Even though there was only just over a week left until Valentine's Day, there was no love deep in the heart of Texas.
Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson strolled out onto the court, took off his jacket, made it clear with his words that he was done with referee Mike Tanco, then exited stage right with 14 seconds left, taking care to walk right past Longhorns head coach Tom Penders.
Just seconds earlier, Tanco called an intentional foul on legendary Arkansas guard Lee Mayberry. With Richardson in the dressing room, Texas guard Lance Blanks hit both free throws.
Because of the intentional foul, the Longhorns got to inbound the ball to Travis Mays. He was immediately fouled and promptly missed the 1-and-1.
That was all the break Mayberry needed. He promptly flew down the floor, crossed over a pair of defenders and hit Texas with a dagger from deep behind the arc, burying a 3-pointer to force overtime.
A sellout crowd of over 16,000 in Austin rained deafening boos as Richardson exited the locker room to lead his No. 3 Arkansas team to a win that not only denied Texas a chance to claim a share of the Southwest Conference championship, the Hogs got to celebrate their second consecutive conference title on the Longhorns' floor.
The two teams met a month later in Dallas in the Elite 8. Again Arkansas prevailed, 88-85, to set up a Final Four showdown with Duke in Denver.
Texas got a tiny bit of revenge the following year, the last in the SWC for Arkansas, by defending its home court in the final game of the regular season. The Hogs had already clinched a third consecutive conference title, but Longhorns fans got to relish in revenge and the satisfaction of ending what would have been a perfect conference season on the way out the door.
Of course, Arkansas gave Texas a beating like no other to claim another SWC tournament championship, 120-89, as a parting gift at Reunion Arena, then known to Razorback fans as Barnhill South in reference to then-Razorback home Barnhill Arena.
Arkansas was the Kentucky of the Southwest conference spanning across three decades.
Everyone wanted to beat them. Few could.
Houston brought a challenge every now and then, especially during Eddie Sutton's years, but it was Texas that consistently did its best to be a bother to Arkansas.
The two have since played in a handful of entertaining games, but have largely done their best to ignore one another. However, when it was decided Arkansas would get the honor of being the team to christen the new arena it wasn't surprising.
In addition to the history between the two teams, there's also history between the two coaches. Texas head coach Chris Beard's last act before bolting from Texas Tech to join the rival Longhorns was to lose to Eric Musselman's 2021 Razorback team, 68-65, to advance to the Sweet 16.
Beard also has ties to Arkansas. He coached Arkansas-Little Rock a single season, but that particular year happened to be a 30-5 finish and a 12th seed upset of 5th seed Purdue in double overtime.
That time in Arkansas is what put him on the radar to return to Texas Tech where he had previously coached under Bobby Knight. Of course, that trip required a brief few day detour through UNLV, another team with extensive history with the Razorbacks.
The best part of these two teams getting back together on Oct. 29 is it's all for charity. Proceeds from the $25 ticket price go toward Seedling Foundation and Break the Pipeline.
This will be the third time Arkansas has played a Division I team in exhibition, all three of which have come under Musselman.
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