The Arkansas Razorbacks look to remain red hot Saturday on the game Arkansas vs Tennessee. Eric Musselman’s team has lost only a single game since Jan. 8th loss to Texas A&M. Arkansas enters the game with a 24-6 record overall, 13-4 in the SEC play.
These two teams met just three weeks ago in Fayetteville, an “ugly” 58-48 win by Arkansas. Neither team averaged more than 0.9 points per possession, combined to shoot 9-for-46 from 3-point range.
Arkansas went a little feral earlier in the season, losing five of six games including tilts against Vanderbilt and Hofstra. Since that skid, the Muss Bus has gone 14-1, climbing to No. 19 in the Pomeroy Rankings and a projected fifth-seed, according to Erik Haslam’s Haslametrics. The Razorbacks now boast 11 victories in quadrant one and two games, along with a 13-2 mark against quadrant three and four.
Tennessee has a tendency to lay eggs on offense, scoring fewer than 55 points multiple times this season. That said, the Volunteers are perfect (15-0) at home, with an average 19-point winning margin this season. They’re a defensive juggernaut, as Rick Barnes‘ group is currently ranked third in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency. On the flip side, they’re dead-last in the conference in offensive two-point percentage.
Expect the spread to favor the Vols at home. Tennessee currently ranks fifth in the SEC with a cover percentage of 60% in those 15 home games. The Vols have covered by an average of +3.6 points per contest, having gone under in four of their last five games.
The Vols will be celebrating senior night during this game, so Thompson-Boling Arena will likely be jacked. John Fulkerson will be honored before the game for his great career, and presumably for earning a doctorate as he’s been in school since the Obama administration.
Arkansas is currently 18-12 against the spread on the season, riding the hot hand of senior guard JD Notae during this run. Notae is ramping his gamer down the stretch, averaging 19 points while shooting nearly 37% from distance. Notae is shooting just 40% from the field on the season, but that number is fairly impressive when you consider he launches it whenever he touches it. Notae ranks 13th in the nation in field goal attempts per game (16.2).
It is likely that this game becomes a dogfight and ends with Arkansas covering as Tennessee rides star freshmen Kennedy Chandler and Zakai Ziegler to the victory.