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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Hogs wish Hofstra loss could disappear

by Wally Hall | March 1, 2022 at 2:46 a.m.

Maybe notice was served Saturday when The Associated Press' top six basketball teams lost, something that had never happened on the same day.

That could mean it is going to be a wild and crazy March Madness.

It could also mean it is time for the NCAA to tweak its NCAA NET rankings.

Gonzaga lost to Saint Mary's but remained No. 1 in the NET.

Arizona lost to Colorado and remained No. 2.

Kentucky's loss to Arkansas dropped it from No. 3 to No. 4.

Kansas lost to No. 10 Baylor, and the Jayhawks stayed at No. 6, while the Bears moved to No. 5.

The other two teams from the top six had more significant drops, as Auburn lost to Tennessee and fell from No. 3 to No. 11, and Purdue's loss to Michigan State saw the Boilermakers fall from No. 4 to No. 12.

The University of Arkansas is apparently still paying for its Dec. 18 loss to Hofstra.

The Razorbacks have beaten No. 4 Kentucky, No. 8 Tennessee, No. 11 Auburn and No. 16 LSU -- the only SEC team to have beaten all four of those schools -- and yet they rank No. 23.

It has to be that loss 72 days ago.

The NCAA computer needs an update, a tweak or an overhaul.

Head-to-head competition has to count more than an upset loss.

In the last 14 games, the Razorbacks are 13-1 and the lone loss came at Alabama, 68-67.

If Arkansas can beat LSU on Wednesday in Bud Walton and Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday, they are guaranteed second place in the SEC. By virtue of the head-to-head competition tie-breaker, the Razorbacks would be the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament.

If Auburn slips at Mississippi State or at home against South Carolina, Arkansas would win the SEC regular-season title and be the No. 1 team ahead of every SEC team, except in the NCAA NET rankings.

. . .

Last week, Archie Goodwin and his agent made the best basketball move of his life.

The former McDonald's and Parade Magazine All-American from Sylvan Hills gave up his contract with Budivelnyk of the Ukrainian Super League to play with Maccabi Rishon LeZion of the Israeli Premier League just before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Goodwin was a one-and-done at Kentucky after averaging 14.1 points per game as a freshman and was the 29th pick in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder before his rights were traded to the Golden State Warriors then to the Phoenix Suns.

He spent three years playing mostly off the bench for the Suns before being released after he asked to be traded before his final season.

He played a few games with New Orleans and Brooklyn before landing the G League.

In 2019, he signed to play with in the Turkish Super League. Then came a season in Germany, one in France and in January of this year he signed on to play in Ukraine.

Last week he and teammate Michael Stockton, son of NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton, got out of Ukraine while the getting was good.

. . .

Another sport is being affected by Russia.

FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, has declared Russia cannot continue to compete in the World Cup qualifiers as Russia.

FIFA first said it could compete as Football Union of Russia, but Poland said it would not play any team from Russia, and Monday the UEFA Champions League said no Russian teams, club or otherwise, would be allowed in the World Cup competition or European leagues.

Poland was scheduled to play Russia on March 24, but Poland said FIFA's initial action was "totally unacceptable," and that it would not play a team from Russia.

Obviously, what is going on with Russia's invasion is much larger than sports, but it is affecting the world of perspiring arts, too.

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