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Hogbeat – How to watch Arkansas-Illinois, projected lineups, and more

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The Arkansas Razorbacks will look to kick off a third straight NCAA tournament run with a win over the Illinois Fighting Illini on Thursday afternoon inside Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

Arkansas, which is the 8-seed, is less experienced than the 9-seed Illini as far as the post-season goes, but that doesn’t hold it back confidently.

“We’re just trying to teach those (young) guys and want them to know coming into this game, it’s going to be tough, we know that,” Davontae Davis said. “Nobody wants to go home. So we just want to come in and play as hard as we can and definitely execute. I think if we do that, we can win. So First game, just come in and play hard.”

Illinois is a tall team that plays a physical basketball and presents a tough matchup in the paint as the nation’s No. 2 team in blocks per game (5.7). The Illini also finished No. 2 in the Big 10 and 29th in the nation in rebounding this season.

Head coach Eric Musselman said, “He has great size, and when you look across the board he can block a shot in every position.” “It’s unique to play with a team that can convert the 1-5 shot and when you build a roster with length, it’s one of the things you want to do. It’s one of the advantages you Want to try to make people shoot at you.”

While the Illini have a pair of transfers in Terrence Shannon Jr. (Texas Tech) and Matthew Meyer (Baylor) that the Razorbacks have experience in the NCAA tournament, Hogg has two star freshmen in Nick Smith Jr. and Anthony Black who will Can give Illinois fit.

“Nick is an excellent scorer,” said Illinois head coach Brad Underwood. “He’s able to score 20 every night he steps on the court. And he can do it a variety of ways. He can do it with catch-and-shoot, he can do it with bounces, they’re Going to put you in ball screen.

“And Anthony does it in a lot of different ways. He has length, size, downhill, he can dominate you at the rim with that length. He has very fast hands and can trouble you with steals on the defensive side. Again, he’s 6’6, 6’7, so he’s got great size on the perimeter with those two.”

The winner of Thursday’s matchup will advance to the Round of 32 to face the winner of 1-seed Kansas and 16-seed Howard.

Here are the details on how to watch/listen, notes, projected lineups, stats, odds and more for Thursday’s game between Arkansas and Illinois:


~ Arkansas earned its 36th NCAA bid and third in a row.

~ This is the first time since 2006, ’07, and ’08 that the Hoggs have played in three consecutive NCAA tournaments.

~ Arkansas advanced to the NCAA Elite 8 in each of the last two years. In 2021, Arkansas lost to eventual national champion Baylor in the Elite 8. In 2022, Arkansas upset #1 overall seed Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 before falling to Duke in the Elite 8.

~ The Razorbacks’ all-time record in NCAA tournament action is 48–34.

~ This is the third time in program history that Arkansas has received an 8 seed. Arkansas won its NCAA opener in 2017 (vs. Seton Hall) as an 8-seed. As an 8-seed in 2006, Arkansas lost its opener to Bucknell.

~Arkansas is 18–8 in first round games of the NCAA Tournament (including a loss in a second round game in 2015 when the “first four” was considered the first round).

~ Arkansas and Illinois have met on five previous occasions and the Illini have won all five. The first meeting (December 14, 1949) was played in Champaign and the other four were played at “home” neutral sites (Little Rock for Arkansas and Chicago for Illinois) since 2001 in four-game “home-and-home”. . -2004.

~Arkansas has never played in Des Moines. Arkansas has only played Iowa State on two previous occasions, both coming in Ames vs. Iowa State. First, Arkansas lost to the Cyclones, 86–77, on December 14, 1970, and then lost to ISU, 95–77, in the 2015 SEC-Big 12 Challenge.

how to watch/listen

WHO: 8-seed Arkansas Razorbacks (20-13) vs. 9-seed Illinois Fighting Illini (20-12)

When: Thursday, March 16 at 3:30 PM CT

Where: Des Moines, Iowa – Wells Fargo Arena (16,110)

Television: TBS (Brian Anderson, Jim Jackson, Eli LaForce)

Stream/Online: NCAA Game Center

radio: Learfield Razorback Sports Network (Chuck Barrett and Matt Zimmerman)

Gameday info and how to listen online/mobile: razorback gameday app

Sirius/XM National Broadcast: 136 (Sirius) / 206 (XM) || sxm app: Channel 967

predicted lineup


#0 – G Anthony Black – Fr., 6’7″, 198 lbs.

2022-23 Stats per game: 34.7 Min, 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.0 steals, 3.2 turnovers, 0.6 block, 46.5 fg%, 31.0 3fg%

#3 – G Nick Smith Jr. – Fr., 6’5″, 185 lbs.

2022-23 Stats per game: 26.4 minutes, 14.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.7 turnovers, 0.1 blocks, 39.1 fg%, 34.4 3fg%

#4 – G Devonte Davis – Jr., 6’4″, 185 lbs.

2022-23 Stats per game: 33.4 minutes, 10.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals, 2.0 turnovers, 0.1 block, 41.2 fg%, 34.4 3fg%

#15 – F Makhi Mitchell – Sr., 6’9″, 230 lbs.

2022-23 Stats Per Game: 20.3 min, 7.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.9 turnovers, 1.4 blocks, 66.7 fg%, 100 3fg%

#22 – F Machel Mitchell – Sr., 6’10”, 240 lbs.

2022-23 Stats per game: 14.1 minutes, 4.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.6 turnovers, 1.7 blocks, 63.5 fg%


#0 – G Terrence Shannon Jr. – Sr., 6’6″, 225 lbs.

2022-23 Stats per game: 32.1 minutes, 17.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.6 turnovers, 0.5 blocks, 44.0 fg%, 32.7 3fg%

#15 – G RJ Melendez – So., 6’7″, 205 lbs.

2022-23 Stats Per Game: 21.4 min, 5.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.0 turnovers, 0.5 blocks, 37.0 fg%, 25.3 3fg%

#24 – G/F Matthew Meyer – Gr, 6’9″, 225 lbs.

2022-23 Stats per game: 26.7 minutes, 12.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.3 turnovers, 1.3 blocks, 41.4 fg%, 33.8 3fg%

#33 – F Coleman Hawkins – Jr., 6’10”, 225 lbs.

2022-23 Stats per game: 32.4 minutes, 9.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 2.3 turnovers, 1.2 blocks, 44.4 fg%, 27.8 3fg%

#42 – F Daanza – R-So., 6’9″, 270 lbs.

2022-23 Stats per game: 20.5 minutes, 9.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.5 turnovers, 1.2 blocks, 63.7 fg%

Vegas Odds:

Vegas: Arkansas is a 1.5-point favorite (BETSARSEN)

ESPN: Arkansas has a 57.8% chance of winning


(Some information courtesy of Arkansas and Illinois Communications)

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