ESPN is just trolling Arkansas at this point
With your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points. There is no place like it on the Web.
Full disclosure: I’m a former ESPN employee. A two-time ESPN employee, actually. Take that for what it’s worth.
Either Joe Lunardi is messing with the Arkansas fan base or …
Well, I’m not sure there is a second option.
ESPN’s resident bracketologist and St. Joseph’s University staffer unveiled his “way-too-early” bracketology for the 2017-18 season. The good news is Arkansas is projected to make his tournament. The bad news?
In his bracket, if the Razorbacks were to win their first-round game, they’d meet — wait for it — North Carolina!
Joe Lunardi has released his way-too-early bracketology for next season… At this point, I think he's just screwing with Arkansas fans. pic.twitter.com/BmFkMErCMp
— Andrew Hutchinson (@NWAHutch) April 4, 2017
Yep. For the fourth straight Arkansas appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the Razorbacks would get UNC in the second round.
Now, this, of course, means diddly-squat. The thing is called “way too early” for a reason. Many players in college basketball have yet to announce whether they’re going to return for another season or enter the NBA draft. Transfers will happen. Players will commit and sign. A lot will change between now and October when the season begins. Never mind what will change between now and early March when the bids for the Big Dance are announced.
But, man, it’s a pretty good gutshot.
(Side note: Good luck to Arkansas SID Patrick Pierson if that Arkansas/St. Bonaventure matchup happens. Pierson, who worked six years at St. Bonaventure, might just go hide in a hole to avoid all of us.)
Monk goes pro; what about Macon?
Speaking of player losses and returns, Arkansas has at least one coming around the corner.
Guard Daryl Macon, who would be a senior next year, has yet to announce his plans for next season. Conventional wisdom suggests he would return to the Razorbacks. Not a single NBA draft projection site has him listed as a potential pick.
But the question remains, and until it’s officially announced, it’s hard to completely bank on it.
If you are asking me, though, I’d give it a 65/35 chance. As in, 65 percent chance he’s back and a 35 percent one he’s not.
Monk, by the way, is not returning. He announced his intention to go pro after one season at Kentucky. The Lepanto native and Bentonville High grad beat the Razorbacks twice this past season. So, alas, no chance for revenge there.
Dre Greenlaw’s father is a college football coach. His son, however, would just as soon not be. Not right now, anyway.
Arkansas’ junior linebacker is relegated to that role for now. He is still recovering from a broken foot he suffered midway through last season. Rather, Greenlaw is recuperating from a setback from that injury he had in the winter. And on a team with precious little experience at linebacker, Greenlaw’s role as elder statesman is even a bit more strange.
Coach Bret Bielema called Greenlaw’s time being injured as that of a coaching “internship.” Bielema is having his best linebacker go through things from a different point of view. Besides taking so-called mental reps, Greenlaw is seeing things through the eyes of position coach Vernon Hargreaves, too.
Brian Early, Greenlaw’s father, is a defensive line coach at Arkansas State. But don’t sign up Greenlaw for that role just yet, he said.
- Arkansas softball may not be all the way back just yet, but the Razorbacks are a lot better than the last couple seasons. Second-year coach Courtney Deifel has a lot to do with that, writes our Jason Kersey.
- The Arkansas baseball team had its Tuesday game against Grand Canyon postponed to Wednesday. The teams got through 1 1/2 innings with the Razorbacks holding a two-run lead with the bases loaded and one out in the second. They’ll resume play from that point at 2 p.m. and a second game will follow a half-hour after Game 1 concludes.
- One of the top recruits in the state of Arkansas doesn’t look like he’s headed to the Razorbacks. Various reasons for that. Our Trent Shadid explores them.
Yee-Haw! Today in Arkansas
Sometimes, as a writer, the best thing you can do with a story is just let it breathe.
I fiddled with this section for a half-hour before I decided to avoid the jokes all together. Let the story tell itself. And, boy, does it.
— FOX24 News (@Fox24News) April 3, 2017
Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.