• Ryan Day

HOW ARKANSAS BEATS ORAL ROBERTS




A 15-seed has never reached the Elite Eight. Oral Roberts wants to be the first.


And Arkansas wants to party like it's 1995.


The Razorback men's basketball program is going to make school history on Saturday. They're either going back to the Elite Eight for the first time in over 25 years or they'll be the first team to lose to a 15-seed this late in the tournament.


Here's what Arkansas needs to do on Saturday to make sure they're on the right side of history.


1️⃣ Rebound when they shoot from beyond the arc. There isn't a team left in the tournament who has put up as many three-point shots as Oral Roberts. They're averaging 33 attempts per game. The good news? They're ranked 52nd out of all postseason teams, making just 32.3% of them. If Arkansas can stay focused on grabbing defensive rebounds after those long shots, they should be okay.


2️⃣ You know what? Just rebound... period. Oral Roberts is one of the worst rebounding teams in the tournament, ranking 82nd and averaging only 28.0 per game. That's not a postseason blip either—the Golden Eagles were ranked 171st in rebounds per game and 310th in rebound margin during the regular season.


3️⃣ Throw the kitchen sink at Kevin Obanor and Max Abmas. You may not know who either of these players are, but I'll bet the mortgage on Coach Musselman being familiar with them. Obanor is ranked third in the tournament with 29.0 points per game and Abmas isn't too far behind, ranked sixth with 27.5 points per game. They're the only Oral Roberts players who have scored more than nine points in a tournament game. Stop them and you stop the Golden Eagles.


4️⃣ Let them stay selfish. Oral Roberts takes the first shot available so often, they rank 53rd in the tournament in assists and finished the regular season ranked tied for 207th in the nation during the regular season with just 12.7 assists per game. If they don't want to distribute to key players like Obanor and Abmas, don't let them.


You can watch Arkansas vs. Oral Roberts in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night at 6:25pm CT. The game will be broadcast on TBS.

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