Big things are expected for the Arkansas basketball team this season. Locals know it. National folks do, too.
ESPN’s Jeff Borzello updated his summertime Top 25 for the college basketball world last week and the Razorbacks moved up in the rankings.
Arkansas checked in at No. 9, one spot ahead of its previous No. 10 slotting. It’s enough to make Razorbacks the second highest ranked team in the SEC, behind perennial power Kentucky.
The Top 25 is filled with Arkansas’ opponents for the 2022-23 season, as well. Tennessee is 12th, Auburn is 13th and Alabama is 20th. Creighton and Texas Tech are ninth and 24th, respectively. Arkansas will get one of those teams in the Maui Invitational in November. The Razorbacks will also play No. 8 Baylor in the Big 12/SEC Challenge in the second semester.
Take a look at Borzello’s top 10 below.
1. North Carolina
Apr 4, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5) reacts after sustaining an apparent injury after a play against the Kansas Jayhawks during the second half during the 2022 NCAA men’s basketball tournament Final Four championship game at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Last year: 29-10, 15-5 in ACC
Key players: Guard R.J. Davis (13.4 ppg), guard Caleb Love (15.2 ppg)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 24: Jaylin Williams #10 of the Arkansas Razorbacks and Drew Timme #2 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs stand alongside one another during the first half in the Sweet Sixteen round game of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Chase Center on March 24, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Last year: 28-4, 13-1 in West Coast Conference
Key players: Center Drew Timme (18.4 ppg), guard Malachi Smith (19.9 at UT-Chattanooga)
Dec 22, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars guard Marcus Sasser (0) attempts to dribble around Texas State Bobcats guard Caleb Asberry (5) during the second half at Fertitta Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Last year: 32-6, 15-3 in American Athletic Conference
Key players: Guard Marcus Sasser (17.7 ppg), guard Jamal Shead (10 ppg)
Feb 26, 2022; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Oscar Tshiebwe (34) drives to the basket as Arkansas Razorbacks guard Stanley Umude (0) and forward Kamani Johnson (20) defend in the first half at Bud Walton Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Last year: 26-8, 14-4 in SEC
Key players: Center Oscar Tshiebwe (17.4 ppg), guard Sahvir Wheeler (10.1 ppg)
Mar 26, 2022; San Francisco, CA, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks guard Stanley Umude (0) and Duke Blue Devils forward AJ Griffin (21) dive for a loose ball during the second half in the finals of the West regional of the men’s college basketball NCAA Tournament at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Last year: 32-7, 16-4
Key players: Center Dereck Lively (No. 1 recruit in nation), guard Jeremy Roach (8.6 ppg)
Dec 11, 2021; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks forward Jalen Wilson (10) is fouled by Missouri Tigers guard Javon Pickett (4) as guard Anton Brookshire (0) defends during the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Last year: 34-6, 14-4 in Big 12 (national champions)
Key players: Forward Jalen Wilson (11 ppg), guard Kevin McCullar (10.1 ppg at Texas Tech)
Feb 23, 2022; Queens, New York, USA; Creighton Bluejays guard Ryan Nembhard (2) at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Last year: 23-12, 12-7 in Big East
Key players: Guard Ryan Nembhard (11.3 ppg), center Ryan Kalkbremmer (13.1 ppg)
Mar 19, 2022; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Baylor Bears guard James Akinjo (11), forward Jeremy Sochan (1) and guard Adam Flagler (10) celebrate against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at Dickies Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Last year: 27-7, 14-4 in Big 12
Key players: Guard Adam Flagler (13.8 ppg), guard LJ Cryer (13.5 ppg)
Feb 26, 2022; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks commit Nick Smith Jr. is recognized along with Arkansas commit Jordan Walsh during a timeout in the first half against the Kentucky Wildcats at Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas won 75-73. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Last year: 28-9, 13-5 in SEC
Key players: Guard Nick Smith Jr. (No. 4 recruit in nation), Ricky Council IV (12 ppg at Wichita State)
Mar 25, 2022; Philadelphia, PA, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (24) dunks against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second half in the semifinals of the East regional of the men’s college basketball NCAA Tournament at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Last year: 27-8, 15-5 in Pac-12
Key players: Forward/guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (13.9 ppg), guard Tyger Campbell (11.9 ppg)