October 22, 2014

No Margin For Error

With Saturday’s 71-54 loss at Florida, Mike Anderson’s Razorbacks have no margin for error the rest of the way.

Anthlon Bell (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)They’ve got to run the table now.

A lot of the local talking heads are saying that the Hogs can stomach another loss at Missouri on March 5th and still make the NCAA tourney with a good showing in the SEC tournament.  That’s just not going to happen.

What’s killing their resume at the moment are two things: 1) really bad losses to South Carolina (201 RPI) and Vanderbilt (143 RPI), and 2) their own RPI, which as of Sunday was 82.

That, coupled with a 1-9 boat anchor of a road record, is not at all what the committee is looking for.

If you flip those bad losses, all of the sudden you are 19-8, 10-4 and tied for second in the SEC.  And your good wins vs. Florida, Missouri and Oklahoma probably tip the scale for you the other way.

The SEC is so bad this year, that most conference wins are not carrying any weight.  Just ask Alabama.  The Tide are 10-4 in SEC play but, like the Hogs, have virtually no shot at an at-large bid because of their weak non-conference schedule and their 10 SEC wins are against bad teams.

That said, wins at Missouri (37 RPI) and at home against Kentucky (45 RPI) would boost the Hogs RPI — maybe into the 50s.  A couple of wins then in the SEC tourney would give them a real shot.

Despite the bleak tourney prospects, the Hogs have to feel good about the emergence of Anthlon Bell this past week.  Bell’s hot streak (31 points in 36 minutes over two games) has given us a glimpse into what his future might look like.

“You’re starting to see his emergence.  That’s a real positive.”  –  Mike Anderson on Anthlon Bell after the Florida game

Anderson could stand to go round up a few more shooters like Bell.

We’re not packing it in just yet.  We’ll know Wednesday night at LSU if the Hogs are still bubble contenders.  If you can’t beat a bad LSU team after their emotional, three-overtime win over Alabama Saturday, you don’t deserve to be in the conversation any longer.

  • soupdhog

    Arkansas will not beat Missou at their house. Period.
    The Hogs have a habit of winning games they are not supposed to and losing games they are supposed to win. It would not surprise me at all if they lose to LSU.
    The Hogs only real chance at the tourney is to win the SEC tournament. If they can shoot well they have a great shot at it.
    While there is a certain level of prestige in going to the NCAA Tourney, we all know the Hogs would be a 10 or below seed which basically makes them one and done. I’m hoping for a NIT bid – they may have a good chance at going deep into that field.

  • Jeff E

    Arkansas needs to quit getting beat by Arkansas. You’re not going to win too many games if you’re constantly in foul trouble, not rebounding and blocking out well, and not hitting your free throws. Arkansas is 0-10 against Arkansas, Arkansas is Arkansas’ toughest opponent. If Bj Young, who has unbelievable talent, was to break out to what he potentially could do, which is 40 pts. And Marshawn Powell were to ever play complete games at the same time, Arkansas could play with anyone in teh country right now. I would like to see them play to their full potential, because both of them are great-great players, some of the best to ever put on a Razorback uniform talent wise.

  • Jeff E

    Well, Basketball season is now over, slightly less disappointing than football. I expected more from them. They had the talent to make it to the tourney this yr. Just not mentally or fundlementally strong. I honestly hope Young and Powell do go, because we’re short on scholarships, and they’re not good enough to start in the SEC anymore.