Wednesday night features a showdown of the top two teams in the SEC as the No. 6 Alabama Crimson Tide (18-5, 13-1 in the conference) take on the No. 20 Arkansas Razorbacks (17-5, 9-4 in the conference). Arkansas will host this one from Bud Walton Arena, with tipoff scheduled for 9:00 pm ET.
For Alabama, they are hoping that it will be a repeat of the first time these teams matched up when the Crimson Tide won 90-59. In that victory, John Petty (17), Jaden Shackelford (16), and Herb Jones (13) all scored in double digits.
Alabama has won three in a row coming into this one and, with three games left, they would love to finish the regular season out strong.
Arkansas comes in having won four games in a row, including a 75-64 win over Florida on Tuesday. While overtaking the Crimson Tide in the conference is out of the question, the Razorbacks would love to pad their postseason resume and exact a little revenge by taking out the Crimson Tide on Wednesday.
Arkansas is the slight favorite playing at home in this one. They are -118 to win while the Crimson Tide’s moneyline sits at +100. The spread features Alabama +1, and the over/under for total points is 155.5.
By The Numbers
Both of these teams are pretty elite on the offensive side. Arkansas currently ranks 9th in the country in scoring averaging 82.5 points per game. For Alabama, they come in 15th overall averaging 80.9 points per game (92.7 over their last three games).
Alabama can be especially deadly from long range. They rank 2nd in the nation in three-point baskets per game at 10.9.
Defensively, Arkansas has a slight edge in scoring defense. They rank 163rd in the nation allowing opponents 70.1 points per game. Alabama is not too far behind, ranking 174th and allowing 70.5 points per game.
Alabama Hopes To Sweep Season Series
With the exception of a single blip to Missouri, Alabama has been flawless in the SEC this season. Hoping to build off their earlier success, the Crimson Tide will try to stay dominant in the conference and sweep the season series from Arkansas.
Leading the way for the Crimson Tide is sophomore guard Jaden Shackelford. In 23 games, he is averaging 14.5 points, four rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game.
Alabama has three others averaging double digits in John Petty Jr. (13 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 steals), Jahvon Quinerly (11.7 points, 1.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists), and Herbert Jones (11.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, three assists, 1.7 steals, 1.1 blocks).
Arkansas Out For Revenge
It has been a tale of two halves this season for the Razorbacks. After getting off to a sluggish start, they have been surging as of late and have won seven straight conference games. They hope to keep the momentum going and to repay the favor to Alabama for the beatdown they took earlier this season.
Freshman guard Moses Moody has easily been the most impressive player on the team. He is averaging 16.2 points on 44% shooting. He is also chipping in 5.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.1 steals. In the two teams’ first matchup, Moody led Arkansas with 28 points and nine rebounds.
The Razorbacks have three others averaging double digits in JD Notae (12.5 points, three rebounds, 1.1 steals), Justin Smith (11.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals), and Jalen Tate (11.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.5 steals).
Taking Alabama And The Point
While I don’t think that Alabama is a 31-point better team than Arkansas, like in their first matchup, I do think Alabama has proven they are the better team overall this season.
Granted, Arkansas will get a bit of a boost playing at home, where they are 13-1 this year, but it is not like Alabama has been bad on the road as they are 5-2. Ultimately, I envision a much closer game than their first matchup but still like Alabama to win, especially since they are being considered the underdog in this one.
Prediction: Alabama to win