By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer
The season has passed the ½ way mark with a loss at South Carolina on Wednesday night. Now, the Cats continue their mid-season two game trip with a game in Fayetteville, Arkansas against a group of hogs that have been playing very good basketball this season.
We recall that the two game Las Vegas junket last month ended with a pair of losses, and a repeat of the 0-2 trip now would carry very serious impact upon the Cats’ standing in the SEC race.
Arkansas enters this game with an 14-2 record, 3-1 in the SEC. Arkansas won its first 8 games before stumbling at #106 Western Kentucky by 7 points in OT. The Hogs have won 6 of their 7 games since, losing at #24 LSU by 2. Arkansas’s most impressive wins thus far this season have been over Rice with a game ANE of 0.49 ppp and over #52 Indiana with a game ANE of 0.34 ppp.
Arkansas’s weakest games this season have been against #178 Austin Peay with a game ANE of 0.02 ppp and against #166 Valparaiso with a game ANE of 0.01 ppp, each in a winning effort. Arkansas’s current ANE is an 0.202 ppp against a schedule strength of 0.021 ppp and a tempo of 71.7 possessions per game.
The Cats bring an ANE of 0.195 ppp into this game having played a schedule strength of 0.013 ppp at a tempo of 69.9 possessions per game.
Based on this data for these teams, an ANE analysis indicates this game will have a tempo of 71 possessions with the Cats falling by 5 points, 66-71