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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
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
Final
BAL 7
BOS 2
Final
PIT 0
MIL 1
Final
TAM 3
CWS 1
Final
MIN 3
CLE 7
Final
ATL 2
NYM 4
Final
HOU 10
SEA 1
Final
MIA 2
WAS 3
Final
STL 8
CIN 4
Final
SDP 3
SFG 2
Final
ANA 8
TEX 5
1:05pm Today
NYY
TOR
1:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
1:35pm Today
BAL
BOS
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
1:35pm Today
ATL
NYM
1:40pm Today
TAM
CWS
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
2:10pm Today
KAN
DET
2:10pm Today
HOU
SEA
2:20pm Today
CHC
LOS
3:35pm Today
ANA
TEX
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
Final
SMISS 21
APPST 20
Final
TOL 34
BST 23
Final
OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
Final
CIN 31
UMO 24
Final
MEM 36
MTST 17
Final
LSU 29
MSST 34
Final
ARK 52
NILL 14
Final
ARKST 21
UTST 14
Final
SALABAMA 6
GASO 28
Final
WVU 33
OKLA 45
Final
VANDY 34
SCAR 48
Final
NEB 41
MIAMI 31
Final
NMST 35
NMU 38
Final
HOU 47
UNLV 14
Final
FSU 23
CLEM 17
Final
ARZ 49
CAL 45
Final
ORST 28
SDST 7
Final
WASU 31
OREG 38
Final
BSU 34
LALAF 9
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
1:00pm Today
CLE
BAL
1:00pm Today
STL
DAL
1:00pm Today
DET
GBP
1:00pm Today
NYG
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
IND
1:00pm Today
NOS
MIN
1:00pm Today
NEP
OAK
1:00pm Today
BUF
SDC
1:00pm Today
CIN
TEN
1:00pm Today
PHI
WAS
4:05pm Today
ARI
SFX
4:25pm Today
SEA
DEN
4:25pm Today
MIA
KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0