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The Arkansas Razorbacks will take on a talented Gonzaga Bulldogs team in the Sweet 16. Arkansas and Gonzaga faced each other once before in 2013. Gonzaga won that matchup 91-81.
Arkansas had a strong 27 win season. They went 13-5 in conference play and have an offense that scores over 75 points a game.
The Razorbacks have not faced incredibly difficult teams in March Madness but have won each of their games by five points or less. They beat the Vermont Catamounts 75-71 in the First Round behind Stanley Umude’s 21-point performance. Umude did not step off the floor and went 3-4 from deep.
The Razorbacks followed up that performance with a 53-48 win against the New Mexico State Aggies. JD Notae had the hot hand and scored 18 points. Notae did not shoot well from the field, but he went 7-8 from the free-throw line.
Arkansas is a guard-heavy team that is led by JD Notae and Stanley Umude. Notae and Umude combine for 30.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 3.3 steals per game. They need to take charge of this game and set the tone early against Gonzaga.
Unsurprisingly, Gonzaga had another excellent season and finished the year as the best team in the nation. They did not have a challenging conference schedule but faced some tough non-conference opponents. Regardless, they went 15-2 in non-conference play, with their only losses coming against ranked Duke and ranked Alabama.
Gonzaga entered March Madness as the #1 seed in their region. They beat the Georgia State Panthers 93-72 in the First Round behind Drew Timme’s 32 points. He struggled from the free-throw line but went 13-21 from the field.
Gonzaga had a much more difficult matchup in the Memphis Tigers in the Second Round. They were down by ten at the end of the first half but came out hot in the second half. They outscored Memphis 51-37 and won 82-78. Drew Timme led the Bulldogs to this win with his 25 points and 14 rebounds.
Gonzaga is an offensive juggernaut. They average 87.8 points per game and have five players scoring 11 points or more a game. They need to continue playing team basketball and should come out with a victory. I am picking them to win this game and the whole tournament.
Gonzaga beats Arkansas 83-75. Arkansas covers, Over 154.5 points.
|Arkansas Razorbacks||Head-to-Head||Gonzaga Bulldogs|
|Eric Musselman||Head Coach||Mark Few|
|27-8 (13-5, 4th in SEC)||Standing||28-3 (13-1, 1st in WCC)|
|Leader (Per Game)|
|JD Notae (18.4)||PPG||Drew Timme (18.2)|
|Jaylin Williams (9.8)||RPG||Chet Holmgren (9.8)|
|JD Notae (3.6)||APG||Andrew Nembhard (5.8)|
|JD Notae (2.3)||SPG||Andrew Nembhard (1.5)|
|Jaylin Williams (1.1)||BPG||Chet Holmgren (3.7)|
|Kamani Johnson (.643)||FG%||Chet Holmgren (.609)|
|Stanley Umude (.375)||3P%||Rasir Bolton (.470)|
The Arkansas Razorbacks are significant underdogs, but they can win this game by playing team defense and hitting outside shots.
Arkansas is a mediocre defensive team but will be facing a top offensive team in Gonzaga. They are smaller than Gonzaga but still need to figure out how to defend against a team that shoots over 50%. If they can stop Gonzaga with strong team defense, they may be able to outscore them.
Even though Arkansas scores 76.9 points per game, they struggle with the outside shot. They only hit 30.7% of their three-point attempts. They need to hit more against this bigger Gonzaga squad. If they do, they can keep the game close.
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The Gonzaga Bulldogs are the heavy favorites but can still lose. They need to focus on hitting free-throws and winning the rebound battle.
Gonzaga struggled from the free-throw line against Memphis. They went 13-24 and missed out on a lot of easy points. They must do better from the line against Arkansas. They can build a lead if they make their free-throws.
Gonzaga is a great rebounding team. They grab 41.5 rebounds a game have one of the best rebounders in the country in Chet Holmgren. They need to continue rebounding well in this game.
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The Razorbacks should thank JD Notae for his contributions over the last two games. Notae is averaging 17.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in March Madness. However, he has been most impressive on defense. Notae had eight steals against New Mexico State. His defensive effort won Arkansas the game.
Notae will probably have another big offensive game against Gonzaga. With that being said, he must have another massive defensive game. He needs to be a pest and create turnovers as much as possible.
I can confidently say that without Drew Timme, the Bulldogs would not be in the Sweet 16. Timme is averaging 28.5 points and 13.5 rebounds through the first two games of March Madness.
Timme needs to continue leading this team by example. If he sets the tone early, the Bulldogs will bring the energy.
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|Arkansas Razorbacks vs Gonzaga Bulldogs Information|
|What||Arkansas Razorbacks vs Gonzaga Bulldogs|
|Where||Chase Center, San Francisco, California|
|When||Thursday, March 24, 7:09 PM EST|
|How to Watch||CBS|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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