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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Stout SEC schedule will alter NET rankings

by Wally Hall | December 13, 2022 at 4:08 a.m.

Overall, the Arkansas Razorbacks' basketball team had a good week -- good enough that Nick Smith was named the SEC Co-Freshman of the Week.

Seems like Razorbacks are always sharing the weekly honor with someone else.

Still, after beating UNC-Greensboro and Oklahoma, the Hogs dropped a spot in The Associated Press poll to No. 10.

The good news is that before the win over the Sooners, they were No. 31 in the NCAA's NET rankings.

Immediately after, they jumped to No. 25, and after Saturday night and Sunday's games involving other teams, they had moved up to No. 24, which is probably where they will stay with wins over Bradley on Saturday and UNC-Asheville next Wednesday, and yes, that's the last UNC team they play unless they meet in the NCAA Tournament.

The NET is one of several things the NCAA Selection Committee uses. It breaks down how teams did against teams ranked in Quadrants 1-4. Quadrant 1 is how teams did against top 30 NET ranked teams at home, ranked 1-50 at neutral sites and 1-75 on the road.

Quadrant numbers for the other three are: No. 2 goes 31-75, 51-100 and 76-135; Quadrant No. 3 is 76-160, 101-200 and 136-240 and the final quadrant is 161-353, 201-353 and 241-353.

Arkansas' only Quadrant 1 game was the loss to Creighton, which since has fell to No. 46 in the NET. It appears the Bluejays' goal was to beat the Razorbacks, and once they did the season was over.

Arkansas NET ranking will change when the Razorbacks start conference play on Dec. 28. Currently, the SEC has five Quad 1 teams including Arkansas.

Tennessee is No. 4 followed by No. 5 Alabama, No. 6 Mississippi State and No. 28 Kentucky, which lost to a Quad 2 team.

The Hogs travel to Tennessee, have a home and home with Alabama and Kentucky and get Mississippi State at home.

There's a good chance Auburn will be a Quad 1 team, and the Hogs get the Tigers on the road.

The NET is something that keeps conversations about college basketball going. Agree or disagree with the rankings, they are good for the game.

. . .

As soon as the story broke that Texas head basketball coach Chris Beard had been arrested for felony assault, allegedly strangling a person at his home, Beard's attorney, Perry Minton, told the Austin American-Statesman that Beard "is 100% innocent of these charges."

"He should never have been arrested," Minton told the paper. "The complainant wants him released immediately and all charges dismissed. It is truly inconceivable."

Beard launched his career at Arkansas-Little Rock where he led the Trojans to a 30-5 record including a win over No. 5 seed Purdue in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

Beard then ended up at Texas Tech where he was 112-55 and led the Red Raiders to the NCAA Tournament Championship game in 2019.

He left for his alma mater in 2021 and was 29-13 going into Monday night's game. The Longhorns are ranked No. 10 in the latest NET rankings and No. 7 by The Associated Press.

The University of Texas released this statement:

"The University is aware of the situation regarding Chris Beard. We are continuing to gather information and monitoring the legal process."

This one will be watched closely by many.

. . .

As hard as it is to believe, bowl season starts Friday in the Bahamas. It will end 24 days later in Inglewood Calif., when the national championship game is played.

Between now and Christmas, yours truly will be taking some time off during the week but will be back on regular schedule Dec. 25, including going to Memphis that night to start coverage of the Liberty Bowl.

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