Arkansas Loss to Vanderbilt Could Crush Tournament Hopes

By Taylor Sturm
Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

After an impressive win against the seemingly unbeatable Florida Gators, many would assume that the Razorbacks are in the NCAA tournament. However, the Arkansas Razorbacks lost to the Vanderbilt Commodores 67-49. This loss effectively removes the Razorbacks from NCAA contention.

The Razorbacks acquired some hope after dismantling the Tennessee Volunteers, in a game that decided which team would still have hope of going to the tournament, and that win, coupled with the upset win against Florida, seemed to really push Arkansas onto the NCAA tournament bubble for many people.

However, wins over good teams in the SEC do not seem to mean very much in the selection committees’ eyes when compared with a large number of losses. Just look at the case of Tennessee from last year – Good wins against good teams (including a sweep of Florida and a win against the then future SEC champion Vanderbilt) but when you have around 10 losses it’s easy to find a non-AQ conference team that has a better, more impressive resume.

Arkansas is young; their most talented player is a freshman in BJ Young. Young will lead this team to great heights in the future, but in games like this, when he doesn’t play well, Arkansas cannot win. Young is a crucial section of the Arkansas offense, and, if teams can shut him down, the Razorbacks will not win games.

Arkansas will not make the NCAA tournament without another upset or two, but the Razorbacks shouldn’t worry because they will be an extremely good team next season.

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