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Top Basketball Moments

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Top Basketball Moments

Top Basketball Moments

1994 National Championship – Head coach Nolan Richardson’s team was ranked No. 1 most of the season and entered the NCAA Tournament at No. 2. The Razorbacks beat North Carolina A&T, Georgetown, Tulsa and No. 11 Michigan to reach the Final Four. A 91-82 win over No. 9 Arizona set up the title game against No. 6 Duke in Charlotte, N.C. Corliss Williamson was named the Final Four MVP, Corey Beck had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, Scotty Thurman’s three from the right win with 52 seconds to play was the game-winner as Arkansas won the NCAA title with a 76-72 victory.

1978 Final Four – Head coach Eddie Sutton’s Razorbacks went 28-3 during the regular season with a No. 1 national ranking before losing in the Southwest Conference Tournament. With an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Hogs topped Weber State, No. 2 UCLA and California-Fullerton to reach the Final Four behind the "Triplets" – Ron Brewer, Marvin Delph, and Sidney Moncrief. No. 1 Kentucky beat Arkansas, 64-59, but Brewer’s jumper at the buzzer gave the Razorbacks a 71-69 win over Notre Dame in the third-place game as the Razorbacks ended the year 32-4 with a No. 5 ranking.

1990 Final Four – Head coach Nolan Richardson squad and his "40 Minutes of Hell" system carried Arkansas to the Southwest Conference title at 14-2, to the SWC Tournament championship and into the Final Four for the first time since 1978. Todd Day (19.5 ppg), Lee Mayberry (14.5 ppg) and Lenzie Howell (13.9 ppg) led the Hogs to wins over Princeton, Dayton, North Carolina and Texas befor a loss to Duke in Denver. Arkansas finished 30-5 and ranked No. 4 in the nation.

1995 Final Four – Corey Beck, Clint McDaniel, Scotty Thurman, Corliss Williamson and almost everyone else returned from the 1994 national championship team. With a target on their back all season, the Razorbacks won the SEC Western Division title and returned to the Final Four with wins over Texas Southern, Syracuse, Memphis and Virginia. In Seattle, Arkansas downed No. 4 North Carolina before falling to No. 1 UCLA, 89-78, in its bid for a repeat national championship. The Razorbacks finished 32-7 with a No. 2 final ranking.

Bud Walton Arena – "The Basketball Palace of Mid-America" opened in 1994. In Arkansas’ first year in the building, the Razorbacks went 16-0 at home, including a 93-67 win over Murray State in the first game and a 120-68 win over eventual Big Eight champion Missouri on dedication night. Arkansas went on to win the NCAA title. The Razorbacks have ranked among the nation’s top 15 in attendance average every year since moving into Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas vs. Louisville, 1981 – In the second round of the 1981 NCAA Tournament in Austin, Texas, No. 20 Arkansas trailed defending NCAA champion Louisville 73-72 in the final seconds. U.S. Reed, who finished the game with 19 points, took the inbounds pass and dribbled to midcourt near the sideline. With one second on the clock, he launched a 49-footer which hit nothing but net to give Arkansas a 74-73 victory. Reed celebrated by shaking hands along press row. The shot is ranked among the most historic events in college basketball by Sports Illustrated.

Arkansas vs. North Carolina, 1984 – After beating SMU in Dallas the day before, weather prevented the Razorbacks from arriving in Pine Bluff until hours before tipoff against No. 1-ranked and 19-0 North Carolina. UNC’s lineup featured Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins and Brad Daugherty. Arkansas’ lineup included Joe Kleine and Alvin Robertson, but Charles Balentine’s baseline jumper in the final seconds as the game-winner as the Razorbacks beat the top-ranked team in the country for UA’s first win over a No. 1-ranked team.

1992 SEC Title – Arkansas left the Southwest Conference for the Southeastern Conference after winning three straight SWC regular season and tournament championships. On March 3, the title was on the line as Shacquille O’Neal and LSU visited Barnhill Arena. Lee Mayberry scored 35 points and had seven assists, Todd Day scored 27, and Oliver Miller had 10 points and 10 rebounds as Arkansas recorded a 106-92 victory in overtime. Arkansas won its fourth straight conference championship and won the SEC in its first season as a member.

Arkansas vs. Houston, 1984 – Houston in 1984 featured Akeem Olajuwon, Michael Young and Alvin Franklin. The Cougars were ranked No. 2 in the nation and had won 31 straight Southwest Conference games. Olajuwon fouled out trying to guard Joe Kleine, who had 22 points. Charles Balentine scored 16, Ricky Norton 14 and Alvin Robertson 13. Arkansas had beaten No. 1 North Carolina earlier in the year and this 73-68 victory gave the Hogs a win over No. 2 Houston on the way to a 25-7 finish and No. 7 final ranking.

First conference championship, 1926 – In 1926, Arkansas went 23-2 and won the Southwest Conference title with an 11-1 record. What makes that championship so impressive is it came in just the third season of existence for the Razorback program. Arkansas was 17-11 and finished seventh in the SWC in 1924, and 21-5 and finished third in 1925. Head coach Francis Schmidt’s team was led by Rolla Adams, Elbert Pickell, Curtis Parker and Glen Rose.

First Final Four, 1941 – In Arkansas’ first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the Razorbacks advanced to the regional final, which eventually became the Final Four. At that time, it did not take as many wins to reach the regional final, but only eight teams earned a spot in the post-season. Head coach Glen Rose’s club won the Southwest Conference at 12-0 and beat Wyoming in the regional semifinals before losing to Washington State in the Final Four, 64-53. Arkansas finished the season 20-3 behind All-American John Adams.

