Arkansas Establishes Itself As a Legitimate Contender After Upset Over Texas

Matt RosenthalContributor IJanuary 7, 2009

The Arkansas Razorbacks made a statement to the college basketball world with a 67-61 victory over the seventh-ranked Texas Longhorns on Tuesday night.

The victory was their second straight over a top-10 Big 12 team, after the Razorbacks beat then fourth-ranked Oklahoma on Dec. 30.

Led by Michael Washington, who scored 22 points, the Hogs were able to outlast the 'Horns just long enough to secure the victory.

With the win, the Razorbacks established themselves as contenders in the college basketball scene.  The Razorbacks are 12-1, with their only lose coming early in the season to Missouri St.

The Razorbacks find themselves on a 10-game winning streak, but things won't get easier from here.  They face Mississippi St., Ole Miss, and Florida in the next two weeks, and all three teams have at least nine wins.  Every team in the SEC currently has a winning record.

The point is, the Razorbacks showed their upset over Oklahoma wasn't a fluke.  They will undoubtedly be ranked next week (barring an upset loss to Miss. St.) and, seeing as Tennessee is the only ranked team in conference at the moment (25th), they appear to be the best team in the SEC.

Now, I'm not predicting a miracle run to the Final Four for the Hogs.  I think there are too many other good teams out there for the Razorbacks to keep winning all of their games.  But the Razorbacks are certainly for real, and they won't be going away any time soon.