There isn’t any bubble team in college basketball that needs a miracle to make the 2014 NCAA Tournament more than the Arkansas Razorbacks; however that miracle may be happening right before our eyes.
The Razorbacks defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs 73 – 69 in a game that turned into a battle between bench players. Mississippi State’s Colin Borchert had 21 points and Arkansas’s Anthlon Bell has 19 in a physical, hard-fought game. However, 16 turnovers for the Bulldogs led to the Razorbacks taking the upper hand and finishing out the game on top.
You might think that one win over a weak opponent doesn’t mean very much for a bubble team, but take a look at other results in the SEC. Potential 2014 NCAA Tournament teams like the Tennessee Volunteers, LSU Tigers and Ole Miss Rebels all fell, damaging their chances of making it to the tournament and increasing Arkansas’ chances. If the bubble SEC teams keep falling and Arkansas keeps winning, the Razorbacks might find themselves in a position to win a few SEC Tournament games and make the Big Dance.
Arkansas probably won’t make it to March Madness this year, but the season won’t be a loss. The youth on this team are going to be some of the best players in college basketball down the road and the Razorbacks could compete for an SEC title as soon as next season. Missing out on the 2014 NCAA Tournament would be disappointing for an Arkansas team that believes they are just as talented as some of the teams considered a lock, but a trip to the NIT could be a valuable experience that sparks a successful future.