The Hogs proved this when they rolled to an 81-66 win over Alabama on Feb. 24.
Missouri should now be solidly in the NCAA Tournament after the Tigers’ 73-70 win over Georgia in Round 1 of the SEC Tournament on Thursday evening. The Tigers are 3-3 over their last six games and have lost five of their last eight.
The Razorbacks have gone to the semifinals of three of the last five SEC Tournaments and sport an even 27-27 record in their SEC Tournament matchups. Missouri has never gotten past the quarterfinals in the SEC Tournament since it joined the league for the 2012-13 season.
Arkansas’ Moses Moody was named all-SEC, SEC Freshman of the Year, and SEC Newcomer of the Year.
Missouri’s Dru Smith was honored with all-SEC first-team and the SEC’s all-Defensive team while Jeremiah Tilmon, Jr., was all-SEC second team.
The two teams split their meeting this season as the Tigers won at Arkansas, 81-68, while the The Razorbacks returned the favor with an 86-81 overtime win in Columbia.
Vs. The Spread
- The Tigers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games
- Mizzou is 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games
- The total has gone OVER in 10 of the last 14 games when the Tigers have been the underdog
- The Razorbacks are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of the last 5 games between the Razorbacks and Tigers
- The Hogs are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games when playing as the favorite
Last Time Out
Missouri held off a late Georgia rally as the Tigers took a 73-70 win over the Bulldogs in Round 1 of the SEC Tournament. Toumani Camara capped a 9-0 Georgia run with a layup with 3:09 to cut a 10-point Missouri lead to 66-65, but Xavier Pinson and Dru Smith combined for seven free throws in the last two minutes to preserve the Tigers’ win. Pinson led four Tigers in double figures with 17 points.
Moses Moody scored 28 points and Jalen Tate added 22 as Arkansas ran past Texas A&M, 87-80, last Saturday. The Razorbacks’ defense took over down the stretch as Arkansas forced 11 second half turnovers which yielded nine points.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Missouri||+5.5 (-113)||+190||O 149 (-110)|
|Arkansas||-5.5 (-107)||-220||U 149 (-110)|
The Tigers want to assert the physicality of Jeremiah Tilmon (12.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg) in the paint where he shoots 62.3 percent from the floor and is the Tigers’ leading rebounder. Arkansas has the shot-blocking prowess of Connor Vanover and the physicality of power forward Justin Smith inside. Vanover’s length at 7-3 can negate some of the physical prowess. Dru Smith (14.2 ppg) and Xavier Pinson (14.1 ppg) need to be productive in scoring in the backcourt as Arkansas’ Jalen Tate, JD Notae, and Devonte Davis spearhead an attack that forces 15 turnovers and picks up 8.2 steals per night.
Key Tigers Stat:
The Tigers are 7-1 in games decided by five or fewer points this season as they also won six true road games this season. Much of that is key to an experienced roster that has imperial focus and efficiency in converting in the clutch.
Kobe Brown has stepped up in the paint beside of Tilmon and is a key figure on the game plans as opposing coaches prepare for Missouri. Brown was a central figure in the Tigers’ win over Georgia on Thursday night as he had 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes. Over the last eight games coming into Tuesday night, Brown was averaging 10.8 points and 6.5 rebounds and shot 51.5 percent from the floor.
The athleticism and scoring ability of Moses Moody (17.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg) will be an issue for the Tigers much in the same way it is has been for everyone this season. Moody can be a the forefront defensively as well as the Razorbacks are going to try to speed the Tigers’ offense up and force turnovers. Coach Eric Musselman has surrounded Moody with an athletic presence that includes the scoring and playmaking of point guard JD Notae and the inside presence of Justin Smith who makes 50.7 percent of his shots. Jalen Tate (10.9 ppg, 4.1 apg) is also capable of putting up points as well as providing solid defense as he is second on the squad with 32 steals.
Key Razorbacks Stat:
Arkansas usually controls the specialty stats and the last five or so games as highlighted this as the Hogs have scored 86 points off turnovers in it’s last five games and the Hogs had a three game stretch of 98 points off the bench before scoring nine in that win over Texas A&M.
Justin Smith (12.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg) is an underrated part of the Hogs’ attack as he is a matchup issue inside with his athletic 6-7 frame. In addition to the high field goal percentage that we mentioned, he leads the Razorbacks and rebounding and is the third leading scorer. He has averaged 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in his last three games.
Winner: Arkansas (-5.5) 78, Missouri 72