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  • #1 by HOGdayafternoon on 03 May 2017
  • Just a few OOC (out of conference) matchups that we know about, but they look good. And the SEC, which was vastly underrated last year, will be stronger.

    Let's look at it ...

    * Nike PK80 in Portland, OR (celebrating Phil Knight's 80th birthday) is a loaded 16-team field that will be split into two, 8-team tourney formats. Will be played Nov. 23-25, and each team is guaranteed 3 games. Two teams from each of the 6 big conferences, and teams from same leagues are sent to separate brackets ... sooooo ... Hogs will be matched up with 1) Duke or UNC from the ACC, 2) Michigan State or Ohio State of Big Ten, 3) Texas or OU from Big XII, 4) Butler or Georgetown of the Big East, 5) Oregon or Stanford of the Pac-12, 6) Gonzaga or Portland from WCC, 7) UConn or Portland St. We can assume that Portland and Portland St will be in different brackets, so the other 7 teams in each bracket are legit. Florida is the other SEC team in the field, and the Gators will play in the bracket opposite the Hogs.

    * Minnesota in Fayetteville. This is starting to look like a really good matchup. Pitino Jr. turned that program around in a year, keeping the Gophers in the RPI Top 25 all year last season while getting them to the Dance. They've done a solid job recruiting and will bring a good team to Fayetteville. This could end being the Hogs' best OOC home matchup since Syracuse a few years back, UNLESS ...

    * What if Hogs' SEC-Big XII Challenge matchup, which rotates to Faytteville in the coming season, ends up being Baylor or West Virginia? Those teams (plus Iowa State) finished tied at 12-6 in Big XII last season, similar to Hogs and SCar tying for 3rd in SEC at 12-6. Typically, these games are set up to match teams with similar resumes (from previous year and projecting to next season). Hogs played at ISU 3 years ago, home vs. TTech 2 years ago, at OKSt last year, plus Hogs played Texas at neutral site and will see OU or Texas at PK80 in November. Don't see Hogs being matched up with Kansas ... so guessing here, but if not Baylor or WVirginia, they might meet KState or TCU.

    * Houston at Toyota Center on Dec. 2, and per Jon Rothstein, this will be the 2nd game in a multi-year series. I like this. Old SWC rivals. Kelvin Sampson is a proven coach. Houston won 21 games last year to finish 3rd in the AAC, which is a respectable mid-major league.

    * Those are just the few OOC games we know about. Total of 6 games that are effectively set, and Hogs can play total of 13 OOC, so you just hope they sked the other 7 with some good mid-majors and maybe sneak in one more sexy matchup, although I doubt they go crazy based on what they've done historically with scheduling. Talk of Memphis scheduling with Hogs ... I think it would be huge for Arkansas-Memphis to be an annual battle, alternating between Verizon Arena in LR and FedEx Forum in Memphis. Just a thought.

    * SEC ... next season is when I think national perception of league strength starts to shift in a good way, and the Hogs have some big-time games at home and away ...

    * Kentucky plays at BWA. The Hogs-'Cats have only had home-and-away in the same regular season ONCE -- '13-'14 when the Hogs swept both games in OT thrillers. Not sure when these two are set to resume a home-and-away on the league rotation, but shame on the SEC for not making that a permanent arrangement! 'Cats and Hogs are the 2 winningest SEC teams over the past 3 seasons, so the Hogs need to win at home to get to 4-5 vs. the 'Cats going back to '12-'13 (would make Hogs 4-3 vs. KY in regular-season in that span).

    * Missouri is permanent home-and-away, and the Tigers will go from bottom-feeders to one of the most talented teams in the league, basically over night. When Mizzou was still good, the Hogs were building under MA. And since MA has turned things around at Arkansas, Mizzou fell off a cliff. All of a sudden, next year's home-and-away has significance. This series could become one of the best in the SEC.

    * Texas A&M is another permanent home-and-away, and the Aggies will be picked among the Top 3-4 teams in the league next season. They've recruited well under Billy Kennedy, and they will give Hogs two NCAAT-resume-building opportunities.

    * LSU is also a permanent home-and-away, and the Tigers will be rebuilding. Hogs need to seize the opportunity to sweep.

    * Hogs should get Florida at home and play at Vandy. Should get Tennessee at home and play at MSSt.

    * Not sure which 2 of these teams will play Hogs home-and-away next season -- KY, Ole Miss, Bama, Georgia, Auburn, South Carolina -- but Hogs will play this grouping of 6 teams a total of 8 games. Hogs get KY, SCar, and Auburn at home if not home-and-away. Hogs get Ole Miss, Georgia, and Bama on the road if not home-and-away.

