After scraping a comeback victory away from LSU last night, Kentucky is looking to build on their success with a win at Arkansas on Saturday. Arkansas on the other hand is looking to continue their way up in the rankings having moved from 23 to 18 after last week’s victory over Tennessee.
Arkansas is on a roll lately only losing one game since early January. They started off 2022 with a rough 0-3 stretch against conference opponents, but have since bounced back incredibly. In the past three weeks they’ve beaten number one Auburn and number 16 Tennessee. Their only loss in that stretch was a one point game at Alabama.
Sixth ranked Kentucky is hoping to build on their victory over LSU last night by going into Bud Walton arena and beating the Razorbacks. I’m going to look at the lines and matchups and let you know how the game is going to go down.
Kentucky has top-tier talent
Oscar Tshiebwe is Kentucky’s best player. He averages 16 points per game, 15 rebounds per game, and is six foot nine. He’s an absolute animal on the glass and inside the paint. Nobody can stop him when he’s hot, and Kentucky will certainly run the ball through him to try to win on Saturday.
In addition to Tshiebwe, Kentucky has a phenomenal guard in Sahvir Wheeler. As Kentucky goes into Arkansas they’ll need Wheeler’s three-point shooting, as he shoots 54% from beyond the arc when the Wildcats are on the road.
Wheeler also leads Kentucky with seven assists per game. If Kentucky plans to beat Arkansas they’ll need to move the ball through Wheeler and finish down low in the paint with the big man Tshiebwe.
Arkansas is Impressive at Home
Since 2022 began, Arkansas has lost one home game. It was a one point loss to Vanderbilt on January fourth. Since then they’ve beaten South Carolina, Texas A&M, West Virginia, Mississippi State, Auburn and Tennessee at home.
They’ll welcome Kentucky for the first time this year and try to beat the number six ranked team in the country. If Arkansas can pull off the upset they’ll be the only team in the country to beat both Kentucky and Auburn.
JD Notae is the prime reason for Arkansas’ success. Notae averages almost 19 points a game and more than two steals per game. On both sides of the ball Notae is directly responsible for a lot of the great things going on.
Forward Jaylin WIlliams is also a dominant force in the paint, averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds each game. He’ll have his hands full on Saturday trying to defend Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe.
I see Arkansas putting up a tough fight against Kentucky in this one. They’re a great home team and I expect them to cover the spread. I expect the spread to be set at +5.5 for Arkansas.
In the end though I think Kentucky will be too much. I expect Tshiebwe to have an incredible game and dominate on the inside. 73-70 Wildcats win. I’ll be taking the Arkansas spread.