If you had told me in April 1994 how the Razorback basketball program would perform over the next 15 years, I would have been very, very surprised.
In the giddy aftermath of the team’s first and only national championship, I thought the Hogs had firmly established themselves among the elite programs and were ready for a sustained run of seriously competing for more NCAA Tournament trophies. I suspect many of you felt the same way.
As we all know, that’s not quite how things turned out. Instead of sustained excellence, it’s been sustained mediocrity (and sometimes worse). Consider the following:
In the 14 seasons since the magical Corliss-Scotty era ended (that includes the current year), the Razorbacks have lost fewer than 10 games only once (the 1997-98 season). In the 21 seasons encompassing the entire Eddie Sutton era and the first 10 years of Nolan Richardson’s tenure, the Hogs posted a double-digit loss total in only three seasons.
As for conference play (which totals 16 games each year), the Razorbacks have won at least 10 games only three times (in the ‘98, ‘01 and ‘06 seasons) since Williamson and Thurman left Fayetteville.
By contrast, during the same 21 seasons mentioned above, there were only three years in which the Hogs failed to win at least 10 games in conference play.
Sometimes, the National Championship seems longer than 15 years ago.