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Oh So Close: Mississippi State 82, Arkansas 80

Actually, during the first half, the game was not close at all, and it looked like we were in for the kind of Razorback road loss we've seen way, way too many times these last few years. You know, the kind where the home team never misses a shot, gobbles every rebound and loose ball in sight, and generally finds going against the Hogs' Swiss cheese of a defense to be a whole lot of fun.

Arkansas looked a little better in the early going of the second half, but the Bulldogs still had 70 points with eight minutes to play. And then the Hogs (particularly Marshawn Powell) made it one hell of an exciting game. When you consider this near-comeback along with the team's effort last week against Texas, it feels like the Hogs are on the verge of something. Not a Top 25 ranking or NCAA Tournament invite. Not a run at the SEC West crown and probably not even an NIT bid. Their issues (namely, the small matters of defense and rebounding) are too significant.

But, I think that these guys are going to pull off some nice victories. I think they're going to be respectable. I think we're going to want to tune into their games. That may not sound like much, but after the past year, I'll take it.