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Arkansas vs. UConn preview, picks for Sweet 16 of 2023 NCAA Tournament

The Razobaracks and the Huskies meet at T-Mobile Arena in the Sweet 16 of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

Saint Mary’s v Connecticut Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks take on the No. 4 UConn Huskies in a Sweet 16 matchup on Thursday, March 23 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The game will air on CBS at 7:15 p.m. ET. UConn enters as a 3.5-point favorite.

No. 8 Arkansas (22-13, 8-10 SEC)

First-round result: Defeated Illinois, 73-63
Second-round result: Defeated Kansas, 72-71
KenPom rating: 20 Overall, 51 Offense, 16 Defense
NET ranking: 21 (4-10 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Ricky Council IV, 15.9 PPG
Key stat: 8.4 steals per game (28th in the nation)

Arkansas pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament thus far, knocking off No. 1 Kansas to advance to the second week of March Madness. They looked solid against Illinois, their staunch defense keeping the Illini at arm’s length for the entirety of the game, but that could never have spelled out what would occur against Kansas. The Hogs had a worse shooting percentage from the field and from the perimeter than the Jayhawks, but they out-rebounded Kansas on offense and closed it out when they most needed to. Davonte Davis had 25 points in the win.

No. 4 UConn (27-8, 13-7 Big East)

First-round result: Defeated Iona, 87-63
Second-round result: Defeated Saint Mary’s, 70-55
KenPom rating: 4 Overall, 7 Offense, 18 Defense
NET ranking: 8, (6-6 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Adama Sanogo, 16.9 PPG
Key stat: 13.4 offensive rebounds per game (8th in the nation)

Was UConn under-seeded? The Huskies currently lead the odds to win the West Region and reach the Final Four. They have looked dominant against both teams that they’ve faced thus far with two blowouts. Led by Adama Sanogo, UConn’s offense was on fire, going 45.5% from the three and 54% from the field — even higher than their stats against Iona in the first round. Sanogo had 24 points and eight rebounds in the latest win, and he will be a target for Arkansas’ defense in the Sweet 16.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: UConn -3.5
Point total: 139.5
Moneyline: UConn -175, Arkansas +150

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Arkansas +3.5
Point total pick: Over 139.5
Pick to Win: UConn -175

Arkansas hasn’t faced a team that scores as much and as often as UConn yet in this tournament, and I don’t think that they will be able to pull off another close win based solely on their defensive power here. Adama Sanogo is going to be a tough one to shut down, so while Arky keeps it close, UConn will head to the Elite Eight.