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Northwestern draws Arkansas, Baylor in NCAA Tournament subregional

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The Wildcats will travel to Waco, Texas, to play the Razorbacks Friday at 11 AM CT.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Northwestern will face the Arkansas Razorbakcs in Waco, Texas. The game will air Friday at 11 AM CT on ESPN2.

Arkansas, who's coached by former ESPN broadcaster Jimmy Dykes, finished the season 17-13 overall and 6-10 in conference play. They placed 10th in the SEC, which features five teams ranked in the AP top 25.

The Razorbacks have some common opponents with NU. Arkansas beat Iowa 77-67 in late November and lost to Rutgers 64-52 in early December. The Wildcats fell to Iowa twice in January, including a 102-99 thriller, and they beat Rutgers twice during their final four games of the season.

Like Northwestern, Arkansas does not run very deep. They only have five players who play more than 14 minutes per game, and they only have seven players who contributed in more than 22 games.

Sophomore forward Jessica Jackson and sophomore guard Kelsey Brooks lead the Razorbacks in scoring, both averaging above 14 points per game. Arkansas does not have any major three point threats, but senior point guard Calli Berna averages 5.1 assists and 5.8 points per contest.

Arkansas may be able to exploit one of Northwestern's greatest weaknesses, rebounding. The Razorbacks out-rebound their opponents by nearly five boards per game, and all five of their starters snag more than 4.8 rebounds per outing.

If Northwestern beats Arkansas, they will play again Sunday in Waco, presumably against the Baylor Bears. Baylor earned a 2 seed by going 30-3 this season, winning the Big 12 regular season and postseason championships and emerging victorious in all of their home games, where they will host this subregional.

March is known for madness though. And if the Bears slip, the Wildcats would take on the Demons of Northwestern State in the second round, which would undoubtedly be the most Northwestern event in the history of college athletics.