Arkansas vs. Duke Game Odds, Matchup Prediction & Picks
Will Coach K get the winning send-off that the Duke faithful are hoping for? The Blue Devils are three wins from sending out the legendary coach with a sixth national championship. To move within two wins, Duke has to see off Arkansas in the West Regional final in San Francisco.
This matchup between the second-seeded Blue Devils and the fourth-seeded Razorbacks will be the third time that Coach K has faced Arkansas while on a quest for a title.
In 1990, the two teams met in the Final Four in Denver. In that matchup, the Blue Devils won 97-83 before being blown out by UNLV in the championship game.
Four years later, they met for the title in Charlotte. It would prove to be one of the closer and more thrilling championship clashes in recent March Madness history. With under a minute left, Scotty Thurman hit a tiebreaking three to put Arkansas ahead, and the Razorbacks claimed the program’s first national title with a 76-72 win.
As they were in 1990, Arkansas is a #4 seed this year. To reach the Elite Eight, the Razorbacks pulled a stunning upset of Gonzaga, who was the tournament’s top overall seed and the favorite to cut down the nets in New Orleans.
Duke, meanwhile, booked their place in the regional final with a win over #3 seed Texas Tech, rallying in the second half and making big plays and big shots late just as they did against Michigan State in the second round.
2022 NCAA Tournament West Regional Final: #4 Arkansas Razorbacks vs. #2 Duke Blue Devils Elite Eight Betting Odds and Matchup Information
- Game Matchup: #4 Arkansas Razorbacks (28-8) vs. #2 Duke Blue Devils (31-6)
- Venue & Location: Chase Center (San Francisco, California)
- Date: Saturday, March 26, 2022
- Time: 8:49 p.m. ET
- TV: TBS
Arkansas vs. Duke Betting Odds
- Spread: Arkansas +4 (-110), Duke -4 (-110)
- Total: OVER 147.5 (-110), UNDER 147.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Arkansas +152, Duke -184
Odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook.
Can Arkansas Frazzle Calm Duke?
While the officiating was certainly not at its best in Thursday’s matchup between Arkansas and Gonzaga, it takes nothing from how well the Hogs played against the Zags. Holding Gonzaga to only 68 points is no small feat, no matter what officiating issues occurred.
Entering the Sweet 16, the Bulldogs had been held to 75 or fewer points only four times this season: vs. Tarleton State (one of these things is not like the others, yes), Texas Tech, and Saint Mary’s (home and away). And they were actually 3-1 in those four games, while Arkansas was only 4-7 when scoring under 75 points this season.
Once again, Arkansas did not shoot well, making only 40.3 percent (29 of 72) overall from the field and 28 percent (7 of 25) from three. But they had an answer every time they needed to have one, never allowing Gonzaga to make the second-half run most would have expected.
But they limited Gonzaga to only 37.5 percent (24 of 64) overall from the field and 23.8 percent (5 of 21) from outside, and they forced 15 turnovers.
Can Arkansas repeat that feat against Duke?
There were a lot of questions about the mettle and ceiling of the Blue Devils entering the NCAA Tournament, after they lost at home to rival North Carolina in Coach K’s final home game and dominated by Virginia Tech in the championship game of the ACC Tournament.
But they stepped up in big moments against both Michigan State and Texas Tech to keep the championship dream alive.
It certainly helps in such moments to be shooting the ball as well as they are right now.
Shooting Percentages for Duke in the 2022 NCAA Tournament
vs. Cal State Fullerton (First Round)
- Field Goal Percentage: 51.7% (30 of 58)
- Three-Point Field Goal Percentage: 40.9% (9 of 22)
vs. Michigan State (Second Round)
- Field Goal Percentage: 57.1 (32 of 56)
- Three-Point Field Goal Percentage: 38.5% (5 of 13)
vs. Texas Tech (Sweet 16)
- Field Goal Percentage: 51.9% (28 of 54)
- Three-Point Field Goal Percentage: 36.8% (7 of 19)
Against Texas Tech, Duke shot 71 percent from the field in the second half, and they made their final eight shots. Their last missed shot from the field came with 8:56 remaining.
It also doesn’t hurt when your biggest talents step up in big moments, and they will need to again against Arkansas.
In the NCAA Tournament, Banchero is averaging 19.3 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 4.0 APG, and he is shooting 55 percent (22 of 40) from the field and almost 54 percent (7 of 13) from three.
Against Texas Tech, he had 22 points (7-12 FG, 3-4 3PT, 5-6 FT), four rebounds, four assists, and three steals, and his three with 2:57 left put the Blue Devils ahead for good.
Duke center Mark Williams took a while to get hot against Texas Tech, but he finished with 16 points (6 of 9 from the field and 4 of 4 from the free-throw line), eight rebounds, and three blocks. In the Big Dance, Williams is averaging 15.3 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 4.3 BPG, and he is shooting 73.1 percent (19 of 26) from the field and 88.9 percent (8 of 9) from the free-throw line.
Jeremy Roach also came up big for Duke against both Michigan State and Texas Tech. Against Michigan State, he had two big baskets in the final minutes as Duke rallied from five down with five minutes left. And after Banchero’s late three against Texas Tech, Roach hit shots on each of the next two possession to put Duke ahead by five, putting the game beyond the Red Raiders’ reach. In the
Arkansas vs. Duke Prediction and Picks
Duke 82, Arkansas 73 (Duke -4 & OVER 147.5)
Thus far in the NCAA Tournament, Arkansas has gotten by without shooting particularly well. Can they get away with that against Duke?
Getting Williams in foul trouble will be key for Arkansas. Duke has had some trouble this season when that has occurred, as mentioned in the Texas Tech-Duke preview. Both Michigan State and Texas Tech failed to do that, and Williams was able to produce in both games as a result.
The Blue Devils have scored 78, 85, and 78 in the NCAA Tournament without AJ Griffin really having a notable performance. He did hit three 3s against Texas Tech, but in the tournament, he is averaging only 9.0 PPG and shooting just 40 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from three, all below his season numbers.
Also, Trevor Keels has scored in double figures in only one of his last five games, in which time he has shot only 34.4 percent (11 of 32) from the field and 7.1 percent (1 of 14) from three.
So, we haven’t really even seen the Blue Devils at their best yet. If we see that in this matchup, Coach K’s retirement tour will continue on to New Orleans.
Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.