Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Kentucky Wildcats Preview
Where: Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, Tennessee
When: Sunday, March 12, 2017 – 12:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
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Betting on the Arkansas Razorbacks (25-8, 12-6 SEC)
Arkansas barged into the finals of the 2017 SEC Tournament with an emphatic 76-62 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday. Playing a third game in as many days took its toll on giant-killers Vanderbilt as Arkansas reached the championship for the seventh time in its proud history. It was a dominant performance by the Hogs who led by as much as 27 in this ballgame.
The Razorbacks will look to nab the program’s second SEC tournament title and first since 2000 when they face mighty Kentucky this coming Sunday. For the Hogs to record a major shock, they will need to continue their excellent play inside the shaded area. The Razorbacks absolutely owned the paint in the win against the Commodores, outscoring Vanderbilt 46-16 there. That’s huge for Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson as Kentucky struggled mightily in that department in their semifinal win against Alabama. The Tide outscored the Cats, 46-24, inside the paint on Saturday.
Expected to lead Arkansas in this crunch clash is Moses Kingsley. He was superb in the win against Vandy, scoring 12 points and grabbing 13 boards. Kingsley had 14 points and seven rebounds in Arkansas’ 26-point loss to Kentucky earlier this season. One guy who needs to step up for Arkansas in the final is Dusty Hannahs. He leads Arkansas in scoring this season with a 14.6 PPG average. Hannahs had a disappointing performance in that heavy loss to Kentucky, scoring just six points on a woeful 2-of-12 shooting from the field.
Arkansas is 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games.
Betting on the Kentucky Wildcats (28-5, 16-2 SEC)
The Kentucky Wildcats moved to within a victory of their third consecutive SEC Tournament title with a thrilling 79-74 win over Alabama on Saturday. Three players scored in double-figures for the Wildcats who improved to 41-2 in league semifinal games. Leading the way for Kentucky in this come-from-behind victory was De’Aaron Fox. He scored a career-high 28 points, including seven straight down the stretch. Fellow freshman phenom Malik Monk also did his part for the Wildcats, scoring 13 of his 20 points in the first half to keep the game close for Kentucky.
The Wildcats will need that same kind of offensive brilliance from their two stars if they are to beat Arkansas in the SEC Tournament finale. Fox wreaked havoc against the Razorbacks in their only meeting this season, scoring a then career-high 27 points last January. The Wildcats shot 53.3 percent from the field in that 97-71 rout and they will need that vaunted offense to be firing on all cylinders once again this coming Sunday.
If the game against Alabama is any indication, though, John Calipari’s men will be just fine. The Wildcats shot 52.3 percent from the floor in the win against the Crimson Tide. After making just 8 of 50 3-pointers to start the season, Fox has now hit 6 of 10 from beyond the arc in the last five games. Monk is also starting to find his shooting touch, going 6-of-14 from the field in the win against Alabama. He was just 3-of-17 from the floor in the previous two games.
Kentucky is 10-0 SU and 4-5-1 ATS in its last 10 games.
Kentucky (-8.5) storms to its third consecutive SEC Tournament title.
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