The 2022 NCAA Tournament rolls on and the tournament has been exciting so far. In the second round, No. 1 Gonzaga beat No. 9 Memphis 82-78. No. 4 Arkansas started ugly but recuperated against No. 12 New Mexico State and escaped with a 53-48 win.
Tipoff is set for Thursday, March 24th at 7:00 p.m. ET from the Chase Center in San Francisco, California. The game will air on CBS.
No. 1 Gonzaga 26-3 (13-1 WCC): Auto Bid
First Round: Defeated No. 16 Georgia State 93-72
Second Round: Defeated No. 9 Memphis 82-78
KenPom rating: 1 Overall, 1 Offense, 7 Defense
Leading scorer: Drew Timme
Key stat: Gonzaga has five players scoring more than 11 points per game.
Gonzaga faced a tough test against Memphis on Saturday but survived with a 21-point win in Portland. Andrew Nembhard made his presence felt with numerous clutch threes down the stretch. Up by two with less than 30 seconds left, he drained a pair of clutch free throws to put his team up by two scores.
The Bulldogs have the best offense in the country. They have the highest effective field goal percentage in the country shooting 59.3%. They are hitting 61% of their two-point attempts and are limiting their opponents to making only 41.6% of their two-point attempts, both of which lead the nation.
No. 4 Arkansas 25-8 (13-5): At-Large
First Round: Defeated No. 13 Vermont 75-71
Second Round: Defeated No. 12 New Mexico State 53-48
KenPom rating: 20 Overall, 40 Offense, 17 Defense
Leading scorer: JD Notae 18.4 PPG
Key stat: 3-1 versus ranked opponents this season.
This game barely broke 100 points are it was some ugly basketball at the beginning. In the end, a win is a win and the Razorbacks are headed to the Sweet Sixteen. Forward Jaylin Williams had a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds. Arkansas isn’t going to be able to start slow in the Sweet Sixteen so they need to get back on track for a shot at the Elite Eight.
The Razorbacks are going to be playing their toughest opponent of the season so far. Arkansas is a good team, but not a great one and this game may be a struggle for them. They’re going to have to lean on their efficient defense to try and slow down the offensive powerhouse that is Gonzaga.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Gonzaga -9.5
Point total: 155
Moneyline: Arkansas +360, Gonzaga -490
Against The Spread Pick: Gonzaga -9.5
Point total pick: Over 155
Pick to Win: Gonzaga
Even when Gonzaga has sputtered out of the gate to start the game, they are able to make the necessary adjustments and turn it around. Arkansas has shown heart and tenacity which should keep this game relatively close. Unfortunately, the Razorbacks are lacking the number of playmakers that Gonzaga has. So far through two games opposing teams haven’t been able to eliminate Drew Timme, and Arkansas is going to have to shut him down along with Chet Holmgren and Andrew Nembhard to have a fighting chance here.
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