A heavily anticipated trip to Gainesville awaits Vanderbilt on Saturday, but the Commodores first need to win at Arkansas in order to keep pace with Florida, who should easily beat South Carolina at home this Thursday.
Though they aren't on Joe Lunardi's short list of bubble teams, the Razorbacks have been very tough at home—they are yet to lose at Bud Walton Arena, where they have taken down Mississippi State and Michigan. Vanderbilt certainly won't have an easy win.
The Commodores are currently No. 26 in the RPI and projected as a four seed by Lunardi, but let's be honest, people are very skeptical of Kevin Stallings' team. Aside from being upset in each of its past three NCAA tournament appearances, Vanderbilt has lost to a few inferior teams this season.
The Commodores also recently relinquished an 11-point halftime lead to lose at home to Mississippi State.
Anything that can be held against Vanderbilt will be held against Vanderbilt at this point. It may not be fair, but if the Commodores can't beat teams like Arkansas on the road, they might once again be a four or five (maybe even worse) seed in the big dance.
We all know Vanderbilt would prefer a higher seed, given its recent first-round struggles.
Game time: Jan. 31 @ 9 pm