The University of Arkansas men’s basketball team concluded its regular season on Saturday at Mississippi State and get new life as it goes to the Southeastern Conference Tournament in New Orleans, La. The Razorbacks, who are the nine seed, are scheduled to play the eight-seed LSU Tigers in the first game of the event, Thursday, March 8, at noon, at New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La.
Arkansas (18-13, 6-10 SEC) split its home-and-home series with LSU (17-13, 7-9 SEC) this year with each team winning on its home court. The Razorbacks shot well and forced 16 LSU turnovers in the game at Bud Walton Arena with All-SEC player BJ Young leading the charge with 16 points. The return game was turnover filled from Arkansas’ standpoint as they gave the ball up 19 times and despite shooting 40 percent from the floor, dropped a six-point decision.
For Arkansas to be successful in the rubber game, it needs to value the basketball, a point that Head Coach Mike Anderson has made on numerous occasions. It will also need to play solid defense as LSU brings a very good front court and good guard play to the game. In the two games this year, Arkansas has held LSU to just 37.8 percent shooting from the floor and 16 percent from three, a trend that will need to continue if Arkansas wishes to advance out of the first round for the first time since 2008.
Arkansas’ participation at the SEC Tournament has been brief in recent years with three consecutive losses in the first round. The Razorbacks are 2-1 against LSU in the tournament, but have not played each other in this setting since the 2002-03 season which coincidentally was in New Orleans, La. LSU won that meeting, 85-56. The winner of the Arkansas-LSU contest will meet the No. 1 seed and No. 1 ranked Kentucky at noon on Friday, March 9.
The Arkansas-LSU game kicks off the Southeastern Conference Tournament and will be broadcast on the radio across the Razorback Sports Network from IMG College with Chuck Barrett and Rick Schaeffer giving the call. The game will also be shown on television by the SEC Network with Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes and Shannon Spake on the air.