Arkansas will begin its’ 30th season in the SEC this fall. It is hard to believe that it is has been that long. At Arkansas Fight, we are starting a series looking back at some Arkansas basketball history. Each week, we will take a look at each SEC team and their history with Arkansas. We’ll dive in to the biggest games and outstanding performances. First up is Alabama.
All-Time Record: 35-28
All-Time SEC Record: 29-24
Home: 19-6 Away: 8-20 Neutral: 8-2
Arkansas and Alabama has been full of AP Top 25 matchups. Alabama has the 2nd most AP top 25 matchups of any team in the SEC with 7(5 since Arkansas joined the SEC) only behind Kentucky. This series has also features 4 overtime games and goes all the back to 1948.
Biggest And Best Games Of The Series
January 22, 2015
Alabama 91 @ Arkansas 93 OT
The best game is recent memory between these two teams is without a doubt the 2015 game in Bud Walton. Alabama was led by Ricky Terrant and Justin Coleman who combined for 43 points. Michael Qualls had 30 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals for Arkansas, but Bobby Portis stole the show when his tip-in at the buzzer gave the Hogs the win in overtime. This was an important win for the Hogs that season as they were in danger of losing 3 straight. Instead, this sparked a 3-game winning streak.
March 21, 1991
#19 Alabama 70 vs. #2 Arkansas 93
This game took place before Arkansas had joined the SEC, but it was the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. Wimp Sanderson had Alabama rolling and we all know what Nolan Richardson had built at Arkansas. The Tide had long-time NBA players Latrell Sprewell, James Robinson, and Robert Horry, but Arkansas combated with Todd Day, Oliver Miller, and Lee Mayberry. The halftime score was 40-37, but the Hogs ran away in the 2nd half by outscoring Alabama by 20. Arkansas forced 26 points and Todd Day scored 31 points as the Hogs moved onto the Elite 8. Alabama has only been back to Sweet 16 one time since then.
March 14, 1992
#17 Alabama 90 vs. #6 Arkansas 89
A year later, Alabama would get their revenge over Arkansas in a big game. It was Arkansas’ first season in the SEC and the teams split the season series 1-1. This was different though. This was the SEC Tournament semifinals. Todd Day had 39 points for the Hogs. The future NBA trio was back for the Tide and they combined for 65 points. Despite that deadly trio, a 6-0 guard who averaged 1.6 points per game got the final shot for the Tide. Elliot Washington made a corner 3 with less than 2 seconds left to give Alabama the lead and the win.
Bobby Portis – February 5, 2014
Portis carried Arkansas to a low-scoring win over Alabama in Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas scored 65 points total with Portis tallying 35 on 14-17 shooting. He added 9 rebounds and 6 blocks. 35 points is the most scored by a Arkansas freshman.
Todd Day – March 14, 1992
Day tallied 39 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists in the close loss to the Tide in the SEC Tournament. In 4 games against the Tide, Day averaged over 26 points per game.
Scotty Thurman – February 15, 1995
Thurman led the Hogs to a close win over #18 Alabama on the road with 29 points and 9 rebounds. Thurman averaged 18.1 points per game in his career against Alabama.
Arkansas has won 6 straight and 7 out of 8 in the series with Alabama, but Nate Oats is building the Tide back to relevancy. He has done a great job in recruiting and the Tide should be good for years to come.