Arkansas coach Eric Musselman made a point over the weekend to tell his team that every game from Saturday through the rest of the season should be treated like the Super Bowl.
The Razorbacks’ first such resulted in a win over Ole Miss as Arkansas snapped a four-game losing streak and lifted itself out of a tie for last in the SEC. The next opportunity is Tuesday when LSU visits Bud Walton Arena.
The Tigers took the teams’ first meeting Dec. 28 in Baton Rouge in the SEC opener. Arkansas won its next game at home against Missouri, but the four-game slide started immediately after that. LSU hasn’t won since.
Arkansas may have pulled one victory back against the Rebels last time out, but the Hogs are still a team searching for an identity. Guard Devo Davis, who has never been much of a 3-pointer shooter, has developed his range in the last two weeks, providing Arkansas, the worst 3-point shooting team in the conference, another element offensively.
But in the absence from range, teams have found success packing defenses into the lane, daring the Hogs to beat them from beyond the arc. It’s only worked the once so far.
LSU may be only 1-6 in league play, but its six losses have to six of the top seven teams in the SEC power rankings. The Tigers have yet to play the only team missing from the list, Missouri. Such a series of results suggest LSU isn’t nearly as bad as it record.
That matters little to Arkansas, which needs to get wins in bunches, regardless of the quality of its opponent. A loss on Tuesday would be a massive setback for a team still just holding on to NCAA Tournament hope.
Tip from BWA is scheduled for 6 p.m., weather permitting.