The Razorbacks are about to enter an interesting part of their schedule. Five of the next seven games are on the road, but only two of those teams, Ole Miss and Kentucky, currently have an RPI in the top 100.
The other three games are all certainly winnable games for Arkansas (not that the other two should be ruled out) and could potentially do a lot for Arkansas' seeding in March just because winning on the road carries some weight, even if the victories aren't over elite teams. The Hogs have not lost to any teams outside the top 100 - even Clemson and Tennessee have both played their way into it - and it remains to be seen how much a road loss to such a team would impact the Hogs in these NCAA Tournament projections.
Since Arkansas has no true bad losses (four of Arkansas' losses were on the road to top 100 teams and the lone home loss was to Ole Miss, who currently has an RPI of 36) the question of whether the Razorbacks will make the NCAA Tournament is quickly becoming hogwash. Yes, Arkansas still has some games to win to get in. They can't lose out and make it, but at this point, the goal should be not just to make the Tournament, but to get as high a seed as possible.
Here's where different bracketologists have the Razorbacks heading into Tuesday night's game vs Auburn:
- ESPN: 6-seed in Omaha vs Tulsa, with the winner likely playing Iowa State. SEC teams in the bracket: 6
- CBS: 5-seed in Jacksonville vs Wofford, with the winner playing the Butler/Murray State winner. SEC teams in the bracket: 6
- USA Today: 6-seed vs St. John's (they don't project which teams go to which location). The winner would play the Louisville/Buffalo winner. SEC teams in the bracket: 6
- SB Nation: (not updated since the weekend's games) 7-seed vs George Washington in Omaha. The winner would likely play Wisconsin. SEC teams in the bracket: 6
- Fox Sports: (not updated since the weekend's games) 6-seed vs Xavier in Jacksonville. The winner would play the North Carolina/Iona winner. SEC tams in the bracket: 6
I also feel like it needs to be said, with all of these projections including six SEC teams, we can safely say the league is better, but it's still not a great league with three of those teams firmly on the bubble. Arkansas is generally the 2nd highest SEC bid in each bracket but still unable to crack a top-4 seed. So there's still not much elite talent, even though six bids would clearly be a substantial improvement over years past.