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Hogs and Catamounts Battle in Buffalo

All Arkansas fans were huddled around the television this past Sunday as they unveiled the NCAA Tournament bracket. It was announced that Arkansas would draw the #4 seed and the #13 seed Vermont Catamounts from the American East Conference. When these two teams tip it off from Buffalo on Thursday at 8:20 on TNT, it will be for the very first time in school history. Who will come out on top? 

How Vermont Wins

The Vermont Catamounts {28-5, 17-1 American East} are one of the hottest teams coming into the tournament, winning its last 22 of 23 games. They are led in points by Ryan Davis with 17 points. Davis is shooting 59% from the field, 42% from 3, and 78% from the line, and guard Ben Shungo is averaging 16 points, 52% from the field, 41% from 3, and 71% from the field line. These two will be two players that will have to play well Thursday night for the Catamounts. Vermont will want to slow the Hogs down with their 285th ranked in the nation’s pace of play. This may be a key factor in the outcome of the game. Vermont will need to continue to hold their 22nd in the nation rank for rebounds to win. This will be key in keeping Arkansas to one-shot possessions and getting second-chance points. 

How Arkansas Wins

The Arkansas Razorbacks {25-8, 13-5 SEC} are back in the NCAA tournament and looking to repeat last season’s success. The Hogs are led by Jd Notae in points and assists with 18 and 3 rebounds per game. This team all season has played as Jd has and when he is on this team is dangerous. Fort Smith native Jaylon Williams leads the team in rebounds with 9 per game and leads the nation in charges taken with what seems to be 90 by now. He is a force in the paint with 10 points and shooting 47% on the season. Arkansas has made its name on the defensive end the past few seasons, and head coach Eric Mussleman will look to this top 20 ranked defense to speed up a hot shooting Catamounts on Thursday night. 


This Arkansas and Vermont game has been talked about nationally as a possible trap game for the Hogs. Vermont will show fight, and I can see this game being close for a half. Arkansas will speed Vermont up and create extra possessions for Notae, Williams, and others and Hogs get the 1st round win. 

The winner of this game will face the winner of #5 Uconn Huskies and #12 New Mexico State Aggies on Saturday. 

Wes Pruett