Sure, It doesn't have the same allure of the 90's, and its not on CBS every year like it use to be, but the Kentucky game is always one of the most notable days on Arkansas' schedule. And why not, there are plenty of games that have become instant classics even if Arkansas hasn't had the best teams. Relive the top-10 games of the series here, which has some of Arkansas' most notable moments, good and bad. It includes the triplets loss in the final four, the 17-point win at Rupp in their first SEC meeting, Nolan's now infamous rant, and of course The Dunk.
From Kentucky's perspective, the game doesn't quite hold the weight it does for Arkansas fans, but this is a huge game for them regardless. Kentucky has never been 3-3 in SEC play under John Calipari, a loss would do that. Kentucky's yearly crop of monster recruits hasn't gelled like expected, drawing questions about team chemistry from people like ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg. Kentucky still doesn't need to hit the panic button yet, but as John Clay says, winning at Bud Walton Arena, something Calipari has never done, would go a long way to turning things around.
On paper, Arkansas may seem like an underdog (because they really are) but Vegas is high on the hogs in this game, even to the point of naming them a 1.5 point favorite for it. It seems like a shock at first but taking into account Kentucky's struggles on the road this season heading into a hostile environment and it you can see where Vegas is coming from. The game will likely hinge on the play of Kentucky's big men. Skal Labissiere hasn't had the season people have expected of him, and Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee have disappeared in road games this year. The matchup tonight may favor those three, especially if Arkansas gets into foul trouble like it has recently.
Switching gears to recruiting now, National Signing day is just a couple weeks away and most classes are shaping up. In a fun experiment, SB Nation has a comparison of the SEC vs The World for their recruiting classes. The World team, led primarily by Ohio State has an edge in recruiting rankings but its darn close in a lot of spots. Arkansas is well represented on the SEC team as well. McTelvin Agim, Devwah Whaley, Jake Heinrich, and T.J. Hammonds are among the SEC's best recruits. 4-stars Briston Guidry and Austin Capps aren't though, primarily because the league is absolutely stacked at defensive tackle.