Fans are anxiously awaiting the SEC Semifinals matchup between sixth seeded Arkansas (23-10) and the #2 seed Tennessee (24-7), who is also ranked 17th in the country. The two teams have combined to win nine of their last 10 games overall and put up 188 total points when they met up in the SEC opener this season. Arkansas won that contest at home, but find themselves as -3 underdogs heading into the 3/10 SEC tournament free pick.
Arkansas has won its last 6 meetings with Tennessee and its 20-19 all time against them
— Ty Bohannan (@Tbo280) March 10, 2018
Should Arkansas Be Favored in This Contest?
The Razorbacks have rattled off wins against a Final Four team from a year ago (South Carolina) and a team they haven’t beat since 2013 (Florida) through the first two rounds of the ACC tournament. Arkansas is an automatic at-large bid for the NCAA tournament but could improve their seeding even more with another win over a ranked opponent today. That will be nothing new for the Hogs who are 5-1 this season against ranked opponents and has four wins over tournament-bound teams in their last seven games.
Arkansas plus the points isn’t a bad bet for the 3/10 SEC tournament free pick considering they have a win over Tennessee already this season. The Razorbacks also have three other things that have them eyeing a berth in tomorrow’s conference championship game – 1) experience, 2) talent 3) fans. This is Arkansas’ third appearance in the semifinals in the past four years. The team is led by Jaylen Barford (18.2 ppg) and Daryl Macon (16.8) who combined for 40 in the win over Florida. Also with this year’s tournament being held at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis the Razorbacks have welcomed a horde of fans in for the short 4.5 hour drive.
Can Tennessee Continue to Amaze?
At the beginning of the year, most experts had Tennessee predicted near the bottom of the SEC standings. Obviously they want more with a win in the 3/10 SEC tournament free pick but a 24 win season and being the co-champs with the #2 seed in the conference tourney is a pretty good example of defying expectations. The Vols have found this success with their pesky defense which is top 25 in the nation in opponents shooting percentage. Tennessee did struggle a bit with a 62-59 win over Mississippi State on Friday as -6 favorites. Their defense was another bright spot however, holding the Bulldogs to 20-56 shooting from the field (35.7%) including 5-21 from three point range. It was the fifth straight game the Vols held an opponent to under 65 points.
Of course to get a win against Arkansas tonight the Volunteers are going to have to score too. Admiral Schofield can pick up the slack there as he was named back-to-back conference player of the week to wind down the season. Grant Williams also has two 20+ point games in his last five and Lamonte Turner led the ugly win over Mississippi State with 15 points. The Volunteers actually held a 7 point lead in Fayetteville in the first meeting, but gave up 64 points in the second half and overtime to drop a two point contest. Can the Tennessee defense stop the Arkansas duo of Macon and Barfield who combined for 61 points in that game?
3/10 SEC Tournament Free Pick Betting
Regardless of this afternoon’s contest supposedly being a great game, the Vols find themselves as -3 favorites and 59% of the public agree with that line. Arkansas has played one extra game coming into today but they are also 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 while the Volunteers are 2-5 ATS their last 7 against teams with a winning SU record. When you take into account the Razorbacks are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 head-to-head meetings and that they are experienced with semifinals pressure playing in this game 3 of the last 4 years the Hogs are the pick today.
Free Pick: Arkansas Razorbacks +3