#3 Arkansas vs #1 Baylor Tournament Elite Eight

#3 Arkansas vs #1 Baylor Tournament Elite Eight | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

It’s a matchup of former Southwest Conference rivals in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament on Monday as South Region third-seeded Arkansas takes on top-seeded Baylor, with the Bears as solid favorites on the NCAAB odds to reach the Final Four.

How to Bet Arkansas vs. Baylor NCAA Basketball Odds & TV InfoLast Meeting

These schools were both located in the former Southwest Conference together for 76 years. Arkansas moved on to the SEC in 1991; Baylor helped the Big 8 turn into the Big 12 five years later, when its exodus led to the dissolving of the SWC. The schools haven’t met in basketball since December 2009.

Why Bet on Arkansas? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Hogs (25-6) edged No. 15 Oral Roberts 72-70 in the Sweet 16 on Saturday. Davonte Davis hit a short jumper with 2.9 seconds left. It’s the school’s first trip to the Elite Eight since 1995.

Oral Roberts appeared on the cusp of becoming the first No. 15 seed in NCAA history to reach the Elite Eight. The Golden Eagles led by 12 points nearly five minutes into the second half.

Davis was stellar in the second half, scoring 14 of his 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and grabbing five of his eight rebounds. Jalen Tate led the Razorbacks with 22 points and was one of four Hogs in double digits. Moses Moody added 14 and Justin Smith posted his sixth double-double of the season – and fifth over the last 16 games helping Arkansas post a 14-2 record over the span. He finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Smith pulled down 11 offensive rebounds with Arkansas grabbing 18 offensive boards to ORU’s six.

Arkansas was down one (21-20) in the rebound battle at halftime but out-rebounded the Eagles 26-14 in the period to hold a 46-35 advantage for the game on the boards. Reserve guard Desi Stills played a big role.

Sills finished the game with 2 points on 1 of 4 shooting, including 1 of 3 inside the three-point line, 6 defensive rebounds and 4 assists to go with 2 steals. He played 28 minutes as well, more than in the Razorbacks’ previous three games combined. The six defensive rebounds matched a season high and were as many as he had grabbed in his last nine outings.

“Desi gave us a great lift,” Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman said Sunday. “JD (Notae), we felt like he was struggling and pressing too much, so the next man up was Desi. He came in and he played a really solid team game.”

Oral Roberts had a clean look at the buzzer to win. National scoring leader Max Abmas took an inbounds pass at the opposing 3-point line and caught it in a full sprint. He dribbled three times to cover the length of the court, pulled up with a clean look from 3-point range but missed.

Why Bet on Baylor? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Bears (25-2) beat No. 5 Villanova 62-51 in the Sweet 16. Baylor moved on in the top half of the South regional semifinal despite making its fewest 3-pointers this season (three) at a season’s-worst 15.8% clip. Villanova held a halftime lead, but the Bears strangled the Wildcats in the second half.  The 51 points were the fewest scored in a game by Villanova since November 2018.

The Wildcats had turned it over just six times in their previous two NCAA Tournament games and led the nation with 8.8 turnovers per game. But they had nine in the second half alone.

“They really got into our guards and prevented us from initiating offense,” said Villanova coach Jay Wright. They just contested every pass, every cut. It actually took us out of running our offense, and we had to try to just drive the ball and get some post-ups, but we didn’t do a very good job of that. But, I think the credit goes to their defense.”

On a day when the rest of the team struggled from 3-point distance, Adam Flagler knocked down two of them and then sealed it with six straight free throws in the last minute, finishing with a game-high-tying 16 points.

Baylor turned it over just once in the second half and six times for the game, shooting 53.3 percent over the last 20 minutes to rally from that halftime deficit. Jared Butler, a Wade Trophy finalist and first-team All-American, had one of his toughest games of the season. He scored nine points, hitting just 1-of-9 from 3-point range and missing all three free throws, including the front end of a one-and-one late in the game.

Baylor is playing in its 3rd Elite 8 since 2010 – 1 of 12 programs to achieve that feat (Oregon can make 13). Baylor is 17-14 in 13 all-time NCAA Championships, including a 14-8 record in the Scott Drew era. With a win, BU can advance to its first Final Four in the modern era (1948 & 1950 were 8-team brackets).

Game Trends
  • Razorbacks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss.
  • Razorbacks are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Razorbacks are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games overall.
  • Razorbacks are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win.
  • Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games.
  • Bears are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 neutral site games.
  • Bears are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 neutral site games as a favorite.
Expert Prediction
  • Baylor 76, Arkansas 72

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