Feb 13, 2018
by Chase Gage
JONESBORO, Ark — Arkansas has some work to do if they want to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament. With only six games remaining in the regular season, they’re running out of time to make noise.
The Razorbacks started off the season as hot as ever before running into the trials of the SEC. This may be the deepest the league has ever been, which is both a blessing and a curse for the Razorbacks. It is expected that between seven and 10 schools from the SEC will make the tournament, but that also means the Hogs will have a tougher time than ever in conference play.
Here is how the SEC stacks up right now. Sorted by RPI, these are the eight teams that are currently in the top-50 in RPI. Uncoincidentally, these are also the eight teams that are currently projected to make the Big Dance.
Versus the SEC
|Team (Record)||RPI||BPI||SOS||Current Seed*|
|Auburn (23-3, 11-2)||7||15||68||2|
|Tennessee (19-6, 9-4)||13||16||7||4|
|Texas A&M (17-9, 6-7)||17||34||6||7|
|Kentucky (17-9, 6-7)||19||37||16||8|
|Missouri (18-8, 8-5)||21||45||46||9|
|Arkansas (18-8, 7-6)||30||41||48||10|
|Alabama (17-9, 8-5)||31||43||45||7|
|Florida (17-9, 8-5)||43||35||24||4|
*Seeding according to Joe Lunardi All RPI according to ESPN.com
The Hogs still have a chance to improve upon their resume. In fact, all of their upcoming opponents after tonight (at Ole Miss) fall in the top-32 in terms of RPI. Two teams are currently ranked in the AP Poll. Both of which will be visiting Bud Walton when they face the Razorbacks. Here is what to expect going forward.
|Date||Opponent||RPI||Previous (This Season)|
|February 13, 2018||at Ole Miss||104||W 97-93 (Home)|
|February 17, 2018||(21) Texas A&M||13||L 66-80 (Away)|
|February 20, 2018||Kentucky||18||N/A|
|February 24, 2018||at Alabama||32||N/A|
|February 27, 2018||(10) Auburn||6||L 77-88 (Away)|
|March 3, 2018||at Missouri||22||W 65-63 (Home)|
|March 7-11, 2018||SEC Tournament|
Arkansas has plenty of chances to move either up or down in terms of seeding with this grueling schedule coming up. A winning record would all but solidify a spot for them in the tournament, while too many losses would all but eliminate them.
When looking at the Arkansas resume, there is a lack of great wins, but also a lack of bad losses. They do have a few markee wins over the likes of Tennessee, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, while their worst loss (according to RPI) is LSU.
If they are able to knock off at least one of the ranked teams coming to Fayetteville along with a couple other wins along the way, their resume will start looking better and better. The only way for it to get worse would be with a loss to Ole Miss (104 RPI). The Hogs have not lost to a team outside of the top-100 RPI as of yet, and Ole Miss is the only school left that falls outside of the top-32.
Road wins will be essential going forward. With only three remaining, they do not have much time left to make improvements. Especially considering the competition they will have to face. A 1-6 road record is perhaps the worst stain on the Razorbacks’ resume.
As it stands, the Hogs have a solid chance of making the tournament as long as they do not fall apart. A strong run to finish the regular season will only result in higher and higher seeding as the weeks pass.
Check back in periodically for more breakdowns. We will leave off with the current Arkansas resume. The picture will only become more and more clear as games come and go.
|Overall: 17-8, 6-6 SEC||Home: 13-1||Road: 1-6||Neutral: 3-1|
|Versus RPI Rankings|
|Good Wins||RPI||Worst Losses||RPI|