Arkansas faces Kansas in the Round of 32. Arkansas is coming off a win against Illinois, while Kansas had an easy win against Howard to start the Tournament. My prediction is that Kansas covers the 3.5-point spread against Arkansas. Kansas has been one of the more consistent teams in college basketball this season, while Arkansas has been the exact opposite. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Arkansas vs. Kansas Prediction
Kansas has been very consistent this year and have the experience from last year to help them in this game.
Kansas is lead by Jalen Wilson, who was a huge contributor to last year’s title team, and is now the primary focus. He leads the team in scoring at 20 PPG and then in rebounding at 8 per game. Gradey Dick is the perfect sidekick to Wilson this season. He averages 14 PPG and then also leads the team in three-point shooting at 40.4%. Kevin McCullar Jr. and KJ Adams are also two big contributors for the Jayhawks this season. McCullar Jr. averages 11 PPG and is tied for the lead in steals at 2 per game. Adams is the closest thing the Jayhawks have had to a post presence this season and he averages 10.5 PPG.
Kansas excels at practically everything across the board on offense and defense this season. They average 75.5 PPG and then give up 67.9 PPG for the season.
On the other side, Arkansas has a ton of talent, but they haven’t been able to consistently put it together this season.
Arkansas is lead by Ricky Council IV this season, who’s been able to carry the Razorbacks with his athleticism at times. He leads the team in scoring at 16 PPG. Nick Smith Jr. and Anthony Black make up a very good backcourt of talented freshmen. Smith Jr. averages 13.5 PPG, while Black averages 13 PPG. Black also leads the team in assists at 4 per game and in steals at 2 per game. Davonte Davis is the other guard that can cause issues for anyone playing Arkansas, and he averages 11 PPG.
Arkansas doesn’t standout on offense or defense, but they’re solid. They average 74 PPG on offense and then give up 67 PPG on defense.
This game is going to be close, especially with Bill Self being out still for Kansas, but Kansas has more experience and that’s the difference. The Jayhawks should win and cover a very close and entertaining game against the Razorbacks and go to the Sweet 16.
Arkansas vs. Kansas Prediction: Kansas -3.5
Arkansas vs. Kansas Odds
Kansas is a 3.5-point favorite against Arkansas in this game and is at -162 on the money line. The over/under is also listed at 143.5. Kansas being favored makes sense because of the consistency difference between them and Arkansas this season. The over/under also makes sense because of how good each team can be on offense with all the athletes each team has. This spread could move a bit because it’s very close too.
Arkansas vs. Kansas Key Matchups
Can Makhi Mitchell matchup with Jalen Wilson? Can Kevin McCullar Jr. matchup with Ricky Council IV?
Jalen Wilson vs Makhi Mitchell
Jalen Wilson is one of the best players in all of college basketball this season. He averages 20 points, 2 assists, and 8 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Makhi Mitchell most of the game, who averages 7 points, 1 assist, and 6 rebounds per game for the season. He’s also been a good defender, but he has a very hard matchup against Jalen Wilson. Wilson is the biggest individual reason why I like Kansas to cover the 3.5-point spread against Arkansas. He’s just that good.
Ricky Council IV vs Kevin McCullar Jr.
Ricky Council IV has been the primary scorer for Arkansas this season and has carried them at times too. He averages 16 points, 2 assists, and 4 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Kevin McCullar Jr., who averages 11 points, 2 assists, and 7 rebounds per game for the season. McCullar Jr. has been a very good player for the Jayhawks, but he has a very athletic matchup against Council IV. Despite Council IV, Kansas should still cover the spread because they can matchup with him and everyone else very well.