After three rounds of excitement, we are down to the best eight teams in college basketball. Thanks to lucky seeding, the Arkansas Razorbacks avoided monster foes on their way to the Elite Eight. However, their biggest test remains ahead of them.
Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Baylor Bears
Monday, March 29, 2021 – 9:57 PM EST at Lucas Oil Stadium
Baylor is one of the top teams in the NCAA Tournament. After dominating the Big Twelve, they proved that they deserved their seeding. Their dreams of a Final Four run are right ahead of them, but they have to get through the Arkansas Razorbacks to get there.
Arkansas is the last team left from the SEC. Can they carry the conference to the Final Four? If so, they will have to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the NCAA Tournament. They will rely on stary players and a tough mindset, but that might not be enough to knock off the Baylor Bears.
The NCAAB odds favor the Bears by eight points. That is a massive line for an Elite Eight matchup, but we know that Baylor has been one of the strongest teams so far. Before we make an NCAA Tournament pick, let’s look at each team.
Keys for Arkansas to Cover
Baylor is the definition of offensive efficiency. They are one of the highest-scoring teams in the country, and they have three key players in the backcourt to carry the team. Jared Butler is one of the best guards in college basketball, and he has been playing like it recently.
Baylor also has the best three-point percentage in the country. They know how to get quality shots, and they know how to knock them down. For Arkansas, that means that perimeter defense is a key. If they can disrupt Baylor from deep, they have a chance to keep this one close.
Arkansas has experience with three-point-shooting teams. In the regular season, they upset the Alabama Crimson Tide thanks to their tenacity on defense. This will be a tougher game than that, but they at least have a road map.
In that game, they beat Alabama at the free-throw line. They need similar numbers against this Baylor team. The bad news is that Baylor is one of the best teams in the country at limiting fouls. No one said it would be easy for the Razorbacks.
Keys for Baylor to Cover
Baylor must get off to a good start in this game. Arkansas thrives on hope. If they get off to a good start, they have a shot to keep this one close until the final whistle. If Baylor can limit that hope early, they should be able to dominate.
Jared Butler has been the key to Baylor’s success all season. This game will be no different. Without Butler, Baylor might be upset in this game.
Baylor can’t forget the fundamentals. We’ve seen teams lose NCAA Tournament games because they were unable to do the simple things. When you’re the better team, you can dictate how the game goes. For Baylor, that means high-percentage looks, knocking down free throws, and limiting turnovers.
This is a large line, but Baylor has proven how good they are so far this season. If they can keep winning, they might go all the way. If they can do these simple things against Arkansas, they should be able to at least cover the spread.
Who Will Cover This Lofty Spread?
Arkansas has momentum, and they are a bigger team. That being said, I don’t see them finding a way to win this game outright. Baylor is determined to win it all, and they have what it takes to achieve that goal. We’ll see what happens, but Baylor should be able to win this game and make it to the Final Four.
As for the point spread, look for Baylor to cover as well. Arkansas will struggle to keep this one close. Once this game goes down to the wire, they will likely have to foul and try to extend the game in hopes of coming back. That makes it more likely for the winning team to extend the lead, and that will be how Baylor manages to cover the spread.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.