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No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 14 Colgate preview, picks for first round of 2021 NCAA Tournament

The Arkansas Razorbacks and Colgate Raiders meet at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

Justin Smith #0 of the Arkansas Razorbacks shoots a jump shot during a game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Bud Walton Arena on March 06, 2021 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Aggies 87-80. Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Update March 19: Here are the updated bet splits for No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 14 Colgate as of March 19th at 7 a.m. from DraftKings Sportsbook:

Arkansas -9: 56% of action, 44% of bets
Colgate +9: 56% of action, 44% of bets

Over 161.5 65% of action, 49% of bets
Under 161.5: 35% of action, 51% of bets


Update March 18: Here are the updated bet splits for No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 14 Colgate as of March 18th at 1:30 p.m. from DraftKings Sportsbook:

Arkansas: -8.5: 51% of action, 53% of bets
Colgate: +8.5: 49% of action, 47% of bets

Over 161.5: 79% of action, 59% of bets
Under XXXX: 21% of action, 41% of bets


Update March 17: Here are the updated bet splits for Arkansas vs. Colgate as of March 17th at 11:00 a.m. from DraftKings Sportsbook:

Arkansas -9: 50% of handle, 52% of bets
Colgate +9: 50% of handle, 48% of bets
Over: 161.5: 83% of handle, 62% of bets
Under: 161.5: 17% of handle, 38% of bets


Two of the top scoring offense will do battle at 12:45 p.m. ET on Friday with the No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks meeting the No. 14 Colgate Raiders in a potential track meet at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

This South Region matchup will be broadcasted on TruTv with Arkansas entering as the favorite.

No. 3 Arkansas: 22-6 (13-4 SEC): At-large

KenPom rating: Overall 18, Offense 35, Defense 14
NET ranking: 14, 6-5 vs. Quad 1
Leading scorer: Moses Moody (17.1 ppg)
Key stat: Arkansas is averaging 82.4 ppg, good for seventh in the nation.

Arkansas took a giant step forward under second-year head coach Eric Musselman and used one of the most-prolific offensive attacks in the nation to finish near the top of the SEC standings. The darkhorse Razorbacks led by Moses Moody and JD Notae were 13-5 and 5-4 in SEC play before rattling off eight straight victories to end the regular season, one of which being an 81-66 thumping of eventual conference champion Alabama.

While they’ve shown an ability to score at will, they’ve been stout on the defensive end as well by ranking as the 14th most efficient unit per KenPom.

No. 14 Colgate: 14-1 (11-1 Patriot League): Automatic Bid

KenPom rating: Overall 84, Offense 43, Defense 140
NET ranking: 9 (no, that’s not a typo), no games played against Quad 1 opponents
Leading scorer: Jordan Burns (17 ppg)
Key stat: Colgate is averaging 86.3 ppg, good for second in the nation.

Colgate’s 2020-21 regular season slate was solely limited to Patriot League foes, but they were dominant with 12 of their 14 victories coming by double-digits. Led by conference player of the year Jordan Burns, the Raiders sole loss came in a 75-73 setback to Army on Jan. 3 and they haven’t looked back since.

Burns was a problem for Patriot League defenders but so were teammates Jack Ferguson and Nelly Cummings, who combined to average 24.9 points a game.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Arkansas -8.5
Total: 161.5
Moneyline: Arkansas -385, Colgate +300

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Arkansas -8.5
Point total pick: Under 161.5
Pick to Win: Arkansas

This has already been tabbed as a matchup to watch in terms of featuring two high-powered squads but expect the more battle tested Arkansas team to dictate the tone of the game on the defensive end. That will allow for Arkansas to not only cover, but limit the Raiders just enough to trigger the under.

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