    SUMMARY: I see the Hogs' toughest schedule in many, many years just with what we know today. It could get even better.
  • #2 by Rock City Razorback on 03 May 2017
  • Could very well not make the tourney.
  • #3 by gmarv on 03 May 2017
  • Could very well not make the tourney.
    Or maybe we will only need 19 wins like Vandy had this year ???
  • #4 by Hawg Red on 03 May 2017
  • Could very well not make the tourney.

    Certainly depends on returning players, but everyone back? I doubt it. This schedule is so strong we would make the Dance with 19, 20 wins similar to Vanderbilt this past season. If we remain competitive, our RPI should be stout throughout the season.
  • #5 by Hawg Red on 03 May 2017
  • Or maybe we will only need 19 wins like Vandy had this year ???

    This guy gets it.
  • #6 by jry04 on 03 May 2017
  • Certainly depends on returning players, but everyone back? I doubt it. This schedule is so strong we would make the Dance with 19, 20 wins similar to Vanderbilt this past season. If we remain competitive, our RPI should be stout throughout the season.
    Yeah, our RPI and SOS would be through the roof. Having Minnesota, UK, Florida, and a Big 12 school at home would make for a great home schedule, too. Need everyone back though. If either of our two guards decide to leave I think the schedule is too tough, and we probably finish closer to .500. Mike has said he planned on playing elite competition the next few years because he expects it to be two of our better teams, but that is assuming everyone stays who is supposed to.
  • #7 by The_Iceman on 03 May 2017
  • Or maybe we will only need 19 wins like Vandy had this year ???

    There are still basketball ignorant people that think number of wins is what gets you in the tournament. Basketball isn't football.

    In football, you want as many wins as possible. In basketball, you want to play as many good teams as possible.
  • #8 by Hog Fan...DOH! on 03 May 2017
  • Could very well not make the tourney.

    Or could very well make the tourney.
  • #9 by Rock City Razorback on 03 May 2017
  • Or could very well make the tourney.

    I agree with that as well haha! There are a lot of questions marks yet to be answered though, and with a tough schedule and the SEC getting stronger, might not make the cut. We do have the upper hand in making the tourney last year though, so hopefully that carries over! But again, so many questions: is Macon coming back? Can Jones take the next step and replace Dusty? How is our inside presence going to be after the transition from a Senior to a freshman? There are certainly things I like more about this upcoming team, however. Lots and lots of experience. 6 seniors. More length and athleticism. I'm actually more excited for Razorback basketball over football, and I think that's the first time I've said that in a long, long time.
  • #10 by hawgmasta on 04 May 2017
  • There are still basketball ignorant people that think number of wins is what gets you in the tournament. Basketball isn't football.

    In football, you want as many wins as possible. In basketball, you want to play as many good teams as possible.

    Good point; don't they even consider close losses against a high RPI team a plus?
  • #11 by HOGdayafternoon on 04 May 2017
  • Under the current RPI/SOS system used by the NCAAT selection committee, you'd think 19 to 20 wins against that schedule (absent of bad losses with some quality wins) would be enough to get in. Still interested to see what tweaks are made in the new selection "metric" that is expected to be developed in time for '17-'18 to replace the current RPI/SOS formula.

    Can't imagine it will be wildly different, and if the Hogs continue their home winning ways and continue to show they can win away from home, they'll be fine.
  • #12 by hogsanity on 04 May 2017
  • I agree, with the schedule posed by the OP, 19 might be enough to get in, the question is would they even get to 19, especially if Macon and/or Barford leave?  Could go 0 for the pk80, lose the big12 matchup. MN is not going to be easy either. That could be 5 ooc loses.  OR could be 3-5 really really good wins too.
  • #13 by Jborohog09 on 04 May 2017
  • Also starting a home-and-home with Colorado State at BWA.  They have a solid program. 
  • #14 by NWAHog479 on 04 May 2017
  • Also starting a home-and-home with Colorado State at BWA.  They have a solid program.

    DOOBIE JENKINS!
  • #15 by sevenof400 on 04 May 2017
  • Or maybe we will only need 19 wins like Vandy had this year ???

    Arkansas' schedule does not look that stout, but clearly it should be improved which will help the team in many ways.  The Nike PK80 ought to be fun to watch.

    Curious though if HOGdayafternoon would share opinions on the rest of the OOC schedule...
  • #16 by sevenof400 on 04 May 2017
  • Good point; don't they even consider close losses against a high RPI team a plus?

    Do keep in mind the RPI as we know it now could be changing.
    See: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-ncaa-is-modernizing-the-way-it-picks-march-madness-teams/
  • #17 by jry04 on 04 May 2017
  • Arkansas' schedule does not look that stout, but clearly it should be improved which will help the team in many ways.  The Nike PK80 ought to be fun to watch.

