Jaylen Barford had 21. Daryl Macon had 20. Daniel Gafford had 18. They did so while shooting over 50% from the field. Good luck stopping the Hogs when all three are clicking. Texas A&M couldn’t and the Hogs finished with a 94-75 win. Arkansas also had a tremendous effort rebounding the ball, out rebounding one of the best teams on the glass in the country by a tally of 45-33.
Arkansas nearly led wire-to-wire in this one and looked very convincing in front of a national TV audience. CJ Jones was the fourth Hog to hit double figures with 13 points. Dustin Thomas and Gabe Osabuohien put in some good minutes at the high post.
At a time where the games feel like they mean even more, Arkansas put together what was probably their most complete performance of the year. The Hogs have beaten other teams in the RPI top-25 this year, but it was the best overall offensive and defensive game from them. Now at 19-8 overall, Arkansas made a major step forward for getting in the NCAA Tournament. The job isn’t done, Arkansas still has four more tough games plus the SEC Tournament, but if they grab some more wins they can really ramp up their potential seeding.
Results elsewhere in the SEC also were a big help for the Hogs, as Florida, Alabama, and Missouri all lost today. That makes a 4-way tie for 3rd in the conference at 8-6. The top-4 teams get a double bye in the conference tournament and 5th and 6th will have much easier matchups in the second round. Being able to put some distance from teams puts the Hogs in a much better position for the tournament. And since the Hogs still have Kentucky, Alabama, and Missouri on the schedule, they will control their own destiny for that spot.
Next up is the game against Kentucky in Bud Walton, a win would be number 20 on the year and the fifth against an RPI top-25 team. Get that win and the tournament is looking pretty likely.