NCAA Tournament – Sweet 16 – South Regional
(3) Arkansas (24-6) vs. (15) Oral Roberts (18-10)
- Time: 4:25AM PST | 6:25PM CST | 7:25PM EST
- Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
- TV: TNT
The Razorbacks jump into the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996 as they run into a familiar face in ORU for the 14th meeting between the two schools. In fact, Arkansas dealt the Golden Eagles an 87-76 set back in December as the Razorbacks trailed, 40-30, at halftime before a 57-point second-half staked them to the win.
Justin Smith led the Razorbacks with 22 points and 17 rebounds as the Hogs outrebouded ORU, 58-32. Kevin Obanor had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Golden Eagles.
Arkansas has won 11 out of 12 and 14 out of 16 as the Razorbacks are one of the hottest teams in the nation. Last weekend, Arkansas won a 68-66 heart-stopper over talented Texas Tech to advance to the Final Four.
Oral Roberts is the definitive Cinderella as the Golden Eagles defeated Ohio State and Florida by three points each in overtime. ORU is only the second 15-seed to reach the Sweet 16.
Vs. The Spread
- The Razorbacks are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Arkansas’s last 5 games
- The Hogs are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games when playing as the favorite
- The Golden Eagles are 6-0 ATS in their last 6
- The total has gone over in 8 of ORU’s last 11 games
- ORU is 0-5 SU in it’s last 5 games vs. Arkansas
Last Time Out
After scoring 27 points and pulling down 12 rebounds in the Razorbacks’ 85-68 win over Colgate, Justin Smith scored 20 points to lead Arkansas to a heart-stopping 68-66 win over Texas Tech on Sunday. The Razorbacks led 56-43 within minutes remaining and had to hold off a final charge from the Red Raiders. Smith’s dunk with 2:47 remaining proved to e the difference as it gave the Hogs a 67-63 lead.
Kevin Obanor scored 28 points and Max Abmas added 26 as ORU took out Florida 81-78 in overtime in the Round of 32. The win followed a 75-72 victory over Ohio State on Friday. The Golden Eagles turned Florida over 20 times and that proved to be the difference as the Gators un with shot 55 percent and outrebounded ORU, 37-24.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Oral Roberts||+11 (-105)||+495||O 158.5 (-110)|
|Arkansas||-11 (-115)||-635||U 158.5 (-110)|
Justin Smith is on fire right now for the Razorbacks as we outlined above because he is a mismatch for teams in the post with his athleticism and his 6-7 frame at a stretch-4. He made 20-of-24 field goals in the two games in averaging 23.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Throw in the push by guard Devo Davis who ignited a 17-0 run with two threes when the Razorbacks trailed Colgate by 16 early and we are seeing monumental efforts as well as Moses Moody (17.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg), JD Notae, and Jalen Smith.
Davis held Texas Tech’s Mac McClung to no field goal attempts over the last 10 minutes of the win. Moody was solid last week although below his averages and will look to score within the frame work of what coach Eric Musselman lays out as the game plans.
Key Razorbacks Stat:
Over the last 16 games, the Razorbacks shot over 40 percent from the field 15 times and made 46.9 parent of their shots in those 15 games. The trend has been that they come on strong offensively in the second half of games and shoot a higher percentage.
The Razorbacks have accrued even more depth since their first meeting this season with ORU. Davis played only 8:39 in that game and only took one shot with a rebound and two assists. Jaylin Williams, who had 10 rebounds and four assists against Texas Tech, didn’t play.
Advantage, Oral Roberts
The Golden Eagles need to shoot at a very high percentage in an uptempo game to win; however, they are going at a Razorbacks team that tends to play faster in its defensive possessions (15.9 seconds) than ORU’s fast offensive pace of 16.1 seconds per game. Of course, the pace of play fits the sharp-shooting Max Abmas and his colleague Kevin Obanor. They combine for 43.5 points (24.5 / 19.0) and both shoot in the mid-40s from three on average as they are the key in the fact that PSU makes 11.2 triples per game.
Key Golden Eagles Stat:
As Arkansas is 10th in adjusted defensive efficiency, the Golden Eagles are going to need someone else to step up into a high scoring role. Kareem Thompson and DeShang Weaver have 36 and 34 threes respectively and also fortify a three-point game that nets 38.5 percent. Note that in the last three games, Arkansas’s opponents have made 31-of-66 triples (46.9%) although the Razorbacks have held opponents’ three-three-point games to 33.5 percent overall this season.
The boards will be huge for the Golden Eagles if the Golden Eagles shooting starts to go awry. Arkansas’s defense will challenge ORU at a high level, so the fact that the Golden Eagles are (-4.6) in rebounding margin is major. Obanor picks up 9.6 boards per game and then the next closest Eagle is Francis Läcis who sits at 3.8. Arkansas is at a (+3.7) on the backboard.
Winner: Arkansas (-11) 88, Oral Roberts 73