Observations: Arkansas 80, Auburn 76 (OT)
Bruce Pearl's Tigers battled after a nightmare stretch in the first half and had chances to win, but their streak of 19 victories has come to an end.
PG Wendell Green Jr. (Courtesy of Arkansas Athletics)
The parallels to this season’s Auburn basketball team and the 1998-99 team — the last one that grabbed a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament — have been plentiful.
And it turns out that even the rare negative ones carry over.
In 1999, Auburn lost its second game of the regular season to Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena. The Tigers were No. 2 in the country at the time and dropped a 104-88 result to the Razorbacks.
On Tuesday night, Auburn was No. 1 — and only the third top-ranked opponent ever to play in Fayetteville — but it knew it was running into a potential buzzsaw. Eric Musselman’s Arkansas team had won eight straight games and was playing some of the best defense in the entire SEC.
“We understand the prize is on our head,” Bruce Pearl said. “It’s very difficult on the road. … It’s just hard for me to believe we’re the first No. 1 team to come in here since they’ve been in the SEC. We worked really hard to put ourselves in that position…