Arkansas vs Connecticut 3/23/23 - College Basketball Picks & Predictions

Last Updated: 03/20/2023 at 12:09 AM ET

The West Region’s No. 4 seed Connecticut Huskies will face the eighth-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks (22-13) in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen on Thursday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. UConn defeated St. Mary’s, 70-55, in the second round Sunday. Arkansas edged past No. 1 seed Kansas, 72-71, on Saturday.  

Once a national basketball power from the Big East, UConn is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2014. The Huskies won the championship that season and are looking like a very dangerous team again.

Junior forward Adama Sanogo continued to be a force for the Huskies, scoring 24 points and grabbing eight rebounds against the Gaels. Sanogo had 28 points and 13 rebounds in UConn’s 87-63 win over Iona on Friday.  

Jordan Hawkins reached double digits again for the Huskies by draining four three-pointers. He scored all of his points in a five-minute stretch in the middle of the second half as UConn pulled away from St. Mary’s. Hawkins had 13 points against Iona with three three-pointers and four free throws.

Arkansas is in the Sweet Sixteen for the third year in a row after knocking out the defending national champions. The Razorbacks defeated a No. 1 seed last season, too, bouncing No. 1 Gonzaga from the tournament in the Elite 8 as the No. 4 seed in the West. They lost to No. 1 Baylor in the South Region as a No. 3 seed in 2021.

Arkansas trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half but would not be denied. Davonte Davis led the way for Arkansas with 25 points. Ricky Council contributed 21 and hit five big free throws late to seal the win for the Razorbacks.

This matchup pits two schools with storied tournament histories. Arkansas has been the far more successful program of late despite slipping to a No. 8 seed this year. UConn is looking incredibly strong, however. The Razorbacks will have to find a way to contain Sanogo, while the Huskies will attempt to stop the Arkansas transition game. We think Sanogo and a deep UConn squad prevail with another strong second-half showing. Final Score Prediction: UConn wins 74-70.

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