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No. 15 Oral Roberts vs. No. 3 Arkansas preview, picks for Sweet 16 round of 2021 NCAA Tournament

The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles and Arkansas Razorbacks are set to meet at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the Sweet 16 round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles guard Max Abmas (3) drives to the basket past Florida Gators guard Noah Locke (10) in the first half during the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Sunday, March 21, 2021, at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Ind. IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

Update: Saturday, March 27 9:45 a.m. Here are the updated bet splits from DraftKings Sportsbook for Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas:

Oral Roberts: +11.5 (68% of handle, 73% of bets)
Arkansas: -11.5 (32% of handle, 27% of bets)

The No. 15 seed Oral Roberts Golden Eagles will be dancing for at least another week as they will play the No. 3 seed Arkansas Razorbacks in the Sweet 16. The Razorbacks are heading back to the regional semifinal for the first time since 1996. Meanwhile the Golden Eagles will be making their first appearance this deep in the tournament since 1974. They also haven’t won a game in the event since that year.

The game will be at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, March 27th at 7:25 p.m., and will be broadcast on TBS.

No. 15 Oral Roberts: 18-10 (10-5 Summit)

First Round: Defeated No. 2 Ohio State 75-72 OT
Second Round: Defeated No. 7 Florida 81-78
KenPom rating: 129 Overall, 64 Offense, 236 Defense
Leading scorer: Max Abmas (24.4 ppg)
Key stat: The Golden Eagles are averaging 81.5 points per game, good for 16th in the nation.

The Golden Eagles began their Cinderella run with a clutch overtime 75-72 win over the No. 2 seed Ohio State Buckeyes. Kevin Obanor and Max Abmas stepped up big time in their upset against the Big Ten runner-ups, and that duo would once again play a key role on Sunday night as Oral Roberts pulled out an 81-78 win over the No. 7 seed Florida Gators.

One of the keys for this miracle run has been the defense of a unit ranked 236th in adjusted defense right now. They forced 20 turnovers from UF, and held them to 7-22 from three-point range. That follows 16 Buckeyes turnovers in the first round, with a 5-23 mark from downtown.

This Summit League champions don’t appear scared of tougher competition so far. To combat their lack of size, Oral Roberts leans hard on Abmas and Obanor, who have scored 113 combined points through their first two games in the tournament. They can score any and everywhere on the floor.

No. 3 Arkansas: 24-6 (13-4 SEC)

First Round: Defeated No. 14 Colgate 85-68
Second Round: Defeated No. 6 Texas Tech 68-66
KenPom rating: 14 Overall, 37 Offense, 11 Defense
Leading scorer: Moses Moody (17.2 ppg)
Key stat: Razorbacks are scoring 82.5 points per game, good for 12th in the nation.

The Razorbacks got their 2021 NCAA Tournament started with a win over the No. 14 seed Colgate Raiders. The Patriot League champs gave Arkansas a shock in the first half, but they rallied back from a 10-point deficit to win comfortably. Then in the second round, they just escaped with a two-point victory in a hard-fought game over the Red Raiders.

Arkansas is a pretty sound team and are one of the better offensive units in the country. The Razorbacks are averaging 82.5 points while also dishing out 14.8 assists per game. They also do a great job crashing the glass as their two best players average a combined 12.9 rebounds per game.

Moses Moody is a dynamic freshman, who can create his own offense and put up points. Moody is averaging 17.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 44.3% from the field and 37.6% from three-point range. Justin Smith is a major factor in the frontcourt for the Razorbacks. The senior forward is averaging 13.6 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game.

March Madness Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Arkansas -11
Total: 159.5
Moneyline: Oral Roberts +475, Arkansas -670

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Oral Roberts +11.5
Point total pick: Over 159.5
Pick to Win: Arkansas

The Razorbacks should be able to come away with the win against Oral Roberts next weekend, but we said the same thing in the second round with the Florida Gators. This game should be high-scoring as Oral Roberts is averaging 78 points per game, while Arkansas is averaging 76.5 points per game. Both teams rank within the top-20 in scoring, which makes me lean towards Oral Roberts with the cover.

However the Razorbacks are the better rebounding team and have two dynamic players in Justin Smith and Moses Moody. And not too mention, they also have the Sixth Man of the Year in the SEC in JD Notae.

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