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The University of Arkansas and Providence College didn’t make the NCAA Tournament, but their seasons are not over yet. They were both invited to compete in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). On Tuesday, the Razorbacks head to Providence to take on the Friars. Providence is ranked 4th in its 8-team bracket while Arkansas is 5th. For one team, it will be the end of the line. It’s win or go home.
Arkansas falls to Florida
The Arkansas Razorbacks are currently 17-15. Playing in the SEC, they faced some tough competition and were very up and down all year. But they finished pretty strong, winning their last three games before the SEC tournament. They went into the SEC Tournament ranked 10th in the conference and they lost to the 8th ranked Florida Gators 66-50. The Razorbacks went stone cold down the stretch, failing to score over the last 8 minutes. “I feel like we could have got anything that we wanted,” said Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford. “We couldn’t execute. We shot ourselves in the foot down the stretch.” Arkansas only shot 37 percent and made just 4 of 16 from three. They were also outrebounded 41-26. Gafford led Arkansas with 15 points and 6 rebounds while Isaiah Joe added 12 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Gafford leads Arkansas with 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots per game. Joe averages 14 points and 1.5 steals per game, while Mason Jones averages 13.7 points per game. Jalen Harris averages 8 points and a team-high 5.5 assists per game. As a team, the Razorbacks score about 76 points per game on 44 percent shooting from the field and 33 percent shooting from three. They also shoot 66 percent from the foul line. They average 34 rebounds, 15.8 assists (29th in the country), and 13 turnovers per game. Defensively, the Rebels give up about 74 points per game. Opponents shoot 42 percent from the field and 34 percent from three against them. They also average 8 steals (24th in the country) and 4.9 blocked shots (16th in the country) per game.
Providence loses to Villanova
The Providence Friars come into this game with a record of 18-15. They won their opening game in the Big East Tournament, pounding Butler 80-57. But then in the second round, they fell at Villanova on Thursday 72-63. Providence hung in there against the defending national champions, trailing by just 5 points with about three minutes left. But Villanova finished strong with 2 three-pointers by Collin Gillespie and 1 by Eric Paschall to close it out. Providence held the Wildcats to 36 percent shooting, but Villanova made 10 three-pointers compared to just 5 for Providence. Providence also turned it over 19 times to just 13 for Nova. Nate Watson had 15 points and 5 rebounds to lead Providence, while Isaiah Jackson and Alpha Diallo each had 14 points. A.J. Reeves added 5 points and 10 rebounds.
Villanova opens Big East Tournament play with 73-62 win over Providence https://t.co/Zn6JrPkPJs
— Philly.com (@phillydotcom) March 14, 2019
Diallo leads Providence with 16 points, 3 assists, and 8 rebounds per game. Watson averages 11.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, while Reeves and Jackson each average 10 points per game. As a team, they average 71 points per game on 42 percent shooting from the floor and 33 percent shooting from three. They also shoot 69 percent from the foul line. Further, the Friars average 36 rebounds, 14 assists, and 13 turn overs per game. Defensively, the Friars allow 69 points per game. Opponents shoot 43 percent from the field and 33 percent from three against them. They also average 7.3 steals and 3.9 blocked shots per game.
- Friars are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Tuesday games.
- Friars are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
- Friars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- Friars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss.
- Razorbacks are 8-21-1 ATS in their last 30 games following an ATS loss.
- Razorbacks are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
- Razorbacks are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 vs. Big East.
- Razorbacks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Razorbacks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss.
- Razorbacks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like Providence here giving up the points. The Friars took the defending national champions to the limit in the Big East tournament and they boast a major talent in Diallo. A lot of pundits thought Providence would be one of the best teams in the Big East and while they weren’t that, they are battle-tested and should be ready to go at home vs Arkansas. The two teams do have one common opponent in Texas. Texas beat Arkansas 73-71 back in November, while Providence won at Texas 71-65 in December. So take the Friars.
Prediction: Providence -5.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I like the under here. Providence plays excellent defense and Arkansas tends to struggle offensively on the road. They give up just 69 points per game and are a very good defending the three. The under is 4-0 in Razorbacks last 4 road games ND 6-0 in their last 6 non-conference games. Also, the under is 8-3 in Friars last 11 home games. I’m playing the under in this one.