Ole Miss (17-12) at Arkansas (20-9)
GAME NOTES: The Arkansas Razorbacks will attempt to keep their late-season surge alive on Wednesday night, as they play their final home game of the season against the Ole Miss Rebels in an SEC showdown at Bud Walton Arena.
Ole Miss is a solid 17-12 overall this season and 7-7 in SEC action, but it has hit a rough patch as the regular season begins to wind down with losses in five of its last six games. The Rebels fell at Texas A&M on Saturday, 71-60, to drop to just 4-7 on the road.
Meanwhile, Arkansas has run up the league standings and bolstered its NCAA Tournament resume in recent weeks with wins in five in a row and seven of eight. After earning an outstanding road victory at nationally-ranked Kentucky last Thursday, the Razorbacks took care of business at home versus Georgia on Saturday, 87-75, to improve to 20-9 overall, 9-7 in the SEC and 15-2 at Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas holds a 41-30 advantage over Ole Miss in the all-time series, but the Rebels have dominated in recent season with six consecutive wins.
Although the Rebels went into halftime of their latest game tied with Texas A&M, their offensive attack sputtered down the stretch and were eventually saddled with the 11-point loss. They shot only 36.1 percent from the field, including a dreadful 7-of-31 from 3-point range, while the Aggies made good on nearly 51 percent of their tries from the floor. Jarvis Summers paced the losing effort with 18 points, and Marshall Henderson pitched in 16 points but on just 5-of-18 from the field.
On the season, Ole Miss only shoots 42.1 percent from the floor, but its up- tempo style of play, coupled with a strong turnover margin (+2.9), allows it to have one of the SEC's best scoring offenses with 75.4 ppg, which is usually good enough to mask a lackluster defensive effort (72.0 ppg). Henderson pours in 19.2 ppg, and while he shoots just 36.3 percent overall, his 115 3-pointers are third-most in the nation. Henderson's backcourt mate, Jarvis Summers (17.2 ppg), has been much more efficient from the field (.493), and while Aaron Jones isn't much for scoring (6.3 ppg), he patrols the paint with 6.9 rpg and 2.1 bpg.
The Razorbacks battled through eight ties and 10 lead changes in the first half over the weekend before surging ahead by seven at intermission, and they coasted the rest of the way en route to the 12-point victory, shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 26-of-36 at the free-throw line, while winning the turnover battle, 16-8. Coty Clarke was active and effective from the foul line (11-of-13) on his way to 23 points, while Michael Qualls knocked down 7-of-9 from the field for 20 points.
The Razorbacks are the SEC's top scoring team, pouring in 80.4 ppg on 44.6 percent field goal shooting and 71.6 percent free-throw shooting, and pairing the offensive attack with a modest scoring defense (70.5 ppg) allows for a scoring margin that ranks in the top-30 nationally (+9.9). The squad is also active in the takeaway battle, with its +5.6 turnover margin ranking fifth- best in the country. Bobby Portis (12.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg), Rashad Madden (12.5 ppg) and Michael Qualls (12.3 ppg) are all neck-and-neck for the scoring lead, while nine others net at least 2.9 ppg the round out the deep team.
With Ole Miss reeling and Arkansas surging, expect those trends to continue as the Razorbacks defend their home floor.
GAME NOTES: The Arkansas Razorbacks will attempt to keep their late-season
surge alive on Wednesday night, as they play their final home game of the
season against the Ole Miss Rebels in an SEC showdown at Bud Walton Arena.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bud Walton Arena (19,200) -- Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Ole Miss 11-5, Arkansas 15-2. Away Record:
Ole Miss 4-7, Arkansas 3-5. Neutral Record: Ole Miss 2-0, Arkansas 2-2.
Conference Record: Ole Miss 7-7, Arkansas 9-7. Series Record: Arkansas leads,
41-30.Game Date and Time
Wednesday, March 5, 8 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Arkansas 84, Ole Miss 72