TIME: 1pm CST TV: Lincoln Financial Sports PLACE: Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, AR
Arkansas's record looks good at 11-3, but you've gotta look at who they've played. They let one get away at Texas, got thrashed by Texas Tech in Little Rock, and was demolished by Missouri earlier in the year. But...this is also the same team that won at Southern Illinois, and who handled West Virginia earlier this year.
The trend goes that if their guards lead them in scoring, they'll win the game. Lots of big bodies underneath, but they don't exactly do much. I think Alabama's got a shot to dominate this game.
I'm curious to see how healthy Ronald Steele is now. He's had nearly a week off since the Oklahoma game. I think he'll be able to manage this game and take control of the tempo early. Riley will be the deciding force in this game. Gee and Steele can control the perimeter and handle Arkansas's guards. Down low, I don't know if there's anybody in the country that can hang with Hendrix and Davidson. The wing player is Riley. If he's on today and is effective shooting and crashing the boards, I think Alabama wins this one going away. This will be his first SEC game, so we'll just have to see how he performs.
Bottom line: I don't know that Arkansas has played anyone as talented as Alabama, but at the same time, I could say the same for the Tide. I think Alabama wins a tough nasty post game in their first SEC road game.