OPINION — Like It Is

OPINION | WALLY HALL: For those wondering, here’s Hogs’ hopes

Arkansas' loss to Vanderbilt on Tuesday night, its sixth this season at Bud Walton Arena, has taken any last hope of making the NCAA Tournament out of the Razorbacks' control and into the hands of others.

Tied for 11th in the SEC standings at 5-10 with Georgia, the Hogs can only get out of having to win five games in five days at in the SEC Tournament if Ole Miss and Texas A&M lose more of their last three games than the Razorbacks.

The Rebels and the Aggies (who Arkansas owns the tiebreaker against) are tied for ninth at 9-6.

Arkansas has the toughest remaining schedule as it travels to Kentucky, gets LSU at home and closes the season at Alabama.

Ole Miss is at Missouri, Georgia and home for Texas A&M, while the Aggies are at Georgia and host Mississippi State and the Rebels.

Georgia is tied with Arkansas, which the Hogs also own the tiebreaker over, gets Texas A&M at home, is at Ole Miss and finishes the regular season at Auburn.

At this point, Arkansas needs to win two of its final three games to finish above .500 on the season and become eligible for the NIT.

Teams with records below .500 do not qualify. Georgia and Texas A&M each need one win ,while Mississippi looks like a sure bet for the NIT, along with LSU.

. . .

If the NCAA Tournament bracket was announced today, it appears the SEC would have three No. 2 seeds in Tennessee, Alabama and Auburn.

If Arizona loses a game, the Vols or the Tide could become a No. 1, but the other three No. 1 seeds appear solid. Houston, Purdue and Connecticut look like locks for the top spots and the opinion here is UConn should be the overall No. 1.

Other SEC teams who appear to be in the NCAA Tournament and a guess at their seeds are Kentucky and Mississippi State at No. 4, Florida at No. 5 and South Carolina at No. 6.

This is all guesswork as there are three regular-season games remaining and then the conference tournaments, but the NCAA Selection Committee will have 66-68 teams and their seeds established before Selection Sunday.

If Texas A&M were to win its next three games against Georgia, Mississippi State and Ole Miss and win at least two games in the SEC Tournament, it would have chance to not only make the Big Dance but to be a No. 10 seed.

As for Arkansas, it dropped six spots to No. 127 in the NCAA Net rankings and its only hope to make it to March Madness is by winning the SEC Tournament, as explained above. That's a mountain to climb.

. . .

To know Gina Bowman was to love Gina Bowman.

She was the ultimate Arkansas State person. No doubt, when she looked in the mirror she saw herself dressed in the red and black of the ASU Red Wolves.

She showed up there as a freshman and never left.

She learned the sports information business from one of the best in the field, Jerry Schaeffer, and took over for him when he left for a position in a church. She remained SID until she was promoted to director of media relations in the office of marketing and communications.

Gina passed away Monday and will be missed by legions of friends and admirers. She had no enemies. She worked at A-State for 46 years. She was the first person yours truly met while covering an ASU football game in 1979 and no matter how long we went without seeing each other, each meeting was like the last one had been yesterday.

A memorial visitation will be held today in Jonesboro from 5 p.m-7 p.m. at Roller-Farmers Union Funeral Home, which will also host memorial service Saturday at 11 a.m.

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