This game bore several similarities to Wednesday's Vandy match up. Alabama simply did not have the bodies necessary to match up with a very physical Arkansas in a game where the officials evidently decided in advance to allow a good deal of contact. The Tide's inability to hit an outside shot ultimately cost them this game, as Davis and Brock missed no fewer than seven consecutive three point shots that allowed the Hogs to continue to add to the slim lead they had earned after Hillman was ejected from the game.
Among all the calls and no calls in this game, the flagrant foul on Hillman probably was the most important. Hillman looked like he might have lost his cool, as he and his mates had been pushed and shoved all over the court with impunity. Clarke made a shove on him and when he retaliated Hillman's elbow slid up Clarke's chest to his chin, which Clarke accented with a sudden head jerk. The officials probably remembered the most memorable no call against Hillman from the first half when his elbow contacted Clarke's nose. I think the earlier event might have factored into their decision to eject Hillman. I did think it was comical when a uniformed law enforcement officer escorted Hillman off the court. What did they think he was going to do, shoot someone with his sweaty headband? Sheesh!
Hillman and The Tide need to learn how to use their hands and bodies in these loosely called games. SEC officials are going to call hacks and slaps anywhere near an offensive players hands and arms, so the Bama boys need to learn how to use their feet and bodies to make plays and to disrupt the other team's offensive flow.
This is another game that the good guys let get away from them. It's important that they keep their cool when they do not feel they are getting a fair shake; especially in light of the fact that a perception of that type usually is going to be an inaccurate one. It also is essential that Bama find a three point bomber if they are going to have a snow ball's chance of making a run at the big dance.
As a guy who gets caught up in the moment of the game it is important for a fan like me to remember that this never was a game I expected our guys