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Wake Forest vs. Arkansas: Q&A Preview

Our thanks to Ryan Higgins of Arkansas Fight for taking the time to answer our questions.

Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas was tied with Alabama State at halftime, but ended up outscoring Alabama State by 19 in the second half. Why did Arkansas struggle in the first half and why did Arkansas pull away in the second half?

That is actually what the system entails going all the way back to the Nolan Richardson days. As long as the other team is running, they are okay with letting them shoot, even if they are hot. That's because most teams aren't use to running like that, and will wear out about the 30th minute. And right on cue, Alabama State's legs went right at the 30 minute mark and the Hogs pulled away. Teams think they are sticking with the Hogs, but they are really just playing into their plan.

What facet of the game do you believe will dictate the winner?

Pace/tempo or whatever you want to call it. That's the name of the game for the Hogs, being the #Fastest40 and all. Rarely is a team conditioned well enough to run for 40 minutes like the Razorbacks can make a team do.

Where do you see this Arkansas team being at the end of the season? NCAA Tournament team? NIT?

NCAA Tournament and there isn't a doubt in my mind about it. They will finish no worst than third in the SEC, and with the way Florida played Miami, the Hogs could finish second. Granted, the SEC is probably a three bid league.

Who are the one or two players Wake Forest fans should keep an eye on?

Bobby Portis is on the Wooden Award watch list. So, not only will Wake Forest fans keep an eye on him, but so will the nation. I know the ACC is flooded with talent night in and night out, much like the SEC is in football, but Bobby is the one player I think could start on any ACC team.

Which Wake player or players are you most concerned about?

I'm not even going to fake an answer. I know so little about Wake Forest that I just hope Danny Manning doesn't suit up and drop 30 on the Hogs.

Finally, let's get a prediction on this one.

Arkansas has an insanely good home record under Mike Anderson. I think they've lost at home four times since he got to Fayetteville and it may be even less than that. Based on that, I think the Hogs win 88-75.