FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Projecting Arkansas’ NCAA Tournament seeding on Thursday, of all days, might be an exercise in futility. A boatload could change in just a few hours.
Arkansas plays its first game in the SEC Tournament Thursday night against South Carolina, an 85-84 winner over Ole Miss in the first round Wednesday night. If Arkansas were to lose that game, things may drastically change, especially based off where the team is now. If Arkansas were to win that game, and keep winning, things might look quite different in the other direction, too.
Still, we have to try. Let’s see who Arkansas matches with best when it comes predicting how it will shake out Sunday.
- Record: 21-10 (10-8 in SEC)
- RPI: 30
- BPI: 36
- KenPom: 36
- Strength of schedule (SOS): 27
- 7 seed by ESPN
- 7 seed by Real-Time RPI
- 8 seed by Yahoo
- 7 seed in Bracket Matrix
- Creighton (34 RPI, 21 BPI)
- Seton Hall (28 RPI, 26 BPI)
- Louisville (39 RPI, 31 BPI)
No way the NCAA Tournament committee puts Arkansas with Seton Hall again, right? They simply can’t. OK, well, technically, they can, but a rematch of last year’s 8/9 game in Greenville, S.C., should not happen. The two teams, however, on paper, would deserve it. They’re shockingly similar in both resume and roster makeup. In BracketMatrix’s composite, Arkansas holds a 7-seed with a 7.04 number. Seton Hall is a 7-seed with a 7.14. For reference, the next closest team to Seton Hall is at an 8.18.
Creighton is considered the more dangerous Big East team. The Bluejays’ 21 BPI mark suggests as much. Weirdly, Creighton is projected as an 8-seed by BracketMatrix, just two slots behind Seton Hall, though, so definitely close.
Louisville is the oddball. The Cardinals are the roller-coaster of the group and may not make the NCAA Tournament at all. They have lots of wins and play in a difficult league, but a low RPI may keep them at home. Things are that much on a razor’s edge, there is that much parity in college basketball this year.