#15 Oral Roberts vs #3 Arkansas

#15 Oral Roberts vs #3 Arkansas | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on March 25, 2021

Summit League champion Oral Roberts has become the second No. 15 seed in NCAA Tournament history to reach the Sweet 16, and the Golden Eagles’ reward Saturday is No. 3 Arkansas of the SEC in South Region action. The Hogs are double-digit favorites on the NCAAB odds in what is a regular-season rematch.

How to Bet Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info
  • When: Saturday, 7:25 PM ET
  • Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
  • TV: TBs
  • Stream: https://www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live
  • Radio: com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: Arkansas -11 (total 159)
Last Meeting

On Dec. 20, Oral Roberts visited Arkansas and lost 87-76 despite the Eagles leading by 10 at the half. Justin Smith scored 22 points with 17 rebounds for the Hogs, who outscored Oral Roberts 57-36 after the break and outrebounded the Eagles 58-32 overall. Oral Roberts built a 40-30 halftime lead and took advantage of Arkansas’ 30% shooting (12 for 40) which included 14 misses on 16, 3-point shot attempts. After the break, Arkansas settled down and used its size advantage to take control of the interior and made 20 of 37 and shot just eight 3s.

Why Bet on Oral Roberts? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Golden Eagles have advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second time in program history and first since 1974.

Oral Roberts (18-10) followed a 75-72 OT shocker over No. 2 Ohio State in Round 1 with an 81-78 upset of No. 7 Florida, another SEC team, in Round 2. Oral Roberts is now the second team to ever reach the Sweet 16 as a 15-seed.  The only other No. 15 seed to make it to the Sweet 16 was Florida Gulf Coast in 2013 when it beat No. 2 Seed Georgetown and No 7 seed San Diego State in the first weekend and lost to No. 3 seed Florida in the Sweet 16.

Oral Roberts made its mark as a 3-point shooting team during the season (46% of its attempts are from beyond the arc, with 38.2% accuracy). However, in the Big Dance the Eagles played with a defensive edge that changed both of those games, as the Golden Eagles forced 36 turnovers in total. Plus, Max Abmas, who leads the nation in scoring, and Kevin Obanor have combined to average 56.5 points per game as a duo in the NCAA tournament.

Florida led 67-56 with 9:48 to go in the second round but went cold late as Oral Roberts proved clutch again. The Eagles were particularly clutch at the free-throw line, hitting 19-of-23 attempts.

Obanor continued to prove his dominance as an inside-out threat putting together a 28-point, 11-rebound double-double, his second of the NCAA Tournament, knocking down 4-of-7 from distance against the Gators. He scored 20 points in the second half and also led ORU with a career-best four steals.

Abmas finished his 19th game this season scoring at least 20 points as the sophomore poured in 26 by getting to the foul line where he made all 12 attempts. He gave the Golden Eagles a game-high seven assists and had two steals.

Why Bet on Arkansas? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

For the first time since 1996, Arkansas is headed back to the Sweet 16.

The Hogs (24-6) routed No. 14 Colgate in Round 1 and then edged No. 6 Texas Tech 68-66 in Round 2. In a game full of runs, the Razorbacks withstood a late one from the Red Raiders, who closed within a point with just over a minute remaining.

J.D. Notae’s free throw made it a two-point game but his miss on the second set up a dramatic ending. Texas Tech’s Kyler Edwards’ driving layup in the final seconds was too hard off the glass and Notae snatched the rebound to seal the Hogs’ win.

Four Razorbacks scored at least 10 points with Justin Smith leading the way with 20 points and six rebounds. Smith has scored at least 20 points in his third consecutive game. He had never scored 20 in back-to-back games until this stretch.

Freshmen Moses Moody and Devonte Davis each added 15 points and six boards apiece. Jalen Tate scored 10 and freshman Jaylin Williams led the squad with 10 rebounds and a career-high four assists.

However, Arkansas players other than Moody and Smith made just 35% of their attempts inside the arc against a Texas Tech team ranked in the top 25 in adjusted defensive efficiency. But we’ve watched higher seeds lose tough games in the first weekend. Arkansas survived, which has been the habit for Eric Musselman’s squad during its current 14-2 stretch.

Musselman has trailed by double digits in each of his four NCAA tournament wins (two at Nevada and two at Arkansas). Arkansas has been down by double digits in the first half in five of its last six wins including down 14 to Colgate and down 10 to Texas Tech.

Arkansas is now 44-32 in the NCAA Tournament all-time. Only seven Razorbacks played in the win. It was the fewest in an NCAA game since March 14, 1979 versus Indiana State in the Elite Eight.

Game Trends
  • Golden Eagles are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
  • Golden Eagles are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
  • Golden Eagles are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Razorbacks are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games as a favorite.
  • Razorbacks are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win.
  • Razorbacks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games.
Expert Prediction
  • Arkansas 83, Oral Roberts 73

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