FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) – The Arkansas men’s basketball program unveiled its final four opponents for the 2017-18 non-conference schedule on Monday afternoon, putting a lid on the most dynamic slate of the Mike Anderson era.
The final four opponents coming to Bud Walton Arena are Bucknell (Nov. 12), Fresno State (Nov. 17), Colorado State (Dec. 5) and Oral Roberts (Dec. 19). Bucknell is fresh off an NCAA Tournament berth after winning the Patriot League regular season and tournament championship a year ago, while Fresno State and Colorado State both appeared in the NIT last season.
• Arkansas’ 2017-18 opponents combined for an overall record of 221-161 (.578) last season, not including potential matchups at the Phil Knight Invitational against North Carolina, Oregon, Michigan State, Connecticut, DePaul and Portland.
• Seven of Arkansas’ 11 non-conference opponents had an RPI inside 100 last year and all 11 teams combined for an average RPI of 106.
By The Numbers
• Nine of the 11 teams are coming off 20-win seasons
• Could face two Final Four teams from last year at the PK80
• Six teams finished in the top four of their conference standings
• Two regular season championships
• Two conference tournament championships
• Four NCAA Tournament appearances
• Four NIT selections
• Eight games in Bud Walton Arena
• Three games in Portland, Oregon
• One road game
• One game in North Little Rock
• Friday, Oct. 20 (Red-White Game)
• Friday, Oct. 27 (Opponent – TBA)
• Friday, Nov. 3 (Opponent – TBA)
Samford (Friday, Nov. 10)
• Posted a 20-16 record last year and reached the 20-win plateau for the first time in 11 years.
• Return 12 of their 13 players from a season ago, including 97-percent of their scoring production.
• Former Alabama guard Justin Coleman will make his Samford debut in Bud Walton Arena.
Bucknell (Sunday, Nov. 12)
• Recorded 26 wins last year and captured the Patriot League regular season and tournament championship.
• Returning all five starters and their top nine leading scorers from an NCAA Tournament appearance.
• Posted an RPI 66 last season, including nine true road wins.
Fresno State (Friday, Nov. 17)
• Won 20 games a season ago and earned an at-large bid to the NIT after finishing fourth in the Mountain West.
• Returning four starters and three of their top four leading scorers.
• Had an RPI of 77 with eight top 100 RPI wins last year.
vs Oklahoma (Thursday, Nov. 23) at PK80 in Portland, Oregon
• Return a young team as nine of the 16 players on the roster are underclassmen.
• Seven of the top eight scorers return for the Sooners.
• Finished third in the Big 12 in rebounding last year and return their top four rebounders.
vs North Carolina/Portland (Friday, Nov. 24) at PK80 in Portland, Oregon
• North Carolina is the defending National Champion and returns two of its five starters.
• Portland finished 10th in the West Coast Conference last year.
vs TBA (Sunday, Nov. 26) at PK80 in Portland, Oregon
• Will face Oregon, Michigan State, Connecticut or DePaul.
at Houston (Saturday, Dec. 2)
• Coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons and posted an RPI of 62 last year.
• Return 58.7 percent of their scoring, including Rob Gray’s league-leading 20.6 points per game.
• Finished second in the American Athletic Conference in three-point field goal percentage at 39 percent.
Colorado State (Tuesday, Dec. 5)
• Recorded 24 wins last season, finishing second in the MWC and advancing to the NIT.
• Despite losing the league’s leading scorer, the Rams return 71.1 percent of minutes played.
• Finished second in the MWC in scoring defense and rebounding margin.
Minnesota (Saturday, Dec. 9)
• Posted a 24-10 record last season and returned to the NCAA Tournament.
• Recorded an RPI of 25 last year and finished fourth in the Big Ten Conference.
• Returning their top four leading scorers and three All-Big 10 selections.
vs Troy (Saturday, Dec. 16) at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Ark.
• Went 22-15 last season and had a top 150 RPI.
• Won the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
• Return their top two scorers and 62.4 percent of their scoring output from last season.
Oral Roberts (Tuesday, Dec. 19)
• Have a new head coach in Paul Mills who spent the previous 14 years at Baylor.
• Return top scorer who finished fourth in The Summit League last year at 17.4 points per game.
• Return top rebounder in who finished eighth in the conference last season, averaging 6.4 boards per contest.
Cal State Bakersfield (Wednesday, Dec. 27)
• Went 25-10 last season and won the WAC regular season championship.
• Posted a final RPI of 59 with five victories against top 100 RPI teams.
• Return 42.2 percent of their scoring and their second leading scorer.
Oklahoma State (Saturday, Jan. 27) in Big12/SEC Challenge
• Won 20 games last year and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
• Led the Big 12 in scoring offense last season, averaging over 85 points per game.
• Returning their second leading scorer and top two offensive rebounders.
The Razorback Ticket Center is currently accepting requests for 2017-18 Men’s Basketball Season Tickets. Seats will be assigned by Razorback Foundation guidelines with season ticket prices ranging from $300 to $450. To purchase tickets call 1-800-982-4647 or click here.
For more information on Arkansas men’s basketball, follow @RazorbackMBB on Twitter.
Univ. of Ark.