Elite 8 Betting: Arkansas Razorbacks Analysis, Odds and Picks vs. Baylor

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes College Basketball Odds and predictions

When the Arkansas Razorbacks take the floor, opponents know things aren’t going to move slowly. That goes for either end of the floor.

The Hogs take up an average of just 16 seconds on the shot clock. And their foes get rid of the ball within 16 seconds on the offensive end. That’s the third fastest in the nation.

It’s not “40 Minutes of Hell,” like it used to be under Nolan Richardson, but there is a sense of urgency nonetheless.

And now the Razorbacks can get to the Final Four if they can take the big step of defeating the Baylor Bears in the South regional final, which is scheduled for Monday night at 9:57 PM ET at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Here are the numbers…..

Arkansas comes into this game as an underdog in the NCAA Tournament betting odds, as expressed by our friends at BetOnline:

Arkansas+7½ (-110)148½ (-110)+295
Baylor-7½ (-110)148½ (-110)-355
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Let’s talk about Musselman

Eric Musselman is a “legacy” as a head coach. His father Bill was a veteran of the coaching wars, in both college and the NBA. While Bill was a guy who played the slowdown games, Eric doesn’t do that at all.

Like his father, Eric has been around. He has coached the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors in the NBA. Also he has been an assistant at all kinds of places. He won 110 games in four seasons at the University of Nevada. And in fact, every season he’s been a collegiate head coach has resulted in a season of at least 20wins.

That’s why he took some offense to the remarks of an “expert” who suggested that Arkansas’ game against Texas Tech in the Round of 32 represented a “coaching mismatch” with Chris Beard. Usually a coach wouldn’t admit that, but he did.

And so what’s happened?

Well, let’s go back to the beginning. Arkansas was thought to be facing a real threat in the first round as they opposed Colgate. This was no joke, as Colgate was one of the top scoring teams in the nation.

There was indeed a scare, and Arkansas had to respond to an early deficit with two terrific runs. One of them was 19-0, which spread from the first half to the second, and the other was a 15-2 surge late in the second half. They got 29 points and 13 rebounds from Indiana transfer Justin Smith in that one.

Then, against Texas Tech, Smith had 20 points and the Razorbacks got 15 more from Moses Moody, a talented freshman who could wind up a lottery pick in the NBA Draft. Still, it was tight, as they only beat the Red Raiders by two points (66-64).

One of the reasons for that is their inability to hit three-pointers with a whole lot of consistency. In fact, they were just four of 17 in that game and just 33.3% for the season. So they have to get the job done with speed, offensive rebounding and defense.

Last time out – a scare

Arkansas could have easily been taken out of the tournament in the Sweet Sixteen. They had beaten Oral Roberts by eleven points earlier in the season. But on Saturday it was a lot more difficult.

They were lucky ORU could not do any better than 8-for-31 from the three-point range. For the Hogs’ part, they made only one triple all night. And if Oral Roberts didn’t commit some costly turnovers down the stretch the result may have been different. As it was, they need a basket from Davonte Davis with just a few seconds left to escape with a 72-70 win.

What you have to wonder is, does this set up well for them to deal with an aggressive Baylor team that likes to play even faster than they do?

And don’t forget…..

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