Rushed Reactions: #8 Arkansas 77, #9 Seton Hall 71

Posted by Brad Jenkins (@bradjenk) on March 17th, 2017

RTC will be providing coverage of the NCAA Tournament from start to finish. Brad Jenkins (@bradjenk) is in Greenville this weekend.

Mike Anderson leads Arkansas into the second round. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Three Key Takeaways.

  1. Did the tempo get to Seton Hall? Arkansas came into the game as the team most likely to favor an up-and-down contest. With a first half played at 39 possessions, Kevin Willard wisely used his bench to give each starter at least five minutes off the floor before halftime. Halfway through the second half, the Pirates spurted to an eight-point lead, but could not maintain it. Down the stretch, Arkansas looked like the fresher team and Seton Hall made sloppy mistakes that tired teams often make. After halftime, Arkansas turned eight Seton Hall turnovers into 14 points. And the key play of the game was also a mental error–the flagrant foul called on Desi Rodriquez that gave the Razorbacks a huge late advantage.
  2. Arkansas is not good at defensive rebounding. For the year, the Razorbacks rank among the worst 30 teams in the nation on the defensive glass and they played true to form today. Seton Hall snagged 21 offensive boards to make up for a poor shooting performance from the floor and keep the game close. Fortunately for Arkansas, the Pirates only turned those rebounds into 14 second chance points. So the positive for the Razorbacks is that their second shot (and sometimes third shot) defense was good.
  3. Seton Hall’s shooting tells the tale. The Pirates have not shot well for much of the season and they struggled to put the ball in the basket again today. Seton Hall was ineffective from everywhere – making only 39 percent of its twos, 35 percent of its threes, and just 62 percent from the foul line. Khadeen Carrington was the only Pirate that could make shots for much of the game as he finished with 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting.

Player of the Game. Moses Kingsley, Arkansas. Kingsley clearly got the best of Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado in the battle of the big men. He finished with 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor, and also grabbed six boards and blocked four shots. His monster rejection of a Seton Hall dunk attempt in the second half was the play of the game.

Quotable.

  • “It took a tremendous defensive effort today.” – Arkansas coach Mike Anderson on the key to the game today.
  • “It’s win or go home.” – Kingsley on his motivation today.
  • “I thought the three guys [officials] did a great job tonight so I can’t complain about it, even if I disagree with it.” – Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard on the controversial late flagrant foul call.
  • “The free throw line really hurt us.” – Willard on his team’s offensive woes.

Sights and Sounds. Normally you have a dead arena when the first game of the day involves two non-local teams, but that was not the case here. Perhaps playing in a slightly smaller arena–Bon Secours Wellness Arena–made for a better atmosphere since there were less seats to be empty.

What’s Next. Arkansas advances to the Second Round on Sunday where it will presumably face top-seeded North Carolina–assuming the Tar Heels don’t make history against #16 seed Texas Southern.

Brad Jenkins (325 Posts)


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