We all know the first, most basic goal of this year’s Arkansas basketball team is to make the NCAA Tournament, and nearly a month into the season, they’ve got a perfectly clear shot to do so.
Joe Lunardi has Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament right now as a 12-seed, as the last team in. The Razorbacks would be in a play-in game vs Pittsburgh if this came to pass. Obviously, it’s three months until Selection Sunday, so this will change significantly between now and then, but so far, Arkansas is in a good place.
The Razorbacks are 7-1, but their opponents so far have done the Hogs a ton of favors. Teams Arkansas fans largely snoozed over have picked up some nice wins after playing the Razorbacks. Fort Henry beat Indiana, UT-Arlington beat top 100 Texas Southern and won on the road at Texas), helping to keep Arkansas’ RPI pretty high (it’s currently 20th).
Arkansas’ only loss was on the road at Minnesota, and the Gophers appear to be much improved with an 8-1 record of their own and a top ten RPI. So if the Gophers continue their momentum through the season, that game won’t hurt Arkansas much, if at all.
Also, much of the SEC is also doing some decent work. As of now, 12 of Arkansas’ 18 SEC games are against top 100 opponents, and five of them are in the top 20, and four of those are on the road. Unfortunately, the one home game is the Florida game, which takes place at the same time as the Belk Bowl, late December when the students are off campus. Thanks, SEC!