Making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1997, Northwestern enters the round of 64 having won nine of their last 11 games. The Wildcats travel to Waco, Texas, to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks (17-13, 6-10), who finished 10th in the SEC.
Like Northwestern, Arkansas does not have much depth. Just seven of the Razorkbacks played in more than 22 contests this season, and only five of them average more than 14 minutes per outing.
Arkansas, who's coached by former ESPN broadcaster Jimmy Dykes, is led by a pair of sophomores in forward Jessica Jackson and guard Kelsey Brooks, who each score more than 14 points per night.
The Razorbacks lack a real threat from three-point land, but they are strong in the rebounding department, one of NU's few weaknesses. Arkansas out-rebounds their opponents by nearly five boards per game, and all five of their starters grab at least 4.8 rebounds per contest.
Despite the Razorbacks' ability to crash the boards, this is a favorable match-up for Northwestern. Joe McKeown has more offensive threats at his disposal than Dykes, and the Wildcats should match, if not best, Arkansas physically and athletically.
If Northwestern beats Arkansas, they will play again Sunday in Waco, most likely against the 2 seed Baylor Bears. The Wildcats have been good away from home this season, winning 10 road games for the first time since 1990-1991, but Baylor is undefeated on their home floor in the Ferrell Center this season.
Time: Friday, March 20, 11 a.m. CT
Channel: ESPN2 (Fran Harris and Nell Fortner)
Radio: WNUR 89.3 FM in the Chicagoland area, and streaming online
FiveThirtyEight: NU has a 57 percent chance of beating Arkansas and 5 percent chance of advancing to the sweet 16
Check back here around game time to follow along with us on the gamethread.