Texas Tech Red Raiders vs Arkansas Razorbacks – NCAAM March 21

American Athletic Conference Tournament Quarterfinal – NCAA Tournament – Round of 32 – South Region

(3) Arkansas vs. (6) Texas Tech

  • Time: 3:10 PST, 5:10 CST, 6:10 EST
  • Place: Hinkle Field House, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • TV: TNT

Opening Tip:

The Razorbacks and Red Raiders matchup features former Southwest Conference foes as the two teams finally renewed acquaintances in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge with the Red Raiders taking both wins in 2016 and 2019. Texas Tech has a 40-39 lead in the series.the

Interestingly, Arkansas guard Desi Sills is the only member of the squad that was on the team when it played Texas Tech two years ago. The Hogs’ Jalen Tate was on the 14-seed Northern Kentucky Norse team that faced 3-seed Texas Tech in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

A win are would place the Red Raiders in the Sweet 16 for the third straight season. The Red Raiders are 9-2 in the NCAA Tournament under Chris Beard.

Vs. The Spread:

Arkansas:

  • Arkansas is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of the Razorbacks’ last 8 games
  • The Hogs are 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games vs. the Big 12

Texas Tech:

  • The Red Raiders are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Texas Tech’s last 6 games
  • TT is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games when playing as the favorite

Last Time Out:

Justin Smith finished with a career high 27 points as he made 11-of-13 shots while leading the Razorbacks to an 85-68 vanquishing of Colgate on Friday. He also had 12 rebounds as he finished with his fifth double-double of the year and fourth in his last 11 games. Arkansas trailed by 16 in the first half and went on a 19-0 run before halftime to take a 36-33 lead at the break. Colgate had a brief six-point lead in the second half before JD Notae took over as he scored 12 points in a 19-8 run that separated the two for the game.

Mac McClung scored 16 points and Kyler Edwards added 12 as Texas Tech took out Utah State, 65-53, on Friday. Terrence Shannon, Jr. scored eight points during a decisive run early in the second half that gave the Red Raiders a 38-31 lead and they never trailed again.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Texas Tech -1 (-110) -116 O 140½ (-105)
Arkansas +1 (-110) -104 U 140½ (-115)

Advantage, Arkansas:

Arkansas Razorbacks LogoThe Razorbacks’ defense could be a major player in their ability to advance to the Sweet 16 as they are 10th in the nation in defensive field goal efficiency and they force  15.6 turnovers per game. The Red Raiders take care of the ball in committing only 10.9 miscues per game. Speeding up the Red Raiders who average 18.9 seconds per offensive possession. The Razorbacks have scored 23.4 points off of 119 turnovers in the last five games – 34 points in Friday’s win over Colgate.

Key Razorbacks Stat:

Moses Moody had 12 points in 35 minutes in the win over Colgate which was a pedestrian day for the Razorbacks’ leading scorer and all-SEC first teamer. The Razorbacks will generally place four or five players in double figures and offensively, ball handling will once again be huge for the Hogs as the Red Raiders force turnovers on 24.6 percent of their defensive possessions.

X-Factor:

Smith is playing his best basketball of the season as he has nine straight games where he has scored double figures. He’s a tough matchup for the Red Raiders as he has averaged 21.3 points and 9.0 rebounds over his last three games.

Advantage, Texas Tech:

Texas Tech Red Raiders LogoThe Red Raiders only outbound their opponents by (+1.6) per game, so a presence on the boards will have to be a must as Arkansas is deeper and can run more players at the Red Raiders. Marcus Santos-Silva (6.5 ppg) and Kevin McCullar (6.2 rpg) are the top two while Arkansas’s top two are Smith (7.1 rpg) and Moody (5.8 rpg)

Key Red Raiders Stat:

Defensively, TT has had problems this season allowing threes in allowing 34.8 percent on the season, but they held Utah State, with the three-ball as it’s state to 4-of-19 Friday. However, the two games before show how tough that three is for them to defend at times as Baylor and Texas were a combined 26-of-50. Arkansas makes 33.8 percent although they have slumped of late in making 16-of-57 over the last three.

X-Factor:

Mac McClung (15.8 ppg) doesn’t feel like an X-factor. He’s more of a PTPer, but the fire he brings to the Red Raiders can’t be underscored enough as he plays with such a verve that the players can rally on his energy. How he leads against the fire of the Arkansas pressure will be interesting. He was in the mix for Big 12 Player of the Year in his first year, but he is 12-of-33 from the floor over his last three games and Chris Beard will need him as a major scorer vs. the Hogs.

Winner: Arkansas (+1) 73, Texas Tech 66

The Bets
Arkansas +1
-110
Arkansas Moneyline
-104
UNDER 140½
-115
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.