Last year there was a minor uproar in college hoops when the Murray State Racers did not make the NCAA Tournament after going 26-4 in the regular season and losing to Belmont in the Ohio Valley final by one point. This year a similar situation is brewing with the nation's second-winningest team, the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans.
While UALR, who currently sits at 21-2, continues to win games, the Trojans still don't have a quality resume when it comes to the bigger picture. Sure they knocked off San Diego State and Tulsa early in the season but beyond that their schedule is incredibly soft and currently ranks tenth in the Sun Belt and 290th nationally.
Scheduling in the Sun Belt is weird, and thus far the Trojans have had two homestands of four games and three games that have propelled their 11-1 conference mark. The only tough road game UALR has had in conference play was a visit to UT Arlington where they escaped with a six-point win.
The ease of the conference schedule changes this week though as the Trojans have four straight on the road against pesky competition. It starts with Louisiana-Monroe who almost knocked off the Trojans before, then comes Lousiana, Georgia State, and Georgia Southern. After this grind, UALR is welcomed home with a rematch against the aforementioned Mavericks.
What's the point? This team could be a bit of an aberration. Are they good? Sure. Are they a tournament team? That remains to be seen.
UALR could very well struggle on this road trip, and they could also fall short in the Sun Belt Tournament. If either those things happen then, history tells us the Trojans could go the way of last year's Murray State squad.