Arkansas vs. UConn, NCAA Tournament Sweet 16: How to watch, odds, predictions

Ricky Council IV, Arkansas Razorbacks, NCAA Tournament, March Madness (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Ricky Council IV, Arkansas Razorbacks, NCAA Tournament, March Madness (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 is scheduled to get underway on Thursday night, which is when the Arkansas Razorbacks are set to square off against the UConn Huskies.

The first of two nights of NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 action is scheduled for Thursday evening, and game number two of four features a matchup between the No. 4 seed UConn Huskies (27-8) and the No. 8 seed Arkansas Razorbacks (22-13), with a spot in the Elite 8 on the line in the West region.

UConn was pretty much expected to be here, taking care of business against No. 13 seed Iona and No. 5 seed Saint Mary’s in the round of 64 and the round of 32, respectively.

Arkansas, not so much. While their opening round matchup against No. 9 seed Illinois was considered a tossup, you’d be hard pressed to find anybody who didn’t pick the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks, who were in the running for the top overall seed in the bracket, to advance to at least the second weekend.

But the streak of reigning champions being eliminated before the Sweet 16 continued, with Arkansas making Kansas the sixth straight defending champion to lose in either the round of 32 or the round of 64. Meanwhile, Arkansas extended their Sweet 16 streak to three years in a row.

How to watch Arkansas vs. UConn in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16

Just like they were in the first two rounds, all NCAA Tournament games continue to be broadcast live on either CBS, TNT, TBS, or TruTV.

The two West regional semifinals, plus Saturday’s final, are set to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Date: Thursday, March 23
Time: 7:15 pm ET
Channel: CBS
StreamingNCAA March Madness Live
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner, Stan Van Gundy, Lauren Shehadi

Arkansas vs. UConn NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 odds

According to the odds posted on FanDuel Sportsbook, the Huskies are 4.5-point favorites, with an over/under in the game of 139.5. The Huskies own a better record against the spread this year, coming in at 23-11-1, compared to the Razorbacks’ mark of 18-16-1.

Moneyline on the Huskies is currently set at -184 (bet $184 to win $100), while it is set at +152 (bet $100 to win $152) on the Razorbacks.

Arkansas vs. UConn NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 prediction

Everyone is picking the Huskies, right? Just like everyone picked the Jayhawks.

But let’s recall that when ESPN released their post-championship way-too-early power rankings for the 2022-2023 season, Arkansas was ranked in the top two, and they weren’t second.

While we are nearly 12 months removed from that article, there’s a reason — multiple reasons, in fact — why that was the case.

This is a team that largely underachieved throughout the season — reminiscent of the 2014 Kentucky Wildcats — and injuries certainly played a role in a relatively disappointing 13-loss campaign, but they seem to be coming together at the right time, which is always key in March.

Eric Musselman’s team is fully capable of a third straight Elite 8 run, where a potential matchup with the No. 2 seed UCLA Bruins or the No. 3 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs looms — and with a trip to their first Final Four since 1995 on the line.

Prediction: Arkansas 70, UConn 66

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