When they were compiling a 2-14 record in SEC play last year and an 8-11 start to this season, the Razorbacks were notorious for allowing their opponents to torch them from behind the three-point line. Tonight, that characteristic returned from its much-appreciated leave of absence to torpedo the Hogs' hopes of notching a rare victory in Auburn, Ala.
Tonight, the Tigers made 11 of their 19 three-point attempts and shot 61 percent from the field overall. Furthermore, they drained 76 percent of their 33 free-throw attempts.
Considering all of that, it's surprising that the game was as close as it was. But the Hogs didn't play all that terribly themselves, shooting 50 percent from the field, and rallying from a nine-point deficit to take a three-point lead in the latter stages of the second half.
All in all, a disappointing and frustrating loss, but one that's hardly surprising, given the difficulty of winning on the road in the SEC and given how closely Auburn played the Hogs in Fayetteville. Shake it off, folks.
With four games to play, the Razorbacks are tied for the lead in the SEC West. I think it's safe to say that no one reading this blog ever predicted that they would be in this position.
And honestly, I don't really care about the West crown. If it happens, great. But at this point, my goal is a winning conference record. That will be tough to accomplish - I'm not even putting Wednesday's game at LSU in the "automatic win" category - but these Hogs are tough.
I like their chances.