Arkansas falls, predicted “out” of NCAA Tournament

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ESPN’s Joe Lunardi dropped Arkansas basketball out of the NCAA Tournament picture with his latest Bracketology update on Friday.

The Razorbacks have lost three of their last four games, including their SEC opener at Mississippi State on Wednesday, 81-68. It’s a precipitous fall after Arkansas began the season 9-0, was previously ranked inside the Top 10 and was as high as a No. 4-seed in Bracketology before the losing began.

Bracketology has Arkansas at the bottom of its “Next Four Out” category, meaning seven teams who are also not projected to make the NCAA Tournament are in front of the Hogs.

Coach Eric Musselman’s team lost to Oklahoma by 22 points on December 11, then to Hofstra by eight points on December 18. Arkansas bounced back with a win against Elon in the final nonconference game before SEC play began on December 21, but the loss to Mississippi State made that victory moot.

Arkansas returns to SEC play Tuesday against Vanderbilt at Bud Walton Arena then travels to Texas A&M the following Saturday. The Commodores are No. 73 in the KenPom rankings while the Aggies are No. 63. Arkansas is No. 46.

Lundari had seven SEC teams slated as of New Year’s Eve to make the Big Dance. Auburn and Alabama were No. 3 seeds, Kentucky and Tennessee were at No. 4, LSU a No. 5, and Florida and Mississippi State were each slotted as No. 10 seeds.