Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Arkansas basketball coach Mike Anderson

A guarantee: Arkansas basketball will make the NCAA tournament

Eric Bolin

With your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas Razorbacks. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points. There is no place like it on the Web.

I had a good time Wednesday listening to all the backtracking locally about the Arkansas basketball team.

“They’re getting better” was the most common phrase heard, mostly on radio, after the Razorbacks’ one-point miracle win against Vanderbilt. Without that miracle, those same people who uttered that phrase likely would have proclaimed how Arkansas losing in Nashville was a “disappointment” or a “step back.” I’m moderately comfortable in suggesting that because, honestly, before the Vanderbilt game the phrase was: “I just don’t know about this team.” Two points — 71-70 instead of 70-69 — separate two points of view.

Hedging is easy. Being wrong is hard.

Dusty Hannahs by Mike Stobe/Getty Images NIT Season Tip-Off
Arkansas guard Dusty Hannahs (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Someone tweeted the reason people are so wary of this year’s Arkansas team is because the Razorbacks lose to teams they shouldn’t.

You mean that one time? Literally. Once. Arkansas lost to Mississippi State almost three weeks ago. Show me the other game — out of the 20 played — the Razorbacks lost that they should have won. Your options are “at Kentucky,” “at Florida” and “at Minnesota.”

I don’t see it. Every single one of those teams is going to the NCAA tournament barring an extreme meltdown. Arkansas can only beat the teams on its schedule. The Razorbacks are 16-4. Mike Anderson’s team has the second-best winning percentage of any team in the SEC. Only Kentucky’s is higher. If you want to argue Arkansas hasn’t beaten anybody any good, fine. I disagree, but fine. That’s completely different than what most people are saying, though.

For the umpteenth time this basketball season, let me say it: Arkansas is good and an NCAA tournament team.

Lest you take that as some sort of prediction, it isn’t. It’s fact. Not alternative fact. Pure and simple truth. Not a bracketology on the planet has the Razorbacks out of the Big Dance right now. Bracketology isn’t a crystal ball, though. Its not done to predict what will happen in March. Its created to predict what would happen if today were March. As in, “if the regular season ended today, this is how the NCAA tournament might look.”

Now, let me just say it, because, apparently, saying it double-digit times since May isn’t enough …

Arkansas will be in the NCAA tournament this season.

If I’m wrong, well, there’s a first time for everything.

Another former Hogs player goes west

The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired former Diamond Hogs outfielder and pitcher Brett Eibner on Wednesday, making him the second ex-Arkansas baseball player the team picked up in the last few days. Logan Forsythe is expected to be the Dodgers’ starter at second base this coming season.

Eibner is a modern-day Diamond Hogs legend, thanks to his performance in the 2009 College World Series.

Eibner hit .193 with six homers last season in stints with Kansas City and Oakland. Forsythe batted .264 with 20 homers as Tampa Bay’s starting second baseman last season.

These are adults. Young adults. But adults

Reading Jason Kersey’s fantastic feature on soon-to-be freshman running back Maleek Williams on Wednesday, it struck me again.

Remember what it was like to be 18?

World at your fingertips. Old enough to make your own decisions, good and bad, about life. Away from your folks for the first time. College football players are both adult enough to handle criticism and young enough to be affected by it.

Either way, we need to stop calling them “kids.” Wish these young *men* luck, instead.

Yee-Haw! Today in Arkansas

Satan is one step closer to being represented by our state government.

Arkansas’ Capital Arts and Grounds Commission on Wednesday deemed a proposal to build a statue of Baphomet on capital property was sufficient to put to the public. Baphomet, for those curious, is part man and part goat, a deity adopted by The Church of Satan in 1969.

Anyway, yeah, it’s now a possibility, according to this story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

A public hearing will soon be scheduled when residents can voice their opinion on the matter. So, make plans now to mark your calendar when that date gets announced because

First Amendment, man.