Arkansas was one game out of SEC West title; now four West teams are in Omaha

·1 min read

Arkansas baseball was one game short of winning the SEC West title. It would have been their fourth straight.

The way things ended for the Diamond Hogs brought some stress. Alabama, which barely qualified for the SEC Tournament, took two of three from Arkansas in the final weekend of the regular season to end the Razorbacks’ chances. The glass half-empty crowd suggested more trouble when the NCAA Tournament rolled around.

They were wrong.

Not only did the Razorbacks qualify for the College World Series, but three of their fellow SEC West rivals did, too. Throw in future SEC opponents Oklahoma and Texas, which are likely to be in the West if the league holds its divisions, the league is responsible for six of the eight teams in Omaha.

Arkansas is clearly familiar with Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Auburn – the Diamond Hogs won the series versus the Tigers and Rebels, but fell to the Aggies. They’re also familiar with Stanford, having played the Cardinal in the Round Rock Classic in February. Last year, Arkansas beat Texas and lost to Oklahoma.

In fact, the only team the Diamond Hogs don’t have recent experience with is Notre Dame. Arkansas and the Fighting Irish have met three times in history, but the most recent was in 1997.

That won’t matter much until the finals. Arkansas is on the side of the bracket with Stanford, Ole Miss and Auburn.

Meaning?

Arkansas might just have its best shot at a national title since 2018.