Arkansas Razorbacks (17-8 SU, 12-13 ATS, 12-12 O/U) vs. Ole Miss Rebels (11-14 SU, 9-15 ATS, 9-15 O/U)
NCAAB: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. EST
The Ole Miss Rebels will be hoping to halt a five-game losing streak when they host the Arkansas Razorbacks at The Pavilion on Tuesday night. Ole Miss most recently saw its woes extended with a setback Vanderbilt this past Saturday. The Razorbacks are 5-2 in their last seven contests and they are coming off consecutive victories over South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
Putting the clamps down
Arkansas is starting to play the kind of defense that could lead to an NCAA Tournament berth, although it does have a tough test on its hands in this one. The Razorbacks produced their largest scoring output in SEC play in their conference opener against Ole Miss, but they also allowed what was a season-high in points at the time. Arkansas’ 97-93 victory over Ole Miss on Jan. 20 kickstarted a stretch that has seen the Razorbacks win five of their past seven games. Unlike in that matchup, though, the Hogs’ defense has been the difference-maker. They have held opponents to 65 points or fewer in three of the other four wins during this hot stretch. The Razorbacks’ most recent success last weekend might have been the most impressive from a defensive standpoint, as they limited Vanderbilt to just 25 percent shooting from the floor in a 72-54 rout.
Daryl Macon has extended his streak of games with at least 20 points to seven, but the senior guard had to work for it against the Commodores. He scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half. Macon’s 17.4 points per game rank second on the team behind Jaylen Barford (18.7 ppg), who had 16 in the win over Vanderbilt and is averaging 18.5 in four games since going for just six points on 2-of-11 shooting in a close win over Oklahoma State on Jan. 27.
Kennedy on the way out
The Rebels have dropped five consecutive games and seven of their last eight, and they have failed to score more than 70 points in four straight. Ole Miss is also dealing with the distraction of head coach Andy Kennedy having announced that he is stepping down following this season. Kennedy’s loss will be a tough one for a program that has gone 245-154 in his 11-plus seasons at the helm. He is the winningest coach in school history and has led the Rebels to two NCAA Tournament appearances as well as a pair of NIT Final Four berths.
This year’s squad has struggled to generate offense, sitting as one of only three teams in the conference with an adjusted field-goal rate below 50 percent. Deandre Burnett paces the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game but has been held to single-digits three times in the past eight games. He poured in 12 points but shot just 3-of-12 from the field in the Rebels’ loss to the Razorbacks last month.
The Arkansas Razorbacks are:
- 3-10 ATS in their last 13 overall
- 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games against the SEC
- 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games
The Ole Miss Rebels are:
- 6-2 ATS in their last eight home games
- 23-8-2 ATS in their last 33 games against Arkansas
- 13-2-1 ATS in their last 16 home games against Arkansas
For Ole Miss, Barford is heating up beyond the arc–having knocked down nine of 15 attempts over his past two games to improve to 46.6 percent for the season. Forward Bruce Stevens is averaging 15.7 points over his past three games after scoring just 10 combined points in his previous three outings. The Razorbacks are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 overall, 3-10 ATS in their last 13 against the SEC, 1-6 ATS in their last seven on the road, 1-6 ATS in their last seven on the road against opponents with winning home records, 2-5 ATS in their last seven following a win, and 8-23-2 ATS in the last 33 meetings between the two teams. Ole Miss is 6-2 ATS in its last eight at home and 13-2-1 ATS in its last 16 at home against Arkansas. Don’t be surprised if those trends continue.