The Hogs are back on the road to visit an old rival. The Kentucky Wildcats are the next challenge for Musselman and the Razorbacks, as both teams desperately try to improve stock and move their names off the bubble.
Arkansas and Kentucky have experienced similar seasons to this point. Each team is 16-7 overall, while the Wildcats hold the better conference record with eight games still to play. Eric Musselman has spoken of desperation much of late, and the stakes of this matchup require desperation for both teams.
Opponent: Kentucky Wildcats
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 7. 2023
Time: 8 pm
Place: Rupp Arena- Lexington, KY
Line: UK -5.5
You can argue that the Razorbacks are turning the corner. Arkansas has won its previous four conference games, but the schedule only gets more challenging going forward. Musselman’s group earned its first road victory on Saturday after falling short a handful of times. It will be interesting to see if the Hogs can build on recent performances.
Tonight, the Hogs must win two categories to give themselves a chance. Perimeter defense and rebounding are likely the hot topics inside the locker room as the Razorbacks prepare for tipoff. Thus far, the Wildcats have won just one game when shooting 30% or less from the three-point line.
The Hogs must rebound better tonight, which will be difficult with Oscar Tshiebwe standing in the way. South Carolina and Texas A&M outrebounded the Hogs, and the Baylor matchup ended with a tie in the rebounding category. It will be essential for a few Razorbacks to emerge as rebounding threats tonight.
Much like the Razorbacks, the Wildcats have underperformed in the eyes of many this season. However, Kentucky is beginning to find its groove as well. The Wildcats have won six of its last seven games, with Kansas being the only outlier. The key to defeating Kentucky is limiting the production of Oscar Tshiebwe. But a few other Wildcats have stepped up during the recent winning streak. Antonio Reeves and Cason Wallace are each shooting over 40 percent from deep, and Sahvir Wheeler is playing closer to his standard, increasing the pressure on the Razorback backcourt.
- The Hogs enter tonight projected by many between a 9 and 11 seed in the NCAA tournament
- Arkansas and Kentucky sit firmly on Joe Lunardi’s most recent ‘Last Four Byes’ list