Arkansas went to Tuscaloosa two years ago as a bubble team and suffered a devastating defeat on the Tide's Senior Night led by senior Trevor Releford's 24 points, and the Hogs ended up in the NIT.
Two years later, Arkansas went to Tuscaloosa with Alabama on the bubble, and despite a big senior night performance from Tide senior Retin Obasohan (32 points), the Hogs came away with the one-point victory and might have kept the Tide out of this year's NCAA Tournament.
I don't know if anybody on Arkansas' team was thinking about that. Only Anthlon Bell, Moses Kingsley, Manny Watkins, and Keaton Miles (he was sitting out as a transfer) were on that 2014 team. But for those of us who do remember, it's pretty sweet.
This game was played at Alabama's pace. Arkansas is rarely successful when scoring only 62 points in regulation, but they made them when they counted. The Tide never had more than a one-possession lead. Moses Kingsley was huge down the stretch as has become custom. His basket with 1:44 remaining took back the lead from Alabama and Arkansas never gave it up. The Hogs almost gave it up. But didn't.
Kingsley finished with 19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, and a steal. Anthlon Bell scored 17 points including the last two free throws that iced the game. Dusty Hannahs scored 10. Anton Beard had a big first half, including hitting an acrobatic shot close to the rim just before halftime that proved big later on.
The win moves Arkansas to 9-8 in the SEC, guaranteeing at least a .500 regular season record in SEC play and currently in a tie for 6th place, but they lose the tiebreaker to Ole Miss, so they'd be the 7-seed in the SEC Tournament if it started today. Of course, the Hogs have a chance in Bud Walton Arena on Saturday to get to 10-8 in the conference and guarantee an overall winning record. Not bad for a team that was supposed to be Mike Anderson's absolute worst and picked 11th in the preseason.