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Bubble Watch: Arkansas Basketball Says Goodbye To The Bubble, Rolls Over Ole Miss

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Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

It was just a three weeks ago that Arkansas Razorback fans were beginning to question head coach Mike Anderson, as he was about to finish his third season at Arkansas without an NCAA tournament bid. However, that was three weeks ago; six wins in a row later, including a season sweep of Kentucky, and Razorback fans can officially take themselves off the Bubble.

Anderson’s version of Nolan Richardson’s “40 Minutes of Hell” has finally taken hold in Fayetteville, AR, and Razorback fans are in heaven. After tonight’s destruction of Ole Miss 110-80,  the Razorbacks have not only solidified themselves as a NCAA tournament team, but they have become the team no one wants to see in the first round.

Whether it’s Michael Qualls’ gaming winning dunks or Bobby Portis patrolling the inside, Anderson and the Razorbacks have finally found the right mix and are peaking at the right time. The win on the road against Kentucky was especially telling for a Razorback team who had struggled on the road all season. Rupp Arena is one of the hardest places to play in the country, and the Razorbacks had to scrap, claw and snort just to get themselves to overtime. The win in overtime has obviously bolstered the Razorback’s confidence.

Going into the SEC tournament, the Razorbacks have to be considered one of the teams that will give Florida a run for the SEC Conference Tournament title. Not bad for a team and a coach that was counted out just three weeks ago.

Jason Love is a writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JloveWshs

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2015 NCAA Tournament Profile: Arkansas Razorbacks

Record: 26-8

Region – Seed: No. 5 in the West

RPI: 17

BPI: 21

Conference: Southeastern Conference

How They Qualified: At-large

The Arkansas Razorbacks have clearly been the second-best team in the SEC this season. While the Kentucky Wildcats have garnered nearly all of the attention in the league (and the country), Arkansas has quietly put together a very good season.

Arkansas has size, athleticism and depth. Head coach Mike Anderson has his team playing the classic “40 Minutes of Hell” style that Anderson’s former boss, Nolan Richardson, employed with the Razorbacks. And it’s working, bringing excitement back to Fayetteville.

What You Need to Know:

Leading Scorer: Bobby Portis, 17.5 ppg

Leading Rebounder: Bobby Portis, 8.5 rpg

Leading Passer: Rashad Madden, 4.7 apg

Bad Losses: at Clemson, at Tennessee, at Florida

Good Wins: Over Georgia, Ole Miss, Texas A&M

Arkansas has the talent to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. However, they don’t have tournament experience, which could end up hurting them the further they go. Playing against teams with more tournament experience could end up being the downfall of this Arkansas squad.

With Portis, the SEC Player of the Year, along with Michael Qualls and Madden, the Hogs have plenty of front-line talent. Anderson must take that talent and do his best to make this team tournament ready in a hurry. If Arkansas could make a run to the Sweet 16, they would see that as a success.

Tim Letcher is a Featured Writer for Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

The Arkansas Razorbacks have clearly been the second-best team in the SEC this season.

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