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No. 18 Arkansas Defeats No. 6 Kentucky, Still Alive in SEC Regular Season Race

Barely hanging on in the race to win the SEC, Arkansas picked up a huge win at home on Saturday, beating Kentucky 75–73 and tying them in the SEC standings.

Kentucky entered the game just a game back of No. 3 Auburn in the SEC standings, while Arkansas was two back of the Tigers. The Arkansas victory puts Auburn two up in the SEC on both teams with three games to play.

Since this was the only game these two teams play in the regular season this year, Arkansas now holds the tiebreaker over Kentucky in the standings.

The win is Arkansas’s 13th in their last 14 games, while Kentucky has now lost two of its last four games.

Arkansas came out strong, opening the game on a 15–2 run. Kentucky, however, closed the gap and entered halftime down just 34–28. In the second half, Kentucky took the lead within the first five minutes, and for the rest of the game the two sides went back and forth.

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The game was pretty much defined by tremendous performances by Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe and Arkansas’s JD Notae. Tshiebwe finished the game with 30 points and 18 rebounds, and Notae led Arkansas with 30 points and eight assists of his own.

While Notae carried the Razorbacks for most of the game, Jaylin Williams also came up huge. The sophomore forward totaled 16 points and 12 rebounds, including scoring 10 of Arkansas’s final 12 points to seal the game.

Entering Saturday’s game, Sports Illustrated’s Kevin Sweeney projected Kentucky as a two-seed and Arkansas as a five-seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Both teams have two games left to finish the regular season. Arkansas will play LSU at home and at No. 17 Tennessee, while Kentucky has Mississippi at home and Florida on the road. Auburn, meanwhile, is playing Tennessee on Saturday, followed by Mississippi State and South Carolina.

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