Please don’t be sad it’s over, be happy it happened. Isn’t that how the old saying goes? Personally, that is how I feel about the latest Arkansas basketball season.
It has been nearly a week since the Hogs fell to the Duke Blue Devils in the Elite Eight. But, the loss to Duke will likely be on the tail end of the memories this team gave to Arkansas fans. The season was full of memories and accomplishments that will go down in Razorback basketball history. Knocking off the top-ranked team in the country twice and advancing to another Elite Eight are just a few. The Hogs are the only team to ever defeat the top-ranked team in the country during the regular season and the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament. Additionally, this Razorback team joins elite company in Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, and UCLA as the only programs to advance to back-to-back Elite Eights on four separate occasions.
Arkansas is the first team ever to beat an AP No. 1 during the regular season (Auburn on Feb. 8th) and the NCAA Tournament (Gonzaga tonight) in the same season. pic.twitter.com/sWZFbJc0h4— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 25, 2022
I haven’t even mentioned some more minor achievements, such as the program’s first win at Florida since the Nolan Richardson era. The list goes on, and you can talk about this team for a long while. But, here is what I’m getting at...
It may be hard to believe, but a now large group of people belong to the younger generation of Razorback fans who never experienced basketball success until Eric Musselman’s arrival. We were told the stories of the late 80s and 90s when Razorback basketball was at its peak. However, sold-out crowds inside Bud Walton Arena, numerous ranked matchups against conference foes, and tournament success are items no longer left to the imagination. We lived the success on several occasions during the last two years, and my money says we will see it again soon. The younger generation can now embrace their hoops fandom with pride in the Razorbacks. The only achievement missing is a Final Four and National Championship, and Eric Musselman has the Hogs knocking on that door.
The Hogs are relevant once again. It took Muss less than a week to build the anticipation for next season to an all-time high due to his elite recruiting ability. So, buckle up Razorback fans and cherish this new era of Hog hoops.