On Thursday night, the Arkansas Razorbacks (22-13) are headed to T-Mobile Arena to face off against UConn Huskies (26-8). Oddsmakers have the Huskies as 4-point favorites and the betting total has been set at 139.5 points.
UConn’s offense is outstanding.
Saint Mary’s defense was remarkable in grinding games down until they were won or lost. Only five times did Saint Mary’s allow 70 points or more, including two of those games against Gonzaga — who scored 77 before brushing their teeth each morning.
UConn won 70-55, demonstrating why they could potentially be the most complete team left in the tournament if everything clicks.
It has the size to compete on the boards, if not dominate them. It finished tenth in blocked shots this season – it had five against the Gaels – and its defense is excellent at forcing turnovers and scoring from transition.
No, the shooting percentage from three isn’t great (even though it hit ten in the win), but it makes up for it by stopping everyone else from scoring from outside.
How did the Hogs manage to secure victory against No. 1 seed Kansas?
In the second half, they upped their offensive game with 45 points as they kept attacking the rim and overcame their lack of shooting from a distance (they’re not great from three). By getting to the line and being more aggressive overall, they overcame a tough day from outside shooting by becoming the more aggressive team.
Kansas couldn’t seem to capitalize on Arkansas’ offense once they began making plays on the move, but UConn isn’t afraid to get physical either. UCONN prefers running even more than Kansas, and Arkansas is well-suited to handle that pace.
No, the offense doesn’t do much from three, but the defense is formidable in coming up with steals, pressing everything and scoring points by attacking.
These two teams have not played this season.
How can you beat this UConn team? You must execute on every play.
The Huskies are 28-2 when teams shoot less than 47% from the field against them, and 0-5 when teams shoot better.
Arkansas is 14-3 when it makes 47% or more of its shots, but that feat was only accomplished once in the last six games – and not against Kansas.
No team plays with more passion than the Hogs, and they should be able to stay competitive – as they did against the Jayhawks – and then capitalize on any opportunities that arise.
UCONN may win the game but it won’t be easy as Arkansas plays hard every second of the game. Take the Hogs and the points.
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