Two of the best teams in the country are set to face off for the first time this year in the Elite Eight on Sunday. No. 1 Baylor will be pitted against a No. 3 Arkansas team that’s had a number of close call s during March Madness. A trip to the Final Four is on the line, and here’s what you need to know ahead of the action.
Sunday’s game will tip-off at 9:57 p.m. and will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium. The game will be broadcast on CBS, and Baylor is favored at -335 on the moneyline.
No. 3 Arkansas 25-6 (13-4)
First Round: Defeated No. 14 Colgate 85-68
Second Round: Defeated No. 6 Texas Tech 68-66
Third Round: Defeated No. 15 Oral Roberts 72-70
KenPom rating: 14 Overall, 37 Offense, 8 Defense
Leading scorer: Moses Moody (17.1 ppg)
Key stat: Arkansas is shooting just 23.8% from three during the tournament.
The Razorbacks edged out the Golden Eagles by two points the Sweet 16, and both teams were terrible from the field. Oral Roberts shot under 26% from three a loss while the Razorbacks shot 37.7% from the field. Arizona’s well-rounded scoring effort was enough to secure a victory.
Moses Moody leads Arkansas in scoring with 17.1 ppg, but needs to bounce back from his terrible three-point shooting in the Elite 8. If Moody can’t get going in the fourth round, role players like Justin Smith and Jalen Tate will have to outperform Baylor’s role players.
No. 1 Baylor: 25-2 (13-1 Big 12)
First Round: Defeated No. 16 Hartford 79-55
Second Round: Defeated No. 8 Wisconsin 76-63
Third Round: Defeated No. 5 Villanova 62-51
KenPom rating: 2 Overall, 3 Offense, 27 Defense
NET ranking: 2, (9-2 vs Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Jared Butler (16.9 ppg)
Key stat: Baylor is averaging 9.6 steals per game during the tournament.
Baylor is also coming off a poor shooting performance against Villanova, and had to overcome a seven-point deficit in the second half. Defense has been the Bears’ saving grace, as they've been able to turn opponents over 18 times per game in the postseason. Stars will need to step up in the Elite Eight, though.
Jared Butler has been somewhat underwhelming in the tournament, but is Baylor’s leading scorer and needs to bounce back after scoring just nine points against the Wildcats. He’ll have to go toe-to-toe with Arkansas’ best to give the Bears a shot, but his supporting cast that includes MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell will also need to matchup well against Arkansas’ role-players.
March Madness Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Baylor -7
Point total: 149
Moneyline: Baylor -335, Arkansas +265
Against The Spread Pick: Baylor -7
Point total pick: 149
Pick to Win: Baylor -335
Arkansas has been pushed to the edge every round. It was down big to Colgate in the first round before winning its second and third-round games by a basket. Baylor has coasted to three straight double-digit wins and should get the result, but expect a fast-paced shootout that hits the over.
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