Last Word On Basketball

Arkansas Razorbacks Scoring Balance is Key to NCAA Tournament Run

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - NOVEMBER 28: JD Notae #1 of the Arkansas Razorbacks drives past Zachary Simmons #24 of the North Texas Mean Green at Bud Walton Arena on November 28, 2020 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Mean Green 69-54. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Arkansas has been one of the hottest teams in the nation since the beginning of February. They head into the NCAA Tournament having won 12 of their last 14 games. The Razorbacks scoring balance is the biggest key to their success late in the season. They will be a three seed in March Madness and will open their tournament run against Colgate on Friday afternoon. Arkansas has a chance to make some major noise in the Big Dance, but they need everyone producing in order to do so.

Arkansas Razorbacks Scoring Balance is Key to NCAA Tournament Run

Fast and Furious

The Arkansas tradition of “40 minutes of Hell” is no longer the way this program plays. However, they are still a very aggressive team on both ends of the floor. The Razorbacks scoring balance helps this team manage through players having an off night, or when foul trouble takes someone out of the lineup. They are seventh in the country with their 82.4 points a game. Four different players average in double figures, and seven players have led this team in scoring during SEC play. Arkansas’ combination of shooting, speed, and athleticism make them tough for any defense to match up with.

Key Ingredient

Moses Moody has garnered most of the headlines for this team as the SEC Freshman of the Year. Despite the young guard’s rise to fame, Justin Smith is the guy that brings everything together for the Razorbacks. The transfer forward does all the little things for Arkansas. He makes winning plays on both ends of the floor on a nightly basis. Whether it’s a deflection or block on defense, or an offensive rebound or timely bucket on the other end, Smith makes big plays in big moments. The Razorbacks have lost just three times all season with him in the lineup.

Pitching In to the Razorbacks Scoring

The Razorbacks scoring balance goes up and down this roster. They have multiple players who can score big on a given night, both in the starting lineup and off the bench. JD Notae is second on the team in scoring despite only starting one game this season. He was named the SEC 6th Man of the Year. This team also has Jalen Tate and Desi Sills in their loaded back court. Both of them have multiple 20 point games this season. Freshman Davonte Davis has also had a few big games off the bench for this team. The Razorbacks can score in a variety of ways, and have the depth to sustain their level of play even if one or two guys are having an off night.

Arkansas Razorbacks Path to the Final Four

Arkansas is hot at the right time, and will try to carry that momentum into the tournaments opening rounds this weekend. They have the talent to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament, and the bracket has lined up well for them. The two higher seeded teams in the South Region have both had a few issues over the last month. Baylor was cruising early in the season, but they have not looked like the same team since COVID-19 protocols paused their campaign. They are still very talented and extremely well coached, but their level of play has dropped off from the dominance to begin the year. The two seed Ohio State had lost four in a row before rebounding to reach the Big Ten tournament final.

This weekend, the Arkansas Razorbacks scoring balance will be tested in different ways by the two teams they could face. Colgate has the firepower to keep pace with Arkansas. They are the nation’s second highest scoring team at 86 points a night. This game should be a fun one to watch as both teams look to score in bunches. If they survive their opener, a date with Texas Tech could be up next. The Red Raiders are one of the best defensive teams in the nation, so that would pose an entirely different set of problems.

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