Arkansas hasn't been "locked in" by every outlet yet, but with the Razorbacks quickly running out of opportunities for bad losses, it seems the Hogs have all but locked up a spot in the field of 68 and are a win or two away from strictly playing for seeding.
Mississippi State this weekend is the last sub 150 RPI team Arkansas has on the schedule, and if Arkansas manages to leave Starkville with a win, they will probably complete the season with no regular season losses to teams with an RPI greater than 100. I have no idea when the last time that happened.
Here's what Arkansas' new and improved resume with their second win over Missouri has gotten them according to the bracketologists
- ESPN: 5-seed in vs Wofford in Seattle. The winner would play the Wichita State/Toledo winner. What's interesting about this bracket is that Lunardi has Arkansas, Kentucky, and Texas A&M all in the same region. I would be surprised if this happened.
- CBS: 5-seed in Portland vs Murray State, with the winner playing the Oklahoma/Iona winner. Palm also has a Texas vs Texas A&M play-in game, which would be fun.
- SB Nation: 6-seed in Louisville vs the Purdue/Miami play-in game winner. That winner would play the Oklahoma vs Harvard winner.
- Fox Sports: 5-seed vs Valparaiso in Seattle. The winner would play the Butler/Sam Houston winner.
- Yahoo! Sports: 4-seed. They don't fill out a full bracket but just seed all the teams. They have the Hogs as #14.
- Sports Illustrated: 5-seed vs Wofford in the first round (doesn't specify location). The winner would face the Butler/Eastern Washington winner. (Last Updated Monday)
- Bracket Matrix, which averages out all the different bracketologists, reports that Arkansas' average is a 5-seed.
What about our SEC opponents? How many teams are we bringing to the dance?
Right now most every bracket has six SEC teams making the field.
Georgia is a top 50 RPI team, but a pair of bad home losses to Auburn and South Carolina have put a chink in their armor. They're still in the field, but are dropping as low as the last four in on some brackets.
Ole Miss didn't help themselves by losing at home to Arkansas last week, but it also didn't hurt them. They won at Starkville last night, part of their impressive seven road wins this season (and three neutral court wins). Plus their win in Fayetteville (blegh) is a resume highlight.
Texas A&M and LSU are the two schools in the most danger of falling out (unless Georgia keeps freefalling). Arkansas in particular needs to be on the lookout for the game against the Aggies next week. That's potentially a big-time money game for them as a win in Fayetteville could solidify their resume and a home loss could knock Arkansas down a peg. Avoiding home losses to Auburn and Alabama are key for them.
The Aggies have beaten LSU twice this season and their win this week has the Tigers on the ledge. LSU might have the toughest schedule to close out the season of any of the SEC Bubble Teams. They have to go to Auburn and Arkansas (Senior Night) while hosting Florida, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. Avoiding a loss at Auburn and going 2 of 3 at home will probably keep the Tigers dancing. Their six road wins and a neutral victory are keeping them afloat as of now.