It was like old times in Bud Walton Arena, again the best atmosphere in the Southeastern Conference. That's what Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said after No. 16 Arkansas earned an 81-75 victory Tuesday night.
Kennedy remembered what it was like 18 years ago as a player for Centenary on a night that Sunday Adebayo -- in the house for this night -- regained his eligibility.
"This is the best atmosphere I've seen in my time in the league," Kennedy said, sticking with his statement when reminded that Rupp Arena is in the SEC, too.
"Give Arkansas credit. That was pretty intimidating that first 10 minutes."
The Razorbacks, excited after a pre-game speech from Hall of Fame coach Nolan Richardson, rolled to a 33-9 lead in the first 11 minutes. A&M clawed back within two points with 1:30 to play before the Hogs scooted ahead by 9 points until a buzzer 3-pointer by the visitors.
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson was pleased with the atmosphere provided by the 16,117. Told of Kennedy's comments, the former Richardson player and assistant didn't hesitate with his assessment.
"I agree," Anderson said. "We have the best homecourt in America.
"It was just super tonight. I came in the arena and you could just feel it. Our guys sensed it in the shoot around. There were towels laying in the seats. It got everyone going and our players felt it.
"We had energy tonight and we fed off the crowd. We had 30 deflections on defense. Our players gave great overall effort. Unbelievable.
"We made them uncomfortable. No one plays the way we played. I think our fans enjoyed it."
Anderson said Richardson was just being himself in his pre-game talk to the players.
"He visited with them a little," Anderson said. "He deserved that. Coach Richardson was just being Coach Richardson. They know the history. They got to see him and visit with him.
"He says things that amaze them because they've heard me say the same things. They know they've heard those things from me.
"It looked like 40 minutes of hell, part II. I know Coach Richardson enjoyed it tonight and our fans enjoyed it. We fed off them."
Bud Walton Rocked
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