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This article is an overview of Arkansas Basketball: its history, player accomplishments, and current level of success. One thing a number of Best Sports Blog users have asked for is biographies on major NCAA basketball programs-Arkansas among them-so this is one of a series of articles designed to meet that need. So, without further ado, let's take a look at the history of Razorback basketball:
The Arkansas basketball program is one of the oldest in the country. The Razorbacks established themselves early under Charles Bassett but really became dominant under legendary coach Glen Rose. Rose's first era as Razorback's coach lasted from 1934-1942 and he won four SWC titles and reached the 1941 NCAA Final Four. His successor, Eugene Lambert, built on Rose's success and led the team to a 113-22 record and a second NCAA Final Four appearance in 1945. This period established Arkansas as one of the premier programs in college basketball at the dawn of the tournament era.
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In 1952, coach Glen Rose returned to Arkansas. While the program enjoyed success in his second tenure, the Razorbacks did not advance deep into the NCAA tournament for well over a decade. Rose's best year of his second tenure came in 1958 when Arkansas reached the NCAA Elite Eight but, after the Razorbacks were ousted, Rose never reached the same point again. In 1966, Arkansas finally decided it was time to make a change but his successor, Duddy Waller, was far worse and the Razorbacks lost their status as a top college basketball program.
However, with the hire of Eddie Sutton in 1975, Arkansas returned to prominence. Sutton coached Arkansas to a 260-75 record over his nine years as coach and the program was invited to the NCAA tournament each year. With an NCAA Final Four appearance in 1978 and an Elite Eight showing in 1979, the Razorbacks were back on the map. Indeed, Sutton set the stage for the even more successful Nolan Richardson era. Richardson, a living legend at Arkansas, took over a well-run program in 1985 and brought it to new levels of success. After three SWC first place finishes and a fourth NCAA Final Four appearance in 1990, Arkansas joined the SEC in 1991 poised to dominate. Richardson did not disappoint and led the team to the NCAA title in 1994 after a 31-3 record. His 1995 team very nearly repeated but, after reaching the NCAA title game, the Razorbacks lost. Despite his best efforts, Richardson was never able to replicate his success again and, after only one Sweet Sixteen appearance in 1996, was fired for controversial remarks in 2002.
Looking forward, Arkansas basketball has lost some of its luster in recent years but is still poised to be successful in the future. The program has amazing history and can still recruit big time talent. With the right coach and some time to develop, Arkansas basketball may well dominate again soon.
Here's some more Arkansas Razorbacks Basketball History.
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