Arkansas guard Jaylen Barford shoots during practice at the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Detroit, Thursday, March 15, 2018. Arkansas plays Butler in the first round on Friday. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Seniors could take center stage when Arkansas faces Butler

March 15, 2018 - 2:57 pm

DETROIT (AP) — No. 7 seed Arkansas (23-11) vs. No. 10 seed Butler (20-13)

First round, East Region; Detroit; 3:10 p.m. EDT on Friday

BOTTOM LINE: In a sport loaded with talented young players who quickly jump to the NBA, this game will feature several standout seniors. Forward Kalen Martin is Butler's leading scorer at 20.8 points per game and he needs just nine more to reach 2,000 for his career. The top two scorers for Arkansas are also seniors — guards Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon.

SHARP SHOOTING: Barford and Macon are both shooting over 42 percent from 3-point range, and the Razorbacks are at 40.1 percent as a team. Arkansas doesn't rely that much on the 3, however. The Razorbacks have 157 fewer attempts than their opponents from the beyond the arc this season.

EFFICIENT: Butler's Tyler Wideman — another senior — is shooting 68.5 percent from the field and averaging 9.4 points. He's only a threat from inside the arc, however, having attempted two 3-pointers all season. Wideman went 8 for 8 over Butler's two Big East Tournament games, including a game-winning putback against Seton Hall.

DID YOU KNOW: The only previous meeting between Arkansas and Butler came in 1931, with the Bulldogs winning 37-21. Tony Hinkle was Butler's coach then. The team's famous home fieldhouse was named after him in 1966. That was the second-highest point total for Butler in the 1930-31 season, when the Bulldogs went 17-2.


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