Andrew Hutchinson is a multimedia reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas.
Hogs Selected as 3-seed in NIT
Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson reacts after an official called a foul on one his players in the first half of an NCAA college basketball against Vanderbilt game Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas was selected as a 3-seed in the NIT after not making the 68-team field of the NCAA Tournament Sunday.
The Razorbacks will face 6-seed Indiana State at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday at 8 p.m. The Razorbacks and Sycamores are 2-2 all-time against each other, but haven't played since a game featuring Larry Bird and Sidney Moncrief in the Elite Eight of the 1979 NCAA Tournament.
Indiana State is 23-10 this season. The Sycamores lost 83-69 to Wichita State in the championship game of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament last week.
It is the third time Arkansas will play in the NIT, after also appearing in the tournament in 1987 and 1997. The Razorbacks advanced to the NIT's final four in their last appearance in the tournament.
If Arkansas and 2-seed Cal win their first round games, they will face each other for the second time this season. Cal beat Arkansas 85-77 in the first round of the Maui Invitational. The Bears will host Utah Valley in the first round of the NIT.
The No. 1 seed on Arkansas' NIT quadrant is SMU, who the Razorbacks beat 89-78 in November. LSU, who Arkansas split two games with this season, is the No. 5 seed in the same quadrant.
The Razorbacks missed the NCAA postseason for the sixth consecutive season. After a six-game winning streak that included an overtime win over No. 15 Kentucky at Rupp Arena, Arkansas appeared to be on its way to a tournament bid but struggled at the end of the season.
An 83-58 loss to Alabama on the road and 71-69 loss to South Carolina at the SEC Tournament hurt the Razorbacks' tournament hopes. The Crimson Tide and Gamecocks are No. 124 and No. 137 in the RPI, respectively.
The loss to the Gamecocks was Arkansas' seventh straight in the SEC Tournament.
Only three SEC teams were selected to the NCAA Tournament. Florida is the overall No. 1 seed, while Kentucky is an 8-seed. Tennessee plays Iowa in one of the four first round games in Dayton, Ohio.