FAYETTEVILLE - For Arkansas, wins and losses have been as simple as home and away this season.
The Razorbacks beat No. 25 Vanderbilt 82-74 on Tuesday night to extend the nation's 11th-longest win streak to 16 games.
Winning at home has become old hat for Arkansas. Now the young Razorbacks are looking for their first win away from Bud Walton Arena when they travel Saturday to LSU, a team which Arkansas beat 69-60 last month.
Road wins - or the lack thereof - are looming larger with each passing game. With an RPI in the top 50, whispers of the NCAA Tournament are beginning to surface for Arkansas (16-6, 4-3 Southeastern Conference), which hasn't made the postseason since 2008.
In addition to Vanderbilt, the Razorbacks have wins over ranked opponents Mississippi State and Michigan. If Arkansas managed to finish the season undefeated at home, it would have at least 20 wins, meaning each additional win would only increase its position on the NCAA Tournament bubble next month.
"I believe there's more out there for them as long as they keep trusting each other," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. "They're going to be in the hunt for something; I don't know what it is, but they're working hard, and trusting and believing in each other."
LSU (12-9, 2-5 SEC) has lost three straight games - all against ranked opponents - by a combined 39 points. It's a similar situation Arkansas walked into last week when it played Alabama, which had lost four straight entering the contest.
The Razorbacks led during the second half of that game but lost 72-66. It was a confidence builder for Anderson's team, but also another valuable lesson about playing on the road.
"I thought we played for about 36 or 37 minutes," Anderson said. "You need a full 40-minute game to win on the road.
"We've done a pretty good job of defending the home court, so for us, we need to take it to the next level. We've got to make sure we can go away from here and play good basketball. The last outing we were in position to win, but didn't finish. We want to work on that part."
LSU hung tough with Arkansas earlier this season despite not having freshman Johnny O'Bryant (broken hand) available. The 6-foot-9 McDonald's All-American had 12 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in a loss to No. 1 Kentucky over the weekend in his second game back.
LSU coach Trent Johnson said following the game O'Bryant's conditioning improved while he couldn't play.
"I think early in the season he wasn't in good shape, and he was struggling with how hard and how fast the game was played," Johnson said. "As of late, he was just coming around and getting in great shape."
The Tigers are 7-3 at home this season. LSU beat then-No. 10 Marquette at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center earlier this season and two of its home losses have come to ranked teams Kentucky and Virginia.
"They've had to play most of their games here recently on the road, but now they get to return home," Anderson said. "As we've seen in our league, teams play pretty good at home."