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Behind Enemy Lines: Previewing Texas A&M’s road test vs. Arkansas with Razorbacks Wire’s Derek Oxford

Texas A&M (10-6, 1-2 SEC) will travel to Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday night to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks (9-7 0-3 SEC), who are desperate to find some consistency after enduring three consecutive blowouts to Auburn, Georgia, and Florida.

For the Aggies, defeating Kentucky 97-92 to earn their first win in SEC play certainly felt like head coach Buzz Williams’s team had found its groove, but after falling to Auburn on the road last Tuesday, A&M’s has yet to show the ability to earn a tough SEC road win.

Last season, Texas A&M led the series 2-1, earning the last two victories in their second Feb. meeting while defeating the Razorbacks in the SEC tournament before returning to the Championship round for the second consecutive season.

Ahead of the matchup, we sat down with Razorbacks Wire’s Derek Oxford to get his perspective on what has gone wrong in Fayetteville this season and what to expect on Tuesday night.

Arkansas has not looked like the team many of us expected before the start of conference play; what happened?

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

“Arkansas was expected to compete for the SEC title and a top seed in the NCAA Tournament, and instead they may have to settle for the NIT it looks like this season.”

After dropping their first three SEC contests, how bad could things get if their can't protect home court against A&M?

[Alan Youngblood/Gainesville <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/wnba/teams/connecticut/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Sun;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Sun</a>]
[Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun]

They really needed to beat Georgia or Florida last week, and ended up losing to both. If they don’t win tonight, there’s a very real chance they start 0-6 or even 0-7 in the league.

Who are the Arkansas players Aggie fans should watch out for on Tuesday night?

[Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun]
[Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun]

“Tramon Mark and Trevon Brazile are Arkansas’ best players, but neither have played lately like either is capable of. They’re going to need a spark off the bench most likely.”

Eric Musselman is in his fifth year in Fayetteville. How important is making and winning games in the NCAA Tournament this year?

[Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun]
[Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun]

“Eric Musselman has built his reputation here by winning in March, but if they don’t make the NCAAs this year, he’s going to have to do some real soul-searching as to his approach in the transfer portal and how he handles player development.”

Score Prediction

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Final Score Prediction: Texas A&M 71, Arkansas 64.

Story originally appeared on Aggies Wire