Like It Is:

Hogs' tickets for Verizon Arena going fast

By: Wally Hall
Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017
Arkansas guard Anton Beard reacts to a call during the second half of a game against Southeast Missouri State on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.
Photo by Melissa Gerrits
Arkansas guard Anton Beard reacts to a call during the second half of a game against Southeast Missouri State on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

Ticket sales have been very brisk for Saturday night's University of Arkansas, Fayetteville game against Troy at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

If you were planning on walking up and buying tickets before the game you might want to reconsider if you really want to see Mike Anderson's talented team in person.

The Razorbacks are 7-2 with losses to North Carolina and Houston, which was a bad road match-up for the Hogs, but apparently the game was also one where the Hogs learned some things.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Verizon Arena, by phone (800) 745-3000, or at ticketmaster.com.

Anderson is doing a great job of working in some talented young players with some senior veterans and this team will continue to improve.

Arkansas State University has the last game of the first day of bowl games Saturday when it takes on Middle Tennessee State in the Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., the Red Wolves' seventh consecutive bowl appearance which is a record for state teams.

The Red Wolves feature quarterback Justice Hansen who is third nationally in total offense with 365 yards per game. Hansen has trusted his arm a little too much at times this season and has 15 interceptions, but the good news is the Blue Raiders' defense has only four interceptions this year.

Middle Tennessee State was a member of the Sun Belt Conference but jumped to Conference USA in 2013. It has a solid football program, but its basketball team has made headlines the last two years during the NCAA Tournament.

As a No. 15 seed in 2016 the Blue Raiders knocked off No. 2 Michigan State 90-81, and last March as a No. 12 seed they beat No. 5 Minnesota 81-72.

Saturday night on ESPN with a 7 p.m. kickoff is all about football, and look for the Red Wolves' offense to be fast and furious.

Speaking of bowls, there are 40 and 32 are televised on ESPN, which is exactly why there are so many bowls.

If you look at raw numbers, the conference with the most teams in bowls, the Atlantic Coast Conference was the winner with 10. The SEC, Pac-12 and Conference USA have nine teams in bowl games. The Big Ten and Big 12 had eight each, but no conference had less than five teams get into postseason action.

As far as bragging rights, the SEC could well be the winner as it placed two teams, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Alabama, in the College Football Playoff. The two could advance and play each other for the national championship on Jan. 8.

Some changes to note: The Poinsettia Bowl is gone. The Russell Athletic Bowl is now the Camping World Bowl and the St. Petersburg Bowl has been rebranded the Gasparilla Bowl. Not sure what a Gasparilla is, but the game is 7 p.m., Dec. 21.

Here's a prime example, though, of why there are too many bowls. The Frisco Bowl replaces the Miami Beach Bowl and the guaranteed payout is $100,000 per team. It is doubtful Louisiana Tech or SMU will make any money from the bowl.

If you are looking for a unique Christmas present for a sports fan, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame has produced a book about its first 60 years and includes biographies on every inductee and tons of great pictures.

The book is just $35, plus tax, but the catch is it won't be mailed until January.

So, gift wrap a card (this will make it a one-time stocking stuffer because the actual size of the book is one for a coffee table) and tell them they will be one of the first to receive this great sports and historical book.

The book can be purchased at arksportshalloffame.com.

It will be a gift that keeps on giving.

Sports on 12/14/2017

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