Hogs hit stage late at SEC Tournament

Arkansas coach Mike Anderson, left, and junior Moses Kingsley go through practice Wednesday, March 9, 2016, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Razorbacks will be the last basketball team to take the court in Bridgestone Arena at this week's SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tenn.


More headlines

LSU and Mississippi State open the tournament schedule at 6 p.m. Wednesday, more than 48 hours before the Razorbacks play their first game.

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville is the No. 3 seed and among four teams with a double bye, along with No. 1 Kentucky, No. 2 Florida and No. 4 South Carolina.

The Razorbacks (23-8, 12-6) play the last quarterfinal game scheduled to tip off at approximately 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Arkansas will play either No. 6 seed Ole Miss (19-12, 10-8), No. 11 Auburn (18-13, 7-11) or No. 14 Missouri (7-23, 2-16).

The winner of Wednesday night's Auburn-Missouri game plays Ole Miss on Thursday night, with the winner of that game advancing to play the Razorbacks.

Arkansas has won six of its past seven games. The only loss in that span was at Florida.

"We certainly think we're playing pretty good basketball as we get ready for the SEC Tournament," Razorbacks Coach Mike Anderson said. "We're looking forward to it on Friday against whomever comes in that bracket.

"I like where we are."

Arkansas was a combined 3-1 in the regular season against Ole Miss, Auburn and Missouri.

The Razorbacks beat Ole Miss 98-80 at home, won 79-68 at Auburn and split with Missouri, winning 92-73 at home and losing 83-78 on the road.

Bill Armstrong, an Ole Miss assistant coach, called the Razorbacks a dangerous team.

"They've got a lot of pieces that can make a good run in the tournament," Armstrong said. "They ran it up and down on us in transition. We really struggled to guard them.

"They gave us 98 points and I think they probably could have given us 120 if they wanted to, so obviously if we end up playing them we've got to make some adjustments there."

All of the NCAA Tournament analysts have the Razorbacks in the 68-team field after they beat Georgia 85-67 in the regular-season finale Saturday, but senior center Moses Kingsley said the team isn't satisfied.

"It would feel good to win the SEC Tournament," Kingsley said. "Don't just stop here."

The five-day break between games is the longest for the Razorbacks since they didn't play for six days in late December.

"I think it's going to benefit us," Anderson said. "We've got some guys that are kind of ailing a little bit, so we can get some rest for them.

"But we'll continue to practice and tune up and go play. We want to stay sharp. I think that's the biggest key."

Senior guard Manny Wakins said the Razorbacks will continue to approach the postseason one practice at a time.

"Sometimes having a few days off can be bad, so we just have to make sure we stay sharp and just keep it rolling," Watkins said. "The season's far from over, so we'll use it for a mental and physical break. But we're going to stay focused, too."

Sports on 03/07/2017