Arkansas Razorbacks (28-8) vs. Duke Blue Devils (30-6)
March 26, 2022 8:49 pm EDT
The Line: Duke Blue Devils -3.5 ; Over/Under: 147
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The Arkansas Razorbacks and the Duke Blue Devils meet Saturday in NCAA Tournament Elite Eight college basketball action from Chase Center. Arkansas is 28-8 overall this year. The Razorbacks took out Gonzaga in their Sweet 16 tournament game. As for Duke, they’re sitting at 31-6 and coming off a tourney victory over Texas Tech. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Arkansas has been on a great run this season—outside of one bad 1-5 stretch back in early January, that is. After a tough loss to Texas A&M in the conference tournament, the Razorbacks have responded well in the national tourney. It’s been wins over Vermont, New Mexico State and Gonzaga (in a stellar upset) so far.
In the Thursday tournament matchup versus Gonzaga, the Razorbacks held a 32-29 lead at the break. After 42 more points in the second half Arkansas took the upset win 74-68. JD Notae led the way with 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Jaylin Williams doubled up in the victory with 17 points, 13 rebounds and three assists.
Over on the Duke side, they’ve been quite a force in 2021-22. The Blue Devils took a tough loss to Virginia Tech in their conference tournament, and similarly they’ve bounced back in the Big Dance with three solid wins. Duke has taken out CSU Fullerton, Michigan State and Texas Tech in the first three rounds of the NCAA tournament.
Matched up in the Sweet 16 Thursday versus Texas Tech, the Blue Devils were in trouble after the first half with a 29-33 deficit. Duke went on to rally late and capture the win 78-73. Tops in scoring was Paolo Banchero with 22 points, four assists and four rebounds. Mark Williams added 16 points and eight boards as well.
PICK: I’m probably going to take a stab on Arkansas. The Razorbacks got back to their big-scoring ways on Thursday against Gonzaga, shooting 40.3 percent from the floor with 42 rebounds, 13 team assists and just eight turnovers. That makes 74 or more points in eight of the last 11 games, and I think Arkansas will keep it going here.
As for Duke, they shot a nifty 51.9 percent in their Sweet 16 win. The Blue Devils were outpaced on rebounds 29-33 and turnovers 10-8, though. Duke has been scoring exceptionally well themselves lately; they’ve hit 78 or more points in eight of their last nine outings. I like this one to be another high-octane game from both sides and it should come down to the wire. I think Arkansas can get in there.