FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Fresh off a 2-0 road week in the SEC that pushed its current run to seven wins in its last eight games, the Arkansas men’s basketball team moved up six spots in both the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 poll (No. 18) and the USA Today Coaches Poll (No. 17) released on Monday.
The No. 18 ranking equals Arkansas’ highest this season in the AP Top 25, while No. 17 in the USA Today Coaches poll is a season-best. It marks the fifth time this season that Arkansas (20-5, 9-3 SEC) has been ranked in both polls and is the latest in a season that the Razorbacks have been ranked since 1999.
Wednesday night’s matchup with Missouri (7-18, 1-11) in Fayetteville will mark the 12th game (7-4) Arkansas has played as a ranked team this season. The Razorbacks and Tigers last met just under a month ago in Columbia, which ended in a dramatic 61-60 win for Arkansas. The win at Missouri is part of a 4-2 SEC road record for the Razorbacks, equaling the most conference road wins since 1994-95.
Riding a four-game win streak, Arkansas is in sole possession of second place in the SEC at 9-3 and sports an RPI of No. 16, according to ESPN. The 9-3 mark is the Razorbacks’ best start through the first 12 SEC games since 1997-98 and the first time since 1997-98 that Arkansas has won 20 of its first 25 games.
Led by the SEC’s highest scoring duo (33 PPG) of sophomore Bobby Portis and junior Michael Qualls, Arkansas is one of three teams in the nation in the top 10 in points per game (79.9/10th) and assists (17.1/8th) per game. Portis earned his second SEC Player of the Week honor of the year on Monday, while Qualls also garnered the award in December.