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Preview and Thread: Arkansas in Must Win Situation Against Ole Miss

This is one the Hogs can’t afford to lose.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Time: 2:30 p.m. CT

TV: SEC Network

Line: Arkansas -8, O/U: 156

More On the Rebels

After a really rough non-conference season that included three overtime losses, the Rebels have been surprisingly tough in SEC play. They’ve beaten South Carolina, Mississippi State, and Florida already, but those were all at home. On the road they’ve gotten a trio of losses to Georgia, Auburn, and Texas A&M.

Projected Starters

We’re going to mix something up because Arkansas has to do something in the starting lineup. Against Missouri Darious Hall came in for Daryl Macon. In this one let’s see if putting him in for Anton Beard can give the Hogs that same initial spark, while trying to get Macon out of his current shooting slump. He’s just 3/18 from deep in the past four games.

3 Key Stats

First, looking at defensive efficiency, Ole Miss is one of the weaker defensive teams Arkansas has played in a while. They give up a lot of baskets on assists, which means Arkansas must move the ball around on offense. That’s something they’ve struggled with and need to do to be successful. It also shows how far Arkansas’ defense has dipped in SEC play. In the past six games their defensive efficiency has dropped nearly 50 spots in D1.

For the Hogs, this is as close to must win as you can get in this part of the season. With some more SEC road games coming up, they can’t afford to drop to 2-5 in SEC play. That would just be too big of a hole to climb out of with a tough stretch to end the season.