Razorbacks Finalize Schedule

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas finalized its basketball schedule Tuesday, a slate that includes nine games on national television, a tournament in Puerto Rico and a home date with the two-time defending national champions.

After opening with Wofford on Nov. 9, first-year coach John Pelphrey will take his Razorbacks to San Juan on Nov. 15-18 for the O'Reilly ESPNU Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Five consecutive home dates -- including Missouri, Oral Roberts and Missouri State in a six-day span -- follow the tournament.

Arkansas' trip to Oklahoma on Dec. 15 will air on ESPN, and the Hogs play Baylor on Jan. 5 in Dallas before opening Southeastern Conference play with a Jan. 10 game at Auburn on ESPN.

"Our schedule is obviously very, very challenging," Pelphrey said in a statement. "When you play in the SEC, all conference games are difficult and important."

Pelphrey mentioned the recognizable opponents, but also stressed the importance of scheduling some talented, yet lesser-known foes.

"Teams like (Oral Roberts), Northwestern State, Appalachian State, Missouri State and Delaware State are coming off some form of conference championship or a post-season tournament, or both," Pelphrey said.

Arkansas starts the O'Reilly ESPNU Puerto Rico Tip-Off with a 4 p.m. game on Nov. 15 against the College of Charleston. The Hogs then will face either Providence or Temple in the second round. A championship matchup could feature Virginia Commonwealth, which defeated Duke in last year's NCAA Tournament.

The Hogs appear again on ESPN two weeks after the Auburn game, when they take on LSU at 8 p.m. in Baton Rouge. One week later, two-time defending champion Florida travels to Fayetteville.

After a Feb. 9 home game with Ole Miss, the Razorbacks hit the road for four of their next five games.

The second, a Feb. 16 contest at Mississippi State, will appear at 3 p.m. on ABC. The third, a Feb. 23 road trip to Kentucky, will be broadcast at 1:05 p.m. on CBS.

Arkansas' schedule concludes with a home game against Vanderbilt, an ESPN road game at Ole Miss and a season-ending home date with Auburn.

When accounting for all eight teams in the Puerto Rico tournament, 16 of Arkansas' 27 opponents finished last season ranked in the top 100 of the RPI.

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