FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas basketball may or may not be ‘bad.’ Probably not. What the Razorbacks definitely are, however, is an enigma.
Their projections for the NCAA Tournament are varied. Sites who do such prognistications update their predictions on different days of the week, so it’s impossible to gauge a consensus. Some sites have updated since Arkansas’ loss to Florida on Wednesday night, others have not.
We try to make sense of it all in this week’s broad look at just how Mike Anderson and the Hogs stack up their postseason possibilities.
- Record: 12-6 (2-4 in SEC)
- RPI: 25
- BPI: 38
- KenPom: 43
- Strength of schedule (SOS): 15
- 8-seed ESPN (updated since Arkansas’ loss to Florida)
- 11-seed Real-Time RPI (updated before Arkansas’ loss to Florida)
- 8-seed Bracketville (updated before Arkansas’ loss to Florida)
- 7-seed CBS Sports (updated before Arkansas’ loss to Florida)
- Maryland (14-6, 37 BPI)
- Texas (12-6, 33 BPI)
All three teams are hovering in the same spot in various bracket predictions, between the No. 7 and No. 11 seeds. They have similar BPIs and are only modest against teams in their own league.
Texas has alternated wins and losses over its last six games. The Longhorns have inexplicable defeats to Oklahoma State and Baylor and even stranger victories over ranked TCU and Texas Tech.
The Terps are more like Arkansas lately, losers of three of four. Two of their three Big Ten wins have come by too thin a margin against the likes of Illinois and Penn State, same as the Hogs against Missouri and Tennessee.
Arkansas’ upcoming schedule:
- vs Ole Miss, Saturday
- at Georgia, Tuesday
- vs Oklahoma State, Jan. 27
The Razorbacks are still ‘in’ the NCAA Tournament, but two games below .500 almost halfway through SEC play is not ideal. The good news for supporters is Arkansas is about to head into two straight weeks of the ‘easiest’ part of its schedule. The bad news is that’s still a week away and the end of the season is awfully daunting. A 3-0 week against the Rebels, Bulldogs and Cowboys will go a long way toward buying some insurance for those NCAA Tournament dates.
If Arkansas falls to Ole Miss on Saturday, this is officially the precipice. Three games below .500 isn’t unsurmountable, but in a league as mucky in the middle as the SEC, it’s a troubling quagmire.
That might be too much, even, for a team like the Razorbacks — who haven’t been ‘good’ in weeks — to overcome.