The Second Round of the NCAA Tournament is scheduled for Sunday and Monday after an exciting First Round. There were several upsets, with the biggest taking place on Friday between the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles and Ohio State Buckeyes. The No. 15 seed Oral Roberts knocked off Ohio State by a score of 75-72. There were more upsets to be had on Saturday. No. 4 Virginia and No. 3 Texas are gone, while No. 6 BYU is also going home early. UCLA beating BYU isn’t much of an upset, but they were the betting underdogs and lower seed in the tournament.
There are eight games scheduled to be played on Sunday. We can’t guarantee that all eight Round of 32 games will be played today. The VCU Rams are out of the NCAA Tournament after their team returned multiple positive Covid-19 tests. That automatically puts the Oregon Ducks in the next round without having to play. I am sure that the players on Oregon would have rather earned it then handed a free pass, but this kind of situation was expected. Hopefully we don’t see another situation like this happen for the rest out of the tournament.
It’s a huge disappointment for VCU, who would have liked a chance at an upset in a season that has been the year of the upsets. The Texas Tech Red Raiders and Arkansas Razorbacks handled their First Round duties against Utah State, 65-53, and Colgate, 85-68. Texas Tech lost in the Big 12 Championship against Texas, 67-66. But look at who is still playing basketball and packing up to go home to Austin. Texas Tech will play for an opportunity to go to the Sweet Sixteen on Sunday evening.
The Red Raiders grinded away on a solid Utah State team for a 65-53 win. I heard some chatter that Utah State was going to pull that game off as the No. 11 seed, but the Texas Tech defense was just too much to overcome. Arkansas used their offense to pull away from Colgate for an easy 85-68 victory. Texas Tech and Arkansas are polar opposites style wise. The Red Raiders like to lean on their defense and ugly games up, while Arkansas shoots for the stars with their offense. It should make for a compelling matchup in this round. Head below for our free Texas Tech vs. Arkansas pick on March 21, 2021.
Texas Tech Red Raiders (No. 6) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (No. 3) NCAA Tournament Betting Odds:
Texas Tech vs. Arkansas Prediction:
It’s pretty simple what Texas Tech is going to want to do in this game at Hinkle Fieldhouse. They have a lockdown defense that likes to bother and get under the skin of opposing teams. That’s the exact opposite of what Arkansas likes to do on the floor. Arkansas likes to fire away with their offense and pile up the points without much emphasis on defense. The Razorbacks are 23-6 on the season, so their offensive philosophy certainly worked in the SEC. Arkansas netted an average of 83.3 points per game for seventh in the NCAA.
They could shoot the ball from the field, with a field goal percentage of 45.6%. However, I don’t believe that running their normal offense is going to be as efficient against a physical team like the Red Raiders. Arkansas didn’t have to concern themselves with a defense like Texas Tech in the SEC. They could be in for a surprise against a Chris Beard team that doesn’t stop defensively.
The Red Raiders have conceded just 63.3 points per game, and they had to do this against some quality offenses in the Big 12. The defense was in fine form against a Utah State offense that has been reliable this season. The Red Raiders neutralized the Aggies to look like a bad offense in the 65-53 win. Holding Arkansas to 53 points doesn’t seem doable, but the Red Raiders are likely going to do enough to frustrate the Razorbacks on Sunday. In their previous five outings, they’ve been playing well with 62.2 points against per contest.
Arkansas has been serviceable defensively, as they’ve allowed 70.7 points per game for 196th in the NCAA. It could be a lot worse, and might be enough to hang around and compete with the Texas Tech defense. The Texas Tech offense has been slightly above average with 73.3 points scored per game for 127th in the NCAA. They’re shooting 44.5% from the field. If the Red Raiders want to win this game, slowing this game down to a halt is in their best interest. Arkansas will try to counter and look to speed things up, but likely feel plenty of resistance. The total looks a bit too high for me here, so the UNDER is where I’m looking on Sunday.