TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Arkansas earned a bye into the quarterfinals of next week’s Southeastern Conference Tournament by insuring itself of no worse than a second-place tie in the Western Division with Wednesday’s 66-63 come-from-behind win at No. 19 Alabama.
The win could also help Arkansas gain an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
With the victory, Arkansas (18-9, 9-6) can do no worse than finish tied for second with the Crimson Tide. The Razorbacks win the tiebreaker, and a bye to the second round of the tournament, by virtue of its season sweep of Alabama.
The Razorbacks trailed by eight early in the second half, but the Hogs’ full-court pressure defense forced Alabama into 14 turnovers in each period. The pressure also wore down Alabama’s shooters. After hitting 44 percent in the first half, the Crimson Tide (20-8, 8-7) hit just 9-of-29 shots in the second half (.310).
Larry Satchell, who had 10 points, scored eight in a 24-7 run to give Arkansas a 59-50 lead with 8:53 remaining. Alabama scored five straight to get within four, but the Razorbacks made just enough free throws, five-of-eight, in the final four minutes, and got a jumper from Brandon Dean to hold on for its second straight road win.