    Curious though if HOGdayafternoon would share opinions on the rest of the OOC schedule...
    Does not look that stout? Our non-conference alone probably features at least 5 top 50 opponents. Then you throw in our conference schedule which will undoubtedly be improved by playing UK twice, UF, a much improved Missouri and A&M twice, plus Alabama and Miss State adding their recruits with what they already return. A minimum of 1/3 of our opponents on our schedule will be top 50 teams under the current format.
  • #18 by HOGINTENNESSEE on 04 May 2017
  • Does not look that stout? Our non-conference alone probably features at least 5 top 50 opponents. Then you throw in our conference schedule which will undoubtedly be improved by playing UK twice, UF, a much improved Missouri and A&M twice, plus Alabama and Miss State adding their recruits with what they already return. A minimum of 1/3 of our opponents on our schedule will be top 50 teams under the current format.

    He said last year 25 might not get us in the NCAAt despite the fact that would have required us to have 11+ top 100 wins
  • #19 by sevenof400 on 04 May 2017
  • Does not look that stout? Our non-conference alone probably features at least 5 top 50 opponents. Then you throw in our conference schedule which will undoubtedly be improved by playing UK twice, UF, a much improved Missouri and A&M twice, plus Alabama and Miss State adding their recruits with what they already return. A minimum of 1/3 of our opponents on our schedule will be top 50 teams under the current format.

    Vandy's 2016 schedule was really good - it ended the year as the toughest SOS in college basketball - and was a factor in their getting a NCAA bid.  That's the kind of leverage you want a team to have come tournament bid time. 

    I am saying the upcoming schedule for Arkansas is not -that- good, but it is so much better than where they were a few seasons ago - it is definitely moving in the right direction and I hope it continues if for no other reason than to give basketball fans games (opponents) that peak fan interest. 
  • #20 by jry04 on 05 May 2017
  • Vandy's 2016 schedule was really good - it ended the year as the toughest SOS in college basketball - and was a factor in their getting a NCAA bid.  That's the kind of leverage you want a team to have come tournament bid time. 

    I am saying the upcoming schedule for Arkansas is not -that- good, but it is so much better than where they were a few seasons ago - it is definitely moving in the right direction and I hope it continues if for no other reason than to give basketball fans games (opponents) that peak fan interest. 
    Vandy had the #1 SOS. Nobody is claiming we will have the #1 SOS. If you are basing whether our schedule is good or not on how Vandy scheduled, then you are crazy.


    If you want to compare, Vandy played 5 top 50 opponents in non-conference, with 3 being top 25. Minnesota, 2 or 3 in Portland, and our Big 12 matchup will put us at a minimum of 4, but possibly 5 top 50 opponents, with 3-4 of them probably being top 25. That is not even including the mid-majors we schedule who have a chance to win their league and finish top 50 like UT Arlington did last year. The SEC had 5 top 50 teams last year, but teams like Bama, A&M, Auburn, Missouri, and Mississippi State will be much better and likely around the top 50. I think we can both agree our schedule next year appears to be better than what it was this year, and we finished with a SOS of 46. Missouri improving alone will help drastically, because that will be 2 less 200+ RPI games that we would have had to play. We played 5 200+ games last year, and Missouri counted for 2 of them at 257. Just keep our schedule the same, but bump Missouri in the top 100 and our SOS changes to a top 30 SOS and our RPI jumps to about 20. That is how big a difference it makes, and realistically could have determined 1-2 seeds.
  • #21 by HF#1 on 05 May 2017
  • Could be a year where we make all our hay in conference rather than out of conference. Would be nice to pick up a win or two in that Nike tournament.
  • #22 by sevenof400 on 05 May 2017
  • Vandy had the #1 SOS. Nobody is claiming we will have the #1 SOS. If you are basing whether our schedule is good or not on how Vandy scheduled, then you are crazy.

    Did you see GMarv's comment earlier in the thread?  That is what I was following up on....I was attempting to compliment the powers that be at Arkansas for stepping up their OOC schedule and like Vanderbilt did last year, Arkansas should enjoy more collateral benefits from an improved schedule. 

    I do agree with your point(s) about the conference improvement as well if the SEC (as a whole) improves as it seems they are primed to do.  That too will certainly help Arkansas. 

    It also may be the case the SEC's conference RPI could break above the 5 slot they finished in last year.  The immediate future for SEC basketball is as bright as it has been in quite some time.
  • #23 by jry04 on 05 May 2017
  • Did you see GMarv's comment earlier in the thread?  That is what I was following up on....I was attempting to compliment the powers that be at Arkansas for stepping up their OOC schedule and like Vanderbilt did last year, Arkansas should enjoy more collateral benefits from an improved schedule. 

    I do agree with your point(s) about the conference improvement as well if the SEC (as a whole) improves as it seems they are primed to do.  That too will certainly help Arkansas. 

