Daryl Macon may have led all scorers with 17 points, but he was one of five Hogs to hit double figures as the Hogs got a possible NCAA tournament clinching win at Alabama by a score of 76-73. After a woeful performance by the bench against Kentucky, CJ Jones stepped up with swagger and hit 5/7 shots on his way to scoring 13 in his home state. Adrio Bailey had his own personal 7-0 run in the second half that was key.
The win gives Arkansas 20 on the year, and guarantees at least a .500 record in conference play in the regular season. Both of those numbers feel good enough to feel like Arkansas has done enough to make the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas’ RPI will likely jump into the top 30, and this win gives them a 5-5 record against RPI top-50 teams, with two of those wins coming away from Bud Walton Arena.
The game started with another hot start, a 7-0 run that faded into an Alabama lead later in the half when Arkansas hit their now traditional first half scoring drought. They battled back to lead by as much as 10 before going into halftime with a 35-31 lead. The Tide came out of the half shooting hot, and had a 13-5 spurt to take a four point lead. That lead would be their biggest of the game because Bailey went on his 7-0 run.
Alabama hit four straight free throws to take a one point lead. It would be their final one of the night because of a 9-0 run that featured threes by both Macon and Jaylen Barford. The two teams traded baskets, including a few Bama threes until it became a free throw shooting contest. The Hogs hit 5/7 free throws in the final 33 seconds to secure the win, and more than likely a second consecutive tournament birth.