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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Hog fans ready for more basketball

by Wally Hall | December 18, 2021 at 6:56 p.m.

As of this writing, it's a little more than 30 minutes until the Arkansas Razorbacks tip off against Hofstra in North Little Rock's Simmons Bank Arena.

Outside it is cold, damp and all December.

Inside it is like, well, Tampa Bay. Warm and getting warmer.

A little over 1,000 tickets to today's game were all that remained as of Saturday morning, because no one gets as passionate about success as Razorback fans.

They came in droves. Young and old. Tall and short. Male and female.

Kids with painted faces blended with adults who painted and dressed up to call the Hogs.

Tonight's game is the first for the Razorbacks since their first loss of the season. Next up for the Hogs is a game with Elon, and after that, the Razorbacks open Southeastern Conference play on the road at Mississippi State.

This game, the only one they’ll play this season in North Little Rock, is for Arkansans, for the state, for those who can’t make the drive to Fayetteville for every game.

There's no TV and no streaming. That may have helped the attendance, but it was going to be near capacity anyway. Winning does that. It did it with Eddie Sutton, and it did it with Nolan Richardson. He won so often that the program had to move out of Barnhill Arena, with its 9,000 seats, and into Bud Walton Arena, with 19,200 seats — all of which are sold out this season.

There’s one football game left, Jan. 1 in the Outback Bowl at Tampa Bay, but already a lot of attention has shifted to the team who made it to the Elite Eight last March.


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