Scottie Bordelon is a reporter for WholeHogSports.com. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Bordelon previously covered high school sports for the Times Record in Fort Smith and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Springdale. He is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and Football Writers Association of America and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Report: Arkansas to open 2021-22 season vs. Mercer
Mercer guard Neftali Alvarez (2) on the court against UNC-Greensboro in the first half of an NCAA men's college basketball championship game for the Southern Conference tournament, Monday, March 8, 2021, in Asheville, N.C. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas’ men’s basketball team will open the 2021-22 season against Mercer, according to a report.
CBS Sports college basketball reporter Jon Rothstein, citing a source, tweeted Thursday evening that the Razorbacks are scheduled to host the Bears on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas is 4-1 all-time against Mercer dating back to the 1980-81 season. The Bears defeated the Razorbacks in the teams’ most recent meeting, a 69-66 overtime win on Dec. 19, 2015, in North Little Rock.
It will be the first game between the programs in Fayetteville since 1999.
Mercer finished the 2020-21 season at 18-11 overall and 8-9 in Southern Conference play. The Bears have not made the NCAA Tournament since 2014, their final season in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Mercer will return two of its top four scorers from a season ago. Neftali Alvarez, a 6-2 guard, averaged 13.3 points per game on 44.7% shooting, and 6-9 forward Felipe Haase added 11.9 points and a team-high 7.6 rebounds.
Haase knocked down 59 three-pointers last season, the most among players who are returning, and shot 39.3% beyond the arc.
The Razorbacks also have scheduled nonconference home games against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 13; Central Arkansas on Dec. 1; Elon on Dec. 21; and West Virginia on Jan. 29 as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Arkansas is scheduled to play Kansas State on Nov. 22 and Illinois or Cincinnati the following day at the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, and Oklahoma on Dec. 11 in Tulsa.
Arkansas’ known 2021-22 basketball schedule
Nov. 9 — Mercer (season opener)
Nov. 13 — Gardner-Webb
Nov. 22 — Kansas State (Hall of Fame Classic)
Nov. 23 — Illinois OR Cincinnati (Hall of Fame Classic)
Dec. 1 — UCA
Dec. 11 — Oklahoma (Tulsa)
Dec. 21 — Elon
Jan. 29 — West Virginia (Big 12/SEC Challenge)
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