Within a few weeks, the two Arkansas basketball programs fled with such urgency and poise that it felt, yes, Virginia like being here again in the nineties

Eric Musselman’s men’s team lost a major oar when Justin Smith’s injury fell short at the start of the conference and limited him to a series of games that revealed with great relief any weaknesses in the team’s Indiana senior post recovered and has established itself as the focal point of the team, while Moses Moody, Jalen Tate, JD. Notae and Davonte Davis worked skillfully on the perimeter on both ends of the floor. The end result of the Pigs’ realigned efforts was a flawless February stretch that included Musselman’s first real “big” wins as Head Hog, and they came in groups and with force As the Razorbacks shot back from a deep early deficit against Auburn and then began rounding up the narrow wins against aggravating rivals like Kentucky and Missouri, things got boiling and then demanded a calculated revenge on Alabama and the LSU, including a towering Tier-1 – Victory against tournament-bound Florida was thrown in

The defensive skills and efforts of this team, as well as their unusual and newfound competence in the paint job made for the 12-game winning streak of the SEC, which finally came to an unsatisfactory end when the Hogs in the semifinals of the conference tournament in Nashville against the LSU However, this loss did not tarnish the most successful campaign of the program in over a quarter of a century according to any objective measure.The Hogs not only achieved an overall record of 22: 6 and a conference score of 13: 4, but were also able to avoid the COVID-19 losses, That predictably rocked the sport over the past few months, just a brief absence from the aspiring rookie after Jaylin Williams in the past few weeks (he’s ready for the NCAA tournament) and two complete cancellations, namely Tulsa and a street game at Texas A&M, have the burgeoning ones Really influenced the team’s dynamics in the past few weeks

What is most reminiscent of the halcyon years of the Razorbacks, when we Middle Ages chatter about our disinterested broods? There’s a charismatic superstar in Moody who has just improved his gameplay over the past few weeks to the point that he has earned the league’s Player of the Year trophy along with the Newbie of the Year awards he deserves And he’s flanked by Smith, who was arguably the most important player at the conference, considering how lost the team seemed without him, and an understated leader like Tate, who by the nifty teardrop floaters and the lightweight Occurring at this point is Notae, who came off the bench, had his best performances of the season at the end of the year after a brief mid-season blackout, and Williams, Desi Sills, Connor Vanover and more recently Ethan Henderson all had their brilliant moments, when the opportunity arose

Davis was eye-catching to me though. If you dare falsify a comparison between this team and these championship teams for any reason – and I say “force” – it’s a no-brainer. But Davis has the Corey Beck-Moxie, which is hard to reproduce these days, and the expectations and nostalgia associated with his name here are perfectly fair, considering that Davis Beck is already a superior natural athlete and a bit more offensive as well, those long arms have been in almost everyone defining moment of this adorable season front and middle, whether it’s plucking the final pass from Kentucky or kicking the ball away from a Missouri ball handler in crucial possession

Arkansas’ women have a similar catalyst in Amber Ramirez, but she’s not a greenhorn freshman who makes a living cutting through the color season five of the senior transfer in college basketball was her best, and she has excelled in the team’s key games for her deadly three-point skills (she hit 75 of them with a nearly 45 percent clip) and defensive intelligence, Chelsea Dungee’s goal and Destiny Slocum’s game were otherwise the most notable elements the highly skilled fourth squad of Mike Neighbors (they are 19-8 and secured a four-seed in the NCAA tournament where they would have likely landed last March had the season not been cut short due to the pandemic, best efforts have been the Pigs those with a balanced score applied to Dungee, Slocum, Ramirez, and the constantly improving Makayla Daniel s produce double-digit points on average for a crime that is among the most efficient in the country when it really clicks

The unique advantage women have of attending the exclusive event in San Antonio? No other team in the country can literally claim they have beaten the best, as the group of neighbors really solidified itself as a competitor when they defeated the top-ranked UConn at the Bud Walton Arena in late January for the only loss and, oh yes, this team also inflicted one of the two defeats on Baylor this fall, at the beginning of the year before the start of the bears as the Big 12 class

By contrast, the following applies to both teams: the losses were confusing and sometimes a little too ugly. For the women, the Hogs Texas hit A&M twice before losing on one thing with a possession, but they also had some blatant defeats, especially one couple of failures through South Carolina and Tennessee obviously not too embarrassing given these teams’ respective statures.The men of Arkansas lost to Alabama at 31 and were knocked out of rhythm twice by a dangerously talented but below par LSU team, but these too Losses are by no means shameful. The neighbors and Musselman are both going into this tournament, although the dynamics of February have only diminished a shadow through the exits from the SEC tournament

But of what consequence are these losses really? Arkansas has never liked the conference tournament so much, and the 1999-2000 team that won the men’s after a 15-14 campaign promptly went to the NCAA tournament and showed the wear, losing the opener to Miami I refer to I continue to be very cautious about the 1994 season here, but kindly remember that the absolute, undisputed worst game of the championship team was the semi-final against Kentucky, which basically gave the team an extra day of rest and a chance to realign, so Nolan Richardson handled this SEC tournament defeats, and coaches of the Musselman and Neighbors caliber understand that the conference tournament is a dress rehearsal.This is by no means to denigrate its importance, but there is no sense of finality for that loss when your programs are strong

March Madness is finally back in this state. It wouldn’t hurt if the delirium continued into the next month, would it?

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