There's Bound to Be Madness Ahead

The Razorbacks' first-round opponent in the SEC Tournament has been determined: the Hogs will play the Tennessee Vols (whom they defeated earlier this year) on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. EST. The excitement level among Arkansas fans for the upcoming conference tournament is ... well ... something less than overwhelming. In fact, Arkansas360's Jim Harris issued this rousing tweet earlier this afternoon: "Razorbacks scheduled to end basketball season Thursday in Atlanta against Tennessee." 

This team has occasionally surprised me in a good way this season, so I wouldn't be shocked to see them defeat the Vols, who are certainly no great shakes themselves, but my gut feeling agrees with Jim. And if even if they were to beat Tennessee, it's - how shall we say this - exceedingly difficult to envision the Hogs doing what a couple of columns say they may have to do for John Pelphrey to be around for another year: win four straight games to capture the tournament championship.

Personally, I would be OK with giving Pelphrey another year to see what he and his staff could do with their heralded recruiting class. I know many - in fact, probably most - of you reading this post want him gone now. I understand: the last three seasons have been very frustrating ones. And if Pelphrey isn't in Fayetteville next season, it wouldn't exactly bring me to tears.

Eleven years ago, Nolan Richardson found himself in the exact same situation that Pelphrey may be in now and promptly won four games to win the SEC Tournament and save his job. In 2007, with buzzards circling around their coach, Stan Heath's Razorbacks advanced to the SEC championship game and snagged an unexpected (and controversial) NCAA Tournament bid. Of course, that didn't stop Heath from getting fired later that spring, but he undoubtedly made things more interesting than his bosses would have liked.

One way or another, it should to be a very interesting week for Razorback basketball. An NCAA Tournament appearance is the longest of long shots, but, regardless, this March promises to be full of madness.

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