Arkansas Gets the Upset
UConn Defies the Odds
Teams with different recent NCAA Tournament success will meet in the Sweet 16 when the Arkansas Razorbacks clash with the UConn Huskies on Thursday.
The Razorbacks are returning to the Sweet 16 for the third year in a row after defeating the defending champions and No. 1-seeded Kansas Jayhawks. Arkansas also downed No. 1 Gonzaga last year and reached the Elite 8 in each of the last two years.
The Huskies, meanwhile, are back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2014, the same year UConn won the national championship.
Although Arkansas has had more recent tournament success, according to college basketball lines, UConn is a 3.5-point favorite in the matchup.
Arkansas Survives the Champs
Despite the Jayhawks outshooting the Razorbacks in both field goals and 3-pointers, Arkansas moved onto the Sweet 16 by the skin of its teeth.
Arkansas shot 41.4% from the field and 20% from beyond the arc while Kansas finished shooting 48% and 38.5% respectively.
However, the Razorbacks outrebounded the Jayhawks 36-29, including on the offensive boards, where the Razorbacks had 15 offensive rebounds to Kansas’ 7. Arkansas finished with 15 second-chance points compared to 2 for the Jayhawks.
ARKANSAS GRABS THE OFFENSIVE BOARD AND IS GOING BACK TO THE LINE
UNBELIEVABLE 🤯#MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/vMHJOJIjT4
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 18, 2023
The Razorbacks were led by Kamani Johnson and Davonte Davis, who had 10 and 8 rebounds each. Davis also led with 25 points, 21 of which came during Arkansas’ second-half comeback.
Arkansas will need to be strong on the boards once again against another solid UConn team.
According to NCAA basketball lines, the Razorbacks have +3000 odds to win March Madness.
UConn Slips Away
The Huskies’ win over Saint Mary’s was similar to their first-round win, where their opponent kept it close in the first half, but UConn proved to be too much after the break.
After UConn had a one-point lead at the half, the Huskies had a big second-half performance to grab the 15-point win, prompted by a 14-2 run for a 51-40 lead.
Jordan Hawkins again had all 12 of his points in the second half while Adama Sanogo scored 14 of his 24 points after the break as well. The Huskies also shot 65.2% in the second half to build a strong lead.
UConn’s defense also showed up, as the Gaels were held under 60 points for just the fourth time this season and finished shooting 38.8%.
The Huskies’ ability to stay strong in close games will be crucial as the competition continues to get tougher.
According to college basketball odds, UConn has +1000 odds to win the tournament.
Arkansas vs UConn Game Injuries
Arkansas vs UConn Head-to-Head
Arkansas and UConn have met four times previously. The Huskies lead 3-1, but the Razorbacks won the last matchup 102-67 in November 2017 in the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland.
According to NCAA lines, UConn has +225 odds to reach the Final Four while the sportsbook gives Arkansas +550 odds to do so.
Arkansas vs UConn Game Information
- Game: Arkansas (22-13, 8-10 SEC) vs UConn (27-8, 13-7 Big East)
- Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
- Day/Time: Thursday, March 23, 7:15 p.m. ET
- Arkansas vs UConn Live Stream: TBS.com
Arkansas vs UConn Betting Lines
Arkansas vs UConn Picks and Prediction
UConn will aim to do what it did nine years ago and make it to the championship after finally reaching the Sweet 16 again. However, it will have to make it past Arkansas first, who made it to the Elite 8 the past two years.
Despite the Razorbacks not being able to stop Kansas’ hot shooting and struggling to score themselves in the Round of 32, Arkansas took down the No. 1 team by way of rebounding. The Huskies, meanwhile, have had two straight games where they haven’t pulled away from their opponents until the second half, but their offense woke up in those games to finish with double-digit wins. UConn won’t be outrebounded against the Razorbacks, and Sanogo and the Huskies’ stronger shooting should push them forward.
The UConn Huskies are listed at -170 in our Vegas lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Huskies, you have a chance to win $59. The Arkansas Razorbacks are +148, offering a chance to win $148 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the UConn Huskies a 62.96% chance to win, with the Arkansas Razorbacks at 40.32%.