The winning coach – whose sluggish team coming off finals missed more free throws than it made and didn't have a field goal for the final four minutes - trotted out the raggedy ride is better than a smooth walk analogy.
And the losing coach – who didn't even have his best player – was immensely proud of his team for the way it competed against a program he says will playing for a Final Four berth sooner than later.
The press conference was probably more entertaining than the actual game on Saturday in which Arkansas downed Southeastern Louisiana 62-55 before 8,500 fans at Bud Walton Arena.
"I thought it was a very ugly win," Arkansas senior Marvell Waithe said. "Extremely. But an ugly win is better than any kind of loss."
"It's that raggedy ride," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson added. "The raggedy ride being better than the smooth walk we always talk about. Some guys got raggedy cars, but they can get around. Them other guys that don't even have a car talk about the other's rides, but they be walking. We'll take that win."
After Arkansas shot poorly from the floor in losses to UConn and Oklahoma the past two Saturdays, the Razorbacks did improve by connecting on 46.4 percent of its field goal attempts against the Lions (5-4).
Problem was that percentage was actually higher than their free throw one – which was 46.2 percent after a game in which they cashed in just 11-of-23 charity tosses.
The Razorbacks forced 20 turnovers, but had 15 of their own and were also pounded on the boards 41-31.
"It wasn't a thing of beauty," Anderson said. "But I was proud of our guys for really gutting it out and finding a way to finish off Southeastern Louisiana, a team that just wouldn't go away.
"I thought we had something to do with that," Anderson said. "Our inability to make good decisions…"
DeVonta Abron, Mardracus Wade and Rickey Scott – who was replaced by B.J. Young (6 points, 5 rebounds) in the starting lineup – all had 8 points while Waithe added 7.
"I just think it was a lack of focus," Waithe said. "We are a young team, but we are better than what we showed. Even thought we showed. Even thought it was an ugly win, that is not who we are. I expect – and everybody else expects – to build on this and get better."
Young came in averaging 16 points per game, but didn't play well early in the first start of his college career.
"I thought he was tentative," Anderson said. "That is a freshman for you – the stars, the lights, the camera, the action. That's why you want to take the pressure away from young guys and let them go at their own pace…He better get used to being out there on the floor whether it is starting or coming off the bench."
Arkansas didn't really ever truly put Southeastern Louisiana away in large part because they missed five free throws in the later portion of the game.
Until Julysess Nobles hit a pair with 30 seconds left, the Razorbacks had been just 3-of-8 in the second half.
"That has been really surprising with our basketball team, but it is something that we will continue to work on," Anderson said. "These guys are diligent in the gym working on their free throws."
Waithe said the missed free throws are baffling considering how many the team shoots in practice.
"It was contagious," Waithe said. "Once one guy starts missing. I just think if we focus in as a team, I don't think it is an issue. It is a big issue (now). We shoot about 500 free throws individually a week. It happens. It's basketball. Like I said, it was an ugly win, but we'll move on and get better."
The turning point was clearly a 12-0 run that Arkansas put together late in the first half.
It turned a 28-23 deficit for the Razorbacks into a 35-28 lead for them.
"It was just hard work and our defense paid off," Madden said. "That's what we do in practice and that is what Coach A stresses every day is defense. If we do that for 40 minutes it is going to be a long game for somebody."
Anderson echoed that sentiment.
"I thought our defense was the difference in the game," Anderson said. "We had some guys come off the bench and really brought some energy. Like Marvell, I thought his energy – blocking shots, catching and finishing, he was really aggressive on the traps and trapping with opportunity."
SELA, which shot just 37 percent from the field, did score the last two points of the half to cut it 35-30 at intermission, but never led after that.
"For a program like ours, you feel like you have done well to hang in there with an SEC school," Lions head coach Jim Yarbrough said. "That is kind of a natural feeling. You are disappointed. We talked about it and we felt like we could come in here and hang."
Indeed they did hang around, getting to 60-55 with 33 seconds left.
They did so without leading scorer Brandon Fortenberry, who is averaging 17 points game but was missing his second straight game due to injury.
"We are a little down right down with our best scorer on the bench, our second best scorer scored zero and didn't have a particularly good game," Yarbrough said. "But I thought our depth…I thought we did a very nice job of giving ourselves a chance down the stretch."
Yarbrough thought that Anderson's timeout with 4:40 left and some adjustments – including upping the defensive pressure – was the key in the aforementioned 12-0 run."
"They were scoring lay-ups and that is what they do," Yarbrough said. "That kind of greases the engine when they get those turnovers."
Southeastern Louisiana had lost three straight 14-point leads to Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe and Southern University and had all three games go into overtime.
"We also have been down nine with three-and-a-half at Southeast Missouri and came back and forced overtime," Yarbrough said. "Sometimes between the leads and the comebacks, if we could just find that team on a consistent basis."
He left the building complimenting what Arkansas program could become.
"They have got a couple of very good young players and as they recruit and add to that youth, I have no doubt that this university will be playing for a Final Four berth down the road," Yarbrough said. "I really believe that. I have that much faith in Mike Anderson."
Madden, who had half of his team's 14 points, said his team just wanted it more in the end.
"It was a hard game and we had to come out and battle to the end," Madden said. "It was a game where whoever wanted it the most had to go out there and get it. That's what it was. We wanted it."
Former Mississippi State player Elgin Bailey had 12 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Lions while former LSU player Daron Populist added 11.
Arkansas will play on both Tuesday (Eastern Kentucky) and Thursday (Louisiana Tech) next week before breaking for Christmas.
"I like that," Waithe said. "I don't like the long breaks in between games. The last two games we played like a week apart. I think this will be better for a lot of people. A better feel and more reps out there."