-by UATV Sports’ Tyler Woessner
The time is here ladies and gentlemen. With one more quality opponent left for Mike Anderson’s Hogs, his team knows Thursday night’s game at Kentucky is extremely important when it comes to NCAA Tournament chances. It has been a while since Arkansas won in Kentucky’s Rupp Arena. Some of the current Razorbacks weren’t even born the last time that happened. It’s safe to say it’s a long time coming.
Arkansas’ dramatic 87-85 overtime win at home against Kentucky back in January will be remembered by Michael Qualls’ heroic game-winning put-back slam dunk in the final seconds. The Wildcats will keep this in mind as Kentucky looks for revenge against the Razorbacks on Thursday night in Big Blue Nation. The Hogs are trying to do something for the first time in 20 years- not only win a National Championship, but a win at Rupp Arena, as well. The Wildcats’ only home loss this season is to #1 Florida. Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson says it’s all about the mindset his team needs to have going in.
“They have the home court advantage,” Anderson said. “Somehow, we’ve got to figure out a way to negate that, where we can go in and make it an advantage for us.”
The big question that Anderson needs to answer is how exactly to accomplish that.
“You have to go in and play some of the best basketball you’ve played all year,” Anderson said. “That’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to take the fight to Kentucky.”
This is also a game of first’s for the Razorbacks. Arkansas is trying to beat Kentucky twice in the same season for the first time in school history. This is also the first season the teams have played a home-and-home series in the regular season. Arkansas is in a 5-way tie for 4th place in the SEC at 7-7 in league play. The top four teams receive byes in the SEC Tournament. That’s what the Razorbacks are shooting for.