Arkansas (21-10, 10-8) lost in disappointing fashion to Alabama 83-58 Saturday in Tuscaloosa.
The old Arkansas basketball team came back to haunt us.
Arkansas had one more terrible road game in them apparently, for old time’s sake, and it couldn’t have come at worse time. This loss to a 13-18 Alabama team is not going to look good on the Hogs’ resume come selection time.
The first half was the worst half of basketball for Arkansas all season. They had 16 points at halftime. Yes, that’s right- 16 points. The same team who put up 110 points on Ole Miss just days before had 16 points at halftime. The game was never close. Alabama led 39-16 at the half.
The Hogs were outplayed. They shot 31.3 percent (15-48) on the night. They were 36 percent (9-25) from long range. They were outrebounded 41-25 and gave up 12 offensive boards. They committed 15 turnovers to Alabama’s 13. They only had nine assists. They were outscored in the paint 42-6 and 29-11 on bench points. It’s really hard to describe how bad it was.
Arkansas didn’t play like a team who had just won six straight games and won eight of their last nine games. They looked like the old Arkansas team we saw earlier in the season. They showed no confidence, no heart and no desire to win. It also didn’t help that they couldn’t hit a shot to save their lives.
Rashad Madden led the way with 19 points. Bobby Portis had 17 points despite sitting for most of the first half due to foul trouble. Coty Clarke added eight points and Alandise Harris added seven.
Arkansas prides themselves on their depth, but it clearly didn’t show Saturday. That’s just inexcusable.
Michael Quall and Mardracus Wade had three points each on the night. Fred Gulley, Kikko Haydar, Jacorey Williams and Anthlon Bell each posted a big fat goose egg in the scoring column. If Arkansas is going to win any more games, all players are going to have to contribute.
As for Arkansas’ NCAA Tournament hopes, they aren’t over but this game didn’t help their case. They are going to have to win at least two games in the SEC tournament for them to have a chance of going to the NCAA Tournament.
Arkansas chances of going dancing all come down to the SEC Tournament.
Arkansas has earned the 5-seed in the SEC Tournament, which means they will face the winner of the Auburn and South Carolina game Thursday. Those are two teams that Arkansas can very easily beat but not if they played like they did Saturday.
If Arkansas beats Auburn or South Carolina they will then play Tennessee in the quarterfinals Friday. This game is essentially which team is going to the NCAA Tournament and which team is going to the NIT. So, it’s a must win for Arkansas but they have to get past Auburn or South Carolina first.
It’s going to be an interesting SEC Tournament this year as there are a lot of bubble teams in the SEC, including Arkansas.