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Arkansas seeks eighth straight win against No. 8 Tennessee in the Bud

With a chance to win consecutive SEC games for the first time this season, the Arkansas basketball team will have to accomplish that feat against the country’s No. 8 ranked team, Tennessee.

Although the ESPN’s Basketball Power Index gives the Razorbacks just a 13.5 percent chance of toppling the Volunteers, the Hogs have already dispatched a pair of Top 10 teams inside Bud Walton Arena this season.

Arkansas defeated No. 3 Purdue 81-77 in overtime on Oct. 28 in a charity exhibition game, as both team’s approached it as a regular-season clash. The Razorbacks then downed No. 7 Duke 80-75 on Nov. 29, which led to fans rushing the court.

Tennessee (17-6, 7-3 SEC) has lost two of their last four games, overall, including Saturday’s 85-69 loss at Texas A&M. And although the Vols have won six of the last eight matchups with the Hogs, they have lost seven straight in Fayetteville, dating back to 2009.

Both teams have underachieved this season, according to the SEC preseason media poll. The Vols were picked to win the conference, yet currently sit fourth in the standings. Arkansas was picked to finish third in the conference, but has tumbled all the way to 12th.

The Razorbacks are coming off of Saturday’s 78-75 win over Georgia, avenging a 76-66 loss to the Bulldogs in Athens on Jan. 10.

Senior El Ellis and sophomore Keyon Menifield Jr. led five Hogs in double-digit scoring with 15 each against the Dogs, as more than half of Arkansas’ points came from the bench.

Now, the Razorbacks will be tasked with slowing down Tennessee junior guard Zakai Zeigler, who has been on a tear the past three games, averaging 19.3 points, 9.3 assists and 4,0 steals during that span.

Senior Dalton Knecht, a 6-foot-6 guard, has been the Vols’ main workhorse this season, averaging 20.3 points per game, while shooting 47.7 percent from the field, including 40.3 percent from 3-point range.

Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman installed some new wrinkles to the offensive gameplan prior to the Georgia game, which apparently proved fruitful. But one of the biggest obstacles against Tennessee will be limiting shots from beyond the arc. The Vols have made 200 triples this season, to Arkansas’ 136.

The Razorbacks are 22-25 all time against Tennessee – 19-24 since since joining the SEC in 1991 – including 12-4 on the home court. The Vols are one of only three conference teams to lead the all-time series with the Hogs, along with Florida and Kentucky.

Wednesday’s game will tipoff at 8 p.m. and be televised on ESPN2. The Hogs will next travel to Mississippi State on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tip on ESPNU.

 

 

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire