Arkansas was just a two minutes from their first Sweet 16 since 1996. Some observations from the game both good and bad are here. Adrio Bailey’s surprise performance was a welcome surprise for the future. The Hogs were a team that made their living this season making comebacks and grinding out wins, against North Carolina, they just seemed to run out of gas against a more talented team.
More on the Hogs’ tendency to grind out games here. It worked for them against Seton Hall, but they just weren’t able to finish against North Carolina. It also is a chance to look at this season as building towards the future and move past the tendencies of this year.
There has been plenty of talk about the officiating in the game, and while it’s unfair to North Carolina to say Arkansas without a doubt wins if they get those calls, that doesn’t make it sting any less. The missed charge call and out of bounds call were two of many examples of North Carolina getting lucky in the final moments of the game. The Tar Heels used that to their advantage, and combined with some insanely good half court defense in the final minutes, to win.
Now that the season is over, there is more time to look at the future of Razorback Basketball. This column talks about the heart this year’s team played with and also gives a look into how they can build on the future. This is Arkansas’ highest ranked recruiting class since Bobby Portis and Moses Kingsley came to Fayetteville. Daniel Gafford comes into town with slightly higher rankings than Kingsley did, so there is reason to believe the program might be able to maintain their level of play next season.
While all of Arkansas was wrapped up in March Madness, it was a huge weekend on the diamond for the Hogs. The baseball team opened SEC play with a home sweep over Mississippi State. The sweep landed them on the Perfect Game top-25. In softball, Arkansas took two of three against No. 14 Tennessee. That’s huge for a program that’s been struggling for a long time, they got their first SEC series win since 2013.