Thursday afternoon, Eric Musselman and his Razorbacks will take on Illinois in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Hogs’ journey to the Final Four starts in Des Moines, Iowa, against Fighting Illini, who won 20 games this season. Like most 8-9 matchups, both teams mimic each other.
Illinois has a roster filled with big-time transfers, led by Terrance Shannon Jr. and Matthew Mayer. Shannon returned to his home state after three years with Texas Tech and became one of the country’s top-scoring guards. Mayer played a considerable role at Baylor during their run to the back-to-back No. 1 seeds and the 2021 NCAA Championship.
Despite the dual threats, they fell apart in the last month of the season, putting them on the bubble. However, Arkansas can relate to Illinois’ late-season struggles, so a win for either team could spark a deep run in the tournament.
Don’t miss the madness! Here’s how you can watch the Hogs’ first round NCAA Tournament game against Illinois.
- Guard – Terrance Shannon: 17.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.3 SPG
- Forward – Matthew Mayer: 12.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG
- Forward – Coleman Hawkins: 9.9 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3 APG, 1.2 BPG
- Fourth season at Arkansas: 93-40 (42-30 in SEC)
- Three NCAA Tournaments at Arkansas: 2021, 2022, 2023
- Two Elite Eights at Arkansas: 2021, 2022
- Sixth season at Illinois: 114-78 (223-105 overall)
- 2021 Big Ten Tournament Championship
- Three NCAA Tournaments Illinois: 2021, 2022, 2023
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