Andrew Hutchinson is a multimedia reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas.
Hogs could join rare club with Kentucky win
Arkansas guard Michael Qualls, center, and Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison (5) reach for a loose ball during overtime Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas will join a rare club if Kentucky wins the National Championship Monday night.
Since the tournament expanded to a 64-team field in 1985, only 13 teams have beaten the national champion at least twice in the season it won the title.
Of those 13 teams, only South Carolina in 2006 failed to make the NCAA Tournament. The Gamecocks beat Florida twice in the regular season before falling to the Gators in the SEC Championship game.
That season, South Carolina won the NIT Championship.
If Kentucky defeats UConn, Arkansas would become the second team to have beaten the eventual national champion twice but miss the NCAA Tournament.
The Razorbacks won a pair of overtime games against the Wildcats this season.
Kentucky also lost to Florida three times this season, but the Gators reached the Final Four.
SMU, which Arkansas beat 89-78 Nov. 18, will become the second team to beat the eventual national champion twice and miss the NCAA Tournament if UConn wins the National Championship.
Five of the 13 teams to defeat the eventual national champion twice in the same season made the Final Four, while two reached the Elite Eight and two others were eliminated in the Sweet 16.
The National Championship game between Kentucky and UConn will tip at 8:10 p.m. Monday and air nationally on CBS.