    It also may be the case the SEC's conference RPI could break above the 5 slot they finished in last year.  The immediate future for SEC basketball is as bright as it has been in quite some time.
    Got it, so a misunderstanding. You are saying Arkansas' schedule is stout, but not as stout as Vanderbilt's. Depending on the improvement in the SEC and the draw of Portland, I still think it could get pretty close to being a top 10 type schedule, though.
  • #24 by sevenof400 on 05 May 2017
  • Got it, so a misunderstanding. You are saying Arkansas' schedule is stout, but not as stout as Vanderbilt's. Depending on the improvement in the SEC and the draw of Portland, I still think it could get pretty close to being a top 10 type schedule, though.

    Agreement on all points here. 
  • #25 by HOGdayafternoon on 05 May 2017
  • Arkansas' schedule does not look that stout, but clearly it should be improved which will help the team in many ways.  The Nike PK80 ought to be fun to watch.

    Curious though if HOGdayafternoon would share opinions on the rest of the OOC schedule...

    Just saw this, so just now responding ... and I already gave my thoughts in the OP, BUT ...

    Although roughly half of the OOC is unknown (including not knowing yet which teams Arkansas will draw in Portland), it's reasonable to project at least 2 quality high-major opponents at PK80 plus MN plus a good Big XII team -- just those factors combined suggest an improvement over what Hogs usually face in their OOC skeds. When you add road game against RPI Top 50ish Houston, plus an expected improved SEC slate, it's not too early to suggest this will be the Hogs' best overall sked in a long time.
  • #26 by NoogaHog on 05 May 2017
  • Just a few OOC (out of conference) matchups that we know about, but they look good. And the SEC, which was vastly underrated last year, will be stronger.

    Let's look at it ...

    * Nike PK80 in Portland, OR (celebrating Phil Knight's 80th birthday) is a loaded 16-team field that will be split into two, 8-team tourney formats. Will be played Nov. 23-25, and each team is guaranteed 3 games. Two teams from each of the 6 big conferences, and teams from same leagues are sent to separate brackets ... sooooo ... Hogs will be matched up with 1) Duke or UNC from the ACC, 2) Michigan State or Ohio State of Big Ten, 3) Texas or OU from Big XII, 4) Butler or Georgetown of the Big East, 5) Oregon or Stanford of the Pac-12, 6) Gonzaga or Portland from WCC, 7) UConn or Portland St. We can assume that Portland and Portland St will be in different brackets, so the other 7 teams in each bracket are legit. Florida is the other SEC team in the field, and the Gators will play in the bracket opposite the Hogs.

    So what I hear you saying is that we are playing UNC in the second round.
  • #27 by HOGdayafternoon on 05 May 2017
  • So what I hear you saying is that we are playing UNC in the second round.

    Haha, it's possible. Last 3 times Hogs played UNC, it was the 3rd round of NCAAT (First 4 / play-in games count as round 1, then the 64-team field begins play in round 2).
  • #28 by Showtimehog on 09 May 2017
  • AND WE HAVE 2 DOGS IN THE BACKCOURT COMING BACK TO GO GET THAT BACON!
  • #29 by SONofHAM on 09 May 2017
  • Do we know for sure the UK game will be in Fayetteville?  Has it been established that each year the teams will alternate home court? 

    All I could find on this:

    While the number of conference games each team plays, 18, will not change the setup for the schedules has changed. In total each team will play five opponents both home and away with three of those being “permanent” opponents that they’ll see twice a year every season. They’ll face the other eight teams on the schedule just once, with four of those games being home contests and four coming on the road.

  • #30 by HOGdayafternoon on 09 May 2017
  • Do we know for sure the UK game will be in Fayetteville?  Has it been established that each year the teams will alternate home court? 

    All I could find on this:

    While the number of conference games each team plays, 18, will not change the setup for the schedules has changed. In total each team will play five opponents both home and away with three of those being “permanent” opponents that they’ll see twice a year every season. They’ll face the other eight teams on the schedule just once, with four of those games being home contests and four coming on the road.

    Yes, Hogs will either have Kentucky at home, or home-and-away. In either instance, they get KY in Fayetteville.
  • #31 by hobhog on 09 May 2017
  • So we are guaranteed 3 games in the Nike Pk80? Is that 3 games in 3 days?!....
  • #32 by FineAsSwine on 10 May 2017
  • So we are guaranteed 3 games in the Nike Pk80? Is that 3 games in 3 days?!....

    If that is the case, it favors us. We have the depth. Get past that first game and we might win the thing.
  • #33 by HOGdayafternoon on 10 May 2017
  • So we are guaranteed 3 games in the Nike Pk80? Is that 3 games in 3 days?!....

    My understanding is it's treated like the Maui Invt'l and other events = 3 games in 3 days guaranteed.
  • #34 by Pig in the Pokey on 10 May 2017
  • If that is the case, it favors us. We have the depth. Get past that first game and we might win the thing.
    I just want that North Carolina rematch.
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