Indiana Hoosiers (25-7) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (22-11)
When: Friday, 9:40 p.m.
Where: Raleigh, N.C.
1. Dan Dakich is a savvy fellow. The Hoosiers' interim head coach is part of a new trend for interim coaches: Being vastly overqualified. (Kevin O'Neill at Arizona also qualifies here.) Dakich was formerly the coach at Bowling Green before serving as West Virginia coach for one week. He left because he got spooked about potential recruiting violations that could hinder his time there, and ultimately came back to Indiana, because Indiana would never, ever be involved in recruiting violations. Within four months of his arrival, Kelvin Sampson was gone and Dakich was the temp coach.
2. F— Eric Gordon? The Hoosiers' overtime victory over Illinois in Champaign was a personal highlight for our family. Hearing the "fuck Eric Gordon" chants on television, we called our father and asked if he heard the people yelling the chants. "Heard 'em? I'm one of 'em!" Illinois athletic director Ron Guenther apologizes for the Illini fans, but we're not sure why that's necessary. If you're actively taunting a guy's family, then yes: You're an asshole. But is there really something wrong with screaming, "Fuck Eric Gordon!" at the top of your lungs? Isn't that one of the rewards of being a sports fan, something that comes with the price of the ticket? Gordon might not deserve the jeers, but shouldn't the fans have the right? We say yes.
3. Enjoy this while you can. As exciting a player as Gordon is, Indiana pretty much needs to win a national championship to make his recruitment worth the trouble. To get Gordon, Indiana had to bring in Sampson, who brought with him shady recruitment techniques that are going to cost the school with the NCAA in the next few months, and over the next few years. Gordon, however, will be long gone by that point, sure to be one of the top 10 picks in the NBA draft next season. But his aftereffects will be around for years. So they better win it all now. Otherwise ... heck, one might end up being better off with Demetri McCamey. — Will Leitch
1. Record Breaker. New coach John Pelphrey set the record for most wins by a first year head coach at Arkansas with 20 when the Hogs beat Auburn at home to finish the regular season. That isn't a minor feat when you realize two of the best coaches in history coached at Arkansas, Eddie Sutton and Nolan Richardson. They had 17 and 12 wins in their first seasons, respectively. The record was held by Eugene Lambert who led his first team to a 19-7 record during the 1942-43 season. Pelphrey also broke the 100-win barrier with that victory.
2. Road Woes. The Razorbacks squad can't seem to find their groove away from Fayetteville this season. They are 4-9 when playing outside of Fayetteville. But when at Bud Walton Arena the team is 16-1. These stats include a loss in Little Rock to Appalachian St. at Alltel Arena.
3. A Tumultuous Year. In the span of 12 months the University of Arkansas pretty much turned over the entire leadership of the Athletic Department. Frank Broyles, Athletic Director retired after 50 years in Fayetteville. He was replaced with former Pittsburgh AD Jeff Long. Broyles fired Basketball Coach Stan Heath in March of last year and hired John Pelphrey. Then in December, football coach Houston Nutt left and Long replaced him with Bobby Petrino. — Hawg Blog