Razorbacks could drop below .500 for first time in Musselman tenure

The Arkansas basketball team is in jeopardy of dropping below .500 for the first time in Head Coach Eric Musselman’s five-year reign.

This will be just the third time Musselman’s Hogs (12-12, 3-8 SEC) have had an even record, but have rallied back the first two times. At 10-10, the Razorbacks stayed above ground with a 91-84 win at Missouri on Jan 31, then at 11-11, they survived by defeating Georgia, 78-75, on Feb. 10.

Now Arkansas must hit the road again for a showdown against Mississippi State on Saturday. The Razorbacks, who have lost eight of their 11 conference games this season, are wobbling off a 92-63 blowout loss to No. 8 Tennessee on Wednesday. It was the program’s third-worse loss in the 31-year history of Bud Walton Arena. The worse loss came earlier this year in a 32-point beatdown by Auburn.

The Hogs are 13-underdogs to the Bulldogs, and given just a 9.7 percent chance to win, according to ESPN’s Power Index.

Mississippi State (16-8, 5-6 SEC) is riding a two-game win streak, including last Saturday’s 75-51 triumph at Missouri. The Bulldogs are led by senior forward Tolu Smith III, who averages team highs with 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, and freshman guard Josh Hubbard, who averages 14.8 points a game, and leads the team with 66 made three-pointers.

Arkansas junior guard Tramon Mark averages 17.3 points per game, but managed just 12 points against the Vols, and was the only Hog to score in double-digits.

The Razorbacks are 35-33 all-time against State, but just 6-21 in Starkville, where they have lost four straight inside Humphrey Coliseum.

Saturday’s game will air live on ESPNU at 1 p.m. Arkansas will then continue it’s two-game road swing on Tuesday, with a trip to Texas A&M.

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire