Coming off of a 110-80 demolition of the Ole Miss Rebels, the Arkansas Razorbacks were considered in the 2014 NCAA tournament to start the final day of regular SEC play, but will find themselves needing to win at least a game in SEC play to be even considered on the tournament bubble after being absolutely demolished by the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Arkansas just couldn’t hang with the much more physical Crimson Tide team. Out-rebounded 41-25, Bobby Portis and Rashad Madden were the only players for the Razorbacks that scored into double-digits. Michael Qualls, normally a leader for Arkansas, was off for the night and went just 1-for-7 from the field. Further detrimental to the Razorbacks, someone on Alabama finally stepped up to help Trevor Releford. Shannon Hale scored 18 points off the bench for the Crimson Tide en route to an 83-58 thrashing of the Razorbacks.
Now, Arkansas will be the No. 5 seed in the SEC tournament and probably must at least make it to the SEC championship game if they are to make the tournament. Unfortunately, I don’t see this happening, because to do so they must beat the Tennessee Volunteers and then the Florida Gators.
The good news for the Razorbacks is that a trip to the NIT won’t be the worst-case scenario. With the type of talent that the team will return with the underclassmen, the experience of a postseason tournament, even one as disappointing as the NIT, should lead to a solid tournament berth in 2015.