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71
Final 12Score
Indiana State314071
Arkansas375491
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91


Indiana State (23-10) at Arkansas (21-11)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 18, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Bud Walton Arena (19,200) -- Fayetteville, Arkansas. Television: ESPN. NIT Record: Indiana State 1-3, Arkansas 4-3. Series Record: Indiana State leads, 2-0.

GAME NOTES: The sixth-seeded Indiana State Sycamores and the third-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks will square off at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

The winner moves on to the second round play either California or Utah Valley.

Indiana State has enjoyed an impressive season at 23-10 overall, its most wins since Larry Bird led the squad to the Final Four in 1979. However, ISU played second-fiddle to Wichita State in the Missouri Valley Conference all season long, including in the MVC Tournament title game with an 83-69 setback. The Sycamores have qualified for postseason play in five straight seasons and won in the opening round of the NIT last season over Iowa for their first-ever win in the event.

Arkansas was surging at the end of the regular-season with six straight wins, including a 71-67 road triumph at then-nationally-ranked Kentucky on Feb. 27, and it appeared poised for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament before falling flat with an 83-58 loss at Alabama in the regular-season finale and a 71-69 setback to South Carolina in the second round of the SEC Tournament. The Razorbacks have enjoyed the confines of Bud Walton Arena this season with an outstanding 16-2 home record, and they have won all four previous NIT matchups played at home.

The teams have met only two times before, with Indiana State winning in 1968 and 1972.

The Sycamores could not overpower the mighty Shockers and earn an automatic NCAA Tournament bid in their latest bout, as they fell behind by 10 at the half and were unable to climb their way back in it. Their field goal shooting effort (.411) was solid considering Wichita State's elite defensive attack, and Justin Gant and Manny Arop both shined with 18 points apiece.

On the season, Indiana State has displayed good balance on both ends of the floor, shooting 45.4 percent from the field for 71.1 ppg while allowing just 67.8 ppg on 43.5 percent shooting, and it also owns small positive margins in both the rebounding (+0.9) and turnover (+0.4) battles. Jake Odum leads the way with 13.2 ppg and 4.5 apg, while Arop (10.9 ppg), Khristian Smith (10.5 ppg), Gant (10.2 ppg) and Cummings (9.8 ppg) round out a balanced squad.

The Razorbacks said goodbye to their NCAA Tournament chances last Thursday. The incredibly close game with South Carolina consisted of 21 ties and 15 lead changes, but they ultimately fell to a game-winning free throw by the Gamecocks in the final minute. Their usually-potent offensive attack was merely modest on the afternoon, as they shot 42.6 percent from the field and just 3-of-14 from 3-point range. Coty Clarke poured in 13 points to lead the way, Bobby Portis and Rashad Madden netted 11 points apiece and Michael Qualls scored 10.

Arkansas has the SEC's top-scoring offense this season at 80.2 ppg on 44.4 percent field goal shooting, which has successfully masked a mediocre scoring defense (71.2 ppg). Its turnover margin has also been outstanding, ranking fourth in the nation with a +5.5 mark. Madden (12.7 ppg), Portis (12.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and Qualls (11.8 ppg) have all been stellar, and the squad possesses a deep rotation with a total of 12 players averaging at least 2.7 ppg.

This looks like a well-matched contest, but despite Arkansas' late-season stumbles, it will have the a leg up, considering its tremendous homecourt advantage in Fayetteville.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas 78, Indiana State 74

03/18 10:31:39 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
Final
SAC 107
MIL 108
Final
GSW 114
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
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BOS
MIN
 
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DET
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CHI
 
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SAN
POR
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
Final
UTST 57
CALST 56
 
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Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
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CAR 4
TOR 1
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CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
Final
SJS 4
EDM 3
Final
LOS 6
STL 4
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OTT
ANA
 
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DET
NYI
 
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WIN
BOS
 
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DAL
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13