We now know the Hogs will take on Seton Hall Friday afternoon, and we and other places have previewed the Pirates leading up to the game. Seton Hall has had a very similar year to the Hogs, which makes sense for an 8/9 matchup. They even have a couple of similar opponents. They lost to Florida early, and beat South Carolina, although Sindarius Thornwell didn’t play in that game. Arkansas has a clear shooting advantage, but Seton Hall has a big edge on the boards.
The end of the SEC Championship went south quickly for Arkansas, and the team received a lot of criticism for it, especially from Dick Vitale who was calling the game. Mike Anderson was on Paul Finebaum’s show and made it clear he didn’t like they way Vitale talked about the situation, and even mentioned before the game Vitale didn’t even know Moses Kingsley’s name, instead calling him “Beasley.” It’s not surprising Anderson is going on the record to stand up for his guys, he also said he thought removing Kingsley from the game was the right call from the officials. It’s much more notable that he feels his player was disrespected by one of the more notable faces of college basketball. Vitale has since apologized.
Arkansas got one of the early tip offs on Friday, which means productivity throughout the state is going down even more than a usual NCAA Tournament afternoon. The game will be called by Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, and Lewis Johnson. You can see the whole list of commentators for the first two rounds here.
According to several places, Arkansas’ game is about as close to a coin flip as you can get. FiveThirtyEight gives the Hogs a 51% chance of winning, and Vegas has the Hogs as a one point favorite. All of FiveThirtyEight’s predictions are here, and include chances for teams to advance to each round. So if you’re the eternal optimist, hold on to that two percent chance they give Arkansas of making the Final Four.