How to Watch
Time: 7:25 p.m. ET
TV: TBS (Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson on the call)
Watch Online: March Madness Live
Spread: Arkansas -11.5
Moneyline: Arkansas -650 | Oral Roberts +480
The Arkansas Razorbacks haven’t made the Elite Eight since 1995. That year, of course, they finished as the Runner Up to the UCLA Bruins in the NCAA Tournament’s National Championship Game. On Saturday, the Hogs have a chance to do something not done since the days of Nolan Richardson and Corliss Williamson. The Razorbacks are tasked with facing 15-seeded Oral Roberts in a Sweet 16 matchup.
ORU is the ‘Cinderella’ of the NCAA Tournament thus far. They’ve defeated the mighty Ohio State Buckeyes as well as the SEC’s Florida Gators en route to this spot. The Golden Eagles have done all this despite being ranked 128th on KenPom through this point of the season. And they’re hoping to make Arkansas their latest victim on their surprising run through the NCAA Tournament.
Arkansas, meanwhile, is trying to capture the imagination of their fanbase. They’ve been one of the hottest teams in the country dating all the way back to January. Since eating a loss to Alabama on January 16, the Razorbacks have gone 14-2, with losses to the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the LSU Tigers. They dispatched a red-hot Colgate Raiders squad in the Round of 64 and edged the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Round of 32. This is their first Sweet 16 appearance since 1996. At that time, the appearance in 1996 was their fourth in a row and sixth appearance over a seven-year run. So, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen them here, but they’re certainly glad to be here.
By most measures, Arkansas looks like they should be able to take ORU down. The Golden Eagles’ 3-point offense is a bit concerning, as they rank 14th in the nation while the Hogs rank 174th in that category. ORU is also the best free-throw shooting team in the nation, shooting 82.4 percent from the line. Arkansas’ numbers are solid, but not nearly as proficient. Defensively though, ORU has some problems. Especially at protecting the perimeter, so we’ll see if Arkansas can exploit that. This should be a fascinating encounter and one that will certainly have plenty of attention bestowed it.