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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Hogs’ Season Comes to an End in the Sweet Sixteen, Fall to Connecticut, 88-65

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Note to Our Readers: RNN Sports would like to thank our contributing Northwest Arkansas photographer, John D. James, for securing the photo for this feature from photographer, Craven Whitlow. Thanks to you both for your contributions to this story!

It was never really a contest; one of those games where Arkansas seemed to be outmatched from the opening tip-off.

After upsetting the number one seed in the West regional, Kansas, the Razorbacks traveled to Las Vegas to play in the regional semi-final against the Connecticut Huskies. UConn, winner of the 1999, 2004, 2011, and 2014 mens national basketball championships, dominated Arkansas both defensively and offensively for much of the night. The Hogs were challenged on every drive to the basket, and were dominated on both the offensive and defensive boards. Arkansas went down to defeat, ending their NCAA Final Four hopes, and their season, with a 88-65 loss to the Huskies.

The game marked the third consecutive year that Arkansas had advanced to the “Sweet Sixteen” of the mens NCAA Tournament. The program advanced to the “Elite Eight” in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. But for Arkansas fans, Eric Musselman’s team, who had been erratic all season, was playing its best basketball, just as it has since his arrival in Fayetteville as the Hogs’ head coach. And Hogs fans were hoping for two more wins to reach the tournament’s Final Four for the first time since 1995.

With the win, UConn advances to the regional final to play Gonzaga who came from behind to defeat UCLA. The Bulldogs and the Huskies will fight it out on Saturday for the right to advance to the Final Four.

Congratulations to the Razorbacks on a great appearance in the NCAA Tournament. And now, recruiting and transfer signings will take center stage as the Razorbacks roster will undoubtedly undergo significant changes with some players declaring for the NBA draft and new players coming to Fayetteville.

It should be another interesting off season for the Razorbacks mens basketball program.

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Jim Best
Jim Best is a man of many talents. His storied career in Arkansas education led him to a new passion, and hidden gifts in sports journalism.
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