Despite the lopsided loss in Lexington on Saturday, Arkansas has actually moved up in the estimation of some bracketologists. The bump in strength of schedule and RPI just from playing the undefeated Wildcats in Rupp Arena appears to have nullified any negative effects from the loss, as we expected it would. Some projections even have the Hogs higher than they had them last week.
This week in the Bracketology, I attempt to spell Valparaiso as many times as possible, while a potential round of 32 rematch with the Iona Gaels shows up.
- ESPN: 5-seed vs Stephen F. Austin in Portland. The winner would play the Utah/Louisiana Tech winner.
- CBS: 4-seed in Portland vs Toledo. The winner of Wichita State/Valparaiso would be waiting in the next round.
- USA Today: 4-seed vs Valparaiso in the West Region. They don't specify locations. In their bracket, the Arkansas would play the Butler/Iona winner. It would be interesting to come full circle with Iona.
- Yahoo! Sports: 4-seed. They don't fill out a full bracket but just rank all the teams. They have the Hogs as #16. That would theoretically match up Arkansas with #51 Valparaiso somewhere, we think.
- Sports Illustrated: 5-seed vs Stephen F. Austin (doesn't specify location). The winner would face the Notre Dame/Iona winner.
- Bracket Matrix, which averages 80 different bracketologists, has Arkansas averaging a 5-seed as the 3rd 5-seed.
SB Nation: 5-seed in Seattle vs Harvard. That winner would play the Wichita State/Stephen F Austin winner.
- Fox Sports: 5-seed vs Stephen F. Austin in Portland. The winner would play the Utah/Valparaiso winner.
As for the SEC Tournament bracket, Arkansas doesn't quite have the #2 seed locked up, but they are favored to get it. The Razorbacks need one more win or a loss by Texas A&M and LSU. There could conceivably be a logjam of 12-6 teams if Arkansas doesn't win this week. I believe they do have a top-four seed clinched, but would need the #2 or #3 spot to avoid Kentucky until Sunday (assuming the Hogs snap their SEC Tournament futility streak and make it that far).