Whatever glimmer of hope there was, and it was small, was crushed in the first half by the LSU Tigers, who were riding a three-game losing streak.
The Arkansas Razorbacks had played Kentucky close, beat Missouri on the road and the controversial rumors seemed to be dying down. Then they go to Baton Rouge and get swamped 95-74 on Saturday and drop to 11-11 on the season, 2-7 in SEC play.
They are getting dangerously close to having to endure a play-in game at the SEC Tournament and if something doesn't change drastically, and in a hurry, winning the conference tournament is the only shot these Hogs have of making the NCAA Tournament.
Arkansas' NCAA NET ranking was No. 120 before getting slammed by No. 95 LSU.
Playing in the Maravich Assembly Center is not facing a hostile environment but a building that deserves a facelift or a do-over.
LSU took the lead with 17:07 to play in the first half and never looked back as it shot lights out and played tough defense, leaving the Hogs plenty of time to think and reflect about what did and didn't work as their next game is at home against Georgia in six days.
There was a reason the Tigers shot the ball so well and it wasn't that Arkansas gave up on defense as much as LSU ran its offense almost to perfection especially in the early going.
At one time in the first half, LSU was shooting almost 80% from the field and was 5 of 6 on threes.
It mostly came down to unselfish play by the Tigers.
They had 17 assists by six players and the Hogs had 10 to go with 12 costly turnovers. The ball is to be prized and protected at all times.
When a team passes the ball -- and LSU is good in the passing lanes -- and works it until someone is open, good things generally happen.
When a team doesn't do that, they need to be a lot luckier than the Razorbacks were Saturday.
Arkansas had no answer for LSU's Will Baker, who is playing at his third school and never averaged more than 13 points per game. But the 7-foot graduate student helped the 11.1-point scoring average he had going into the game.
The native of Austin, Texas, who started out Texas before transferring to Nevada and then to LSU, scored 25 points on 9 of 11 from the field, including 4 of 5 on threes, as his teammates found him for open shot after open shot.
On Saturday, it was not about the Xs and Os but the Jimmys and Joes who wanted it the most.
As far as talent goes, the teams were pretty even. But when one, LSU, shoots 54.7% from the floor, including 52.2% behind the arc, and the other, Arkansas, shoots 43.6% and just 23.1% on threes, it is easy to see which team is getting a win.
LSU led 95-67 with 58 seconds to play and let off the gas, allowing the Razorbacks to score seven unanswered points that meant nothing to the team.
Eric Musselman was so frustrated he got a technical foul for arguing with the officials, but it probably had more to do with the lack of effort and teamwork by his players.
Everyone who played more than two minutes for LSU scored.
Musselman once again was forced to going deep in his bench looking for some consistency and chemistry, but he got too much make-it-take-it from his guys.
Musselman teams have been known for their passing game, but this team is out of a different mold.
The best team won Saturday, which was reflected as LSU had those 17 assists on 29 field goals.
The Tigers got 19 points off Arkansas' 12 turnovers, while the Hogs got 10 off 11. That shows hustle and desire.
Midway through the SEC schedule the Razorbacks should know teamwork is winning work.