South Carolina heads to the second round against Arkansas

The best photo of Mindaugas Kacinas and Laimonas Chatkevicius available on the internet. - Kevin C. Cox

A quick and dirty look at the Razorbacks.

We took a look at Arkansas in our preview of the entire SEC Tournament here, but let's take one quick glance at what the Hogs do that could cause problems for Carolina today:

The Four Factors (Pomeroy Rankings)
When USC has the ball When Ark has the ball
USC Off. Ark Def. Edge Ark Off. USC Def. Edge
272 49 Ark Big eFG% 124 154 Push
322 9 Ark Big TO% 40 57 Push
6 346 USC Big OReb% 167 299 Ark
55 218 USC FTR 158 346 Ark Big
Shooting (percentages)
When USC has the ball When Ark has the ball
USC Off. Ark Def. Ark Off. USC Def. NCAA Avg.
70.4% - FT% 72.3% - 69.8%
43.3% 43.6% 2P% 48.2% 49.2% 48.5%
38.1% - 3P% 37% - 34.4%
27.9% 31.3% 3PA% 33.7% 35.3% 32.9%

It's an interesting contest in that the match-up advantages are incredibly stark - it's hard to see how Carolina's going to score from the field against the Hogs (look at those shooting numbers in particular - 2s will be tough to come by for the Gamecocks), but it's easy to see how they'll create a ton of second-chance opportunities, as well as how they'll be able to get to the line.

You'd rather have Arkansas' advantages than ours, but it's still nice to see areas where we can excel. That said, there's a reason the Gamecocks could only score 0.905 points per possession against Arkansas out in Fayetteville, their 13th-best offensive performance in 19 SEC games. It's particularly concerning that they got to that number in part by out-shooting their season average from 3 (42%). If the 3s don't fall against the Razorbacks, it's not clear how the Gamecocks can score enough points to stay in the game.

On the other side of the court, the Razorbacks don't seem primed to take advantage of any particular weakness of the Gamecocks. In the last match-up, Carolina held the Razorback offense to 1.004 points per possession, the 7th-worst effort for Arkansas all season (and just the 7th-best for Carolina in SEC play). However, in the last game, the Razorbacks advantage from the foul line (7 more makes on 13 more opportunities) represented the final margin of victory over Carolina, so even that small advantage can be the difference between a win and a loss for the Gamecocks. The interior players simply have to find a way to defend without fouling if the Gamecocks hope to slow down the Arkansas offense.

The game tips off at the conclusion of Texas A&M versus Missouri. That's expected to occur around 3:25pm ET. The game is televised on SECTV and ESPN3.

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