Well, it's time. It's time to bid farewell to college basketball until November, which, quite frankly, saddens me.
But back in late October, before the college hoops season had officially gotten underway, I made game-by-game predictions for the men's basketball team for the Arkansas Traveler, which you can view here.
What I did was pick the winner of the three premiere non-conference games and each game of the 18-game conference schedule. As I made the predictions, I began to realize that I was potentially foreseeing a big year for Arkansas. I had Arkansas winning 20+ games, which hadn't been done since the 2007-08 season, the Razorbacks last NCAA Tournament appearance.
And in the end, I turned in a 16-5 mark in the 21 games I picked. Not too bad.
Arkansas didn't exactly play the strongest out of conference schedule last season, but they did beat SMU and Minnesota, who made the NIT finals in Madison Square Garden. Arkansas' other two non-conference wins were Clemson and Louisiana-Lafayette, who made a run in the NIT, and gave Creighton all they wanted in the NCAA Tournament, respectively.
In my Arkansas Traveler schedule breakdown, I predicted Arkansas to finish the non-conference portion of the schedule with an 11-2 record, and sure enough, I was right on the money. I predicted Arkansas to go out to Maui and return with a 1-2 record on the island, but protect the home court and enter SEC action on a high note.
Now for the fun part: SEC play. I did reasonably well predicting Arkansas' league games, correctly picking 13 of the 18 games. I also barely missed on Arkansas' final conference record. Had the Razorbacks won its regular season finale with Alabama, my conference record prediction would have been spot-on also. But instead, Arkansas finished 10-8 in league play, and my 11-7 prediction was one game off.
Here are the games I predicted correctly in conference play: vs Florida, at Tennessee, vs Auburn, at LSU, vs Alabama, at Vanderbilt, at Missouri, vs LSU, vs South Carolina, at Mississippi State, vs Georgia, and vs Ole Miss.
And here are the five games I picked incorrectly: at Texas A&M (it's a shame that I missed this one), vs Kentucky, at Georgia, vs Missouri, and at Kentucky.
But overall I did pretty darn good on my predictions for the season, and I'm somewhat proud of myself.
Here were my pre-season predictions:
Non-conference record: 11-2 – hit.
Conference record: 11-7 – miss by one game.
Michael Qualls would be an All-SEC performer – miss. This prediction was actually made in the middle of the non-conference season. He was playing so well I thought it might carry over into league play. But as we all know, it ain't happen.
Again, you can read and review my picks I made for the Arkansas Traveler here. I'll try to do better next season.