Arkansas at Kentucky, 1992 – In Arkansas’ first year as a member of the Southeastern Conference, the Razorbacks traveled to Lexington on Jan. 25 ranked No. 9 in the country while the Wildcats were No. 8. UK led 51-50 at the half, but the Hogs rallied for a 105-88 victory and went on to win the SEC championship. Arkansas shot 50 percent for the game and was 41-of-49 at the line while Kentucky shot 45 percent from the field and was 10-of-18 at the line. Lee Mayberry led the Razorbacks with 23 points, followed by Oliver Miller with 19 and Todd Day 18. Deron Feldhaus and future Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey had 22 each for UK.

Arkansas at Texas, 1990 – Arkansas traveled to Austin, Texas, on Feb. 4 with a two-game lead over Texas in the Southwest Conference standings. Arkansas led 44-40 at the half but UT took a five-point lead midway through the second period. With 12 seconds left, the Longhorns had an 86-83 lead with Travis Mays at the line to shoot a free throw. He missed the free throw and Lee Mayberry drained a three with three seconds remaining to force overtime. Head coach Nolan Richardson, who walked off the floor earlier in the half, returned and a three by Ernie Murry got Arkansas off to a hot start in the extra period as the Hogs posted a 103-96 victory.

Arkansas vs. Indiana, 2008 – On March 21, Sonny Weems made 12-of-14 shots and scored 31 points as Arkansas topped No. 24 Indiana, 86-72, in Raleigh, N.C., for its first NCAA Tournament victory since 1999. Weems missed his first two shots before making his final 12 attempts. Darian Townes had a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Hogs finished the year 23-12 in John Pelphrey’s first season, helping Pelphrey set a school record for wins by a first-year head coach. He also became the first first-year coach to lead Arkansas into a national post-season tournament.

Arkansas vs. Delaware St., 1994 – On Dec. 11, 1993, Arkansas routed Delaware State, 123-66, but the story was guard Al Dillard. He made 13-of-25 shots, including an SEC-record 12 three-pointers in 22 attempts, and scored 39 points in only 25 minutes of playing time. His point total still ties for the 10th-best single-game mark in school history. Dillard, who was UA’s third-leading scorer for the season (8.9 ppg) despite playing just 12 minutes a game, hit consecutive threes 25 seconds apart to give the Hogs a 35-11 lead with 10:41 left in the half. He made another at the 5:40 mark, and hit consecutive shots 56 seconds apart to make it 48-21 at the 3:29 mark. He hit another at 2:06 and his seventh at the 1:02 point. Dillard had 21 points as UA led 58-25 at the half. He hit his first of the second half with 12:19 to play and added another at 10:12 to push the lead to 93-35. Dillard’s only non-three was a dunk with 6:35 to play, but he hit consecutive threes again 22 seconds apart to make it 117-49 with 3:28 left. He closed the barrage with a 22-footer with 52 seconds remaining to make it 122-61.

Arkansas at Texas, 1984 – On Jan. 19, 1984, guard Alvin Robertson recorded the first triple-double in school history. In a 70-66 victory at Texas, he made 9-of-16 shots, and finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. His triple was the only one in school history until Dec. 10, 2008, when Courtney Fortson had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in a win over North Carolina Central. In the Texas game, Joe Kleine added 15 points and eight rebounds. Arkansas went on to finish 25-7 with a No. 7 final ranking.

Arkansas at Kansas, 1977 – On Dec. 18, 1976, Arkansas played its first game as a ranked team. After going 19-9 in 1976, the Razorbacks opened the 1977 season with wins over Air Force, California-Hayward, Southwest Missouri State, Southern Colorado and Oklahoma City to improve to 5-0 and move into the top 20 at No. 19. In the first game as a member of the top 20, the Hogs posted a 67-63 win at Kansas. Marvin Delph had 24 points and seven rebounds, Sidney Moncrief 13 points and five rebounds, and Ron Brewer 12 points. Arkansas went on to finish 26-2 with a Southwest Conference championship, its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1958 and its first final national ranking at No. 18.

Arkansas vs. Texas, 1978 – On Feb. 1, 1978, Arkansas was 19-1 and ranked No. 2 in the nation. The Razorbacks were 0-4 all-time against ranked teams with No. 12 Texas visiting Fayetteville. Arkansas’ lone lose came in Austin on Jan. 14, 75-69. In the rematch, Marvin Delph scored 30 points, Ron Brewer and Steve Schall 12 each, and Sidney Moncrief 10 as the Hogs recorded their first win over a ranked opponent, 75-71.

Arkansas vs. UCLA, 1978 – Arkansas beat Weber State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but the second opponent was No. 2 UCLA. The Razorbacks jumped out to a 40-22 lead and was ahead 42-29 at the break. UCLA took a 60-58 lead, but Ron Brewer tied it with two free throws, Steve Schall hit a jumper and Delph a jumper to put Arkansas back in front. Delph made 11-of-14 shots to finish with 23 points. Sidney Moncrief had 21 and Brewer 18 as the Hogs recorded their first win over a team ranked in the top 10.

Arkansas vs. Kentucky & Auburn, 1999 – In one of the most unique weeks in UA basketball history, the Razorbacks played its final two home games over a five-day span against No. 5 Kentucky and No. 2 Auburn. Never before had Arkansas played two top 10 teams at home in the same week. The Razorbacks responded with a 74-70 win over Kentucky and a 104-88 win over Auburn. Pat Bradley and Kareem Reid had 17 points each in the win over the Wildcats while Bradley had 23 in the win over Auburn.



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