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2015 March Madness: Can 12th-Seeded Wofford Defeat Favored Arkansas?

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When filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket it’s always best to include a few Cinderella team’s. Usually, most of the first-round upsets come from the 12th seed, as the annual matchup against the favored 5th seed tends to favor the underdog.

This year’s tournament features a few intriguing 5-12 matchups, but perhaps not one team is more primed to upset their opponent than the Wofford Terriers.

Wofford won the Southern Conference Tournament to advance into the NCAA Tournament. Led  by senior guard Karl Cochran, whose 14.6 points per game pace  the team’s scoring attack, the Terriers have a legitimate shot to knock off the 12th seeded, Arkansas Razorbacks.

Arkansas was one of the more dominant teams in the SEC, a conference which took pride in its stellar frontcourt play. So, it might come as a surprise that the Razorbacks aren’t as efficient of a rebounding team as the Wofford Terriers, something which could turn the tides of the game heavily in the underdogs favor.

Arkansas relies heavily on sophomore, Bobby Portis. Not only the team’s leading scorer, he is also their most gifted rebounder. That’s where things get tricky for  Arkansas. Aside from the 5.1 boards Portis contributes, no other Razorback averages four or more rebounds per game. Wofford has a distinct advantage on the glass, as they feature four players that pull down 3.5 or more rebounds.

One of those players is forward Lee Skinner, who will likely be tasked with guarding Portis. Although, Skinner is more than up for the task, and so is the entire Wofford team who only allow opponents to shoot .417 from the field.

Arkansas can’t go into the game with a high and mighty attitude, because this Wofford team is battle-tested. They went 1-3 against power conference team’s, and despite blowout losses to Duke and West Virginia,  Arkansas defeated NC State, whom is an at large team in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Despite the blowout losses to Duke and West Virginia, Wofford has been one of the NCAA’s hottest teams, winning  15 of their last 16 games entering the Tournament. The Terriers  might have the momentum on their side, as Arkansas is coming off a bad loss to Kentucky.

If Wofford can knock off N.C. State, then they most certainly can defeat the Arkansas Razorbacks. The key to the game is rebounding, and keeping Bobby Portis in check. If the Terriers can accomplish this, Arkansas could be going home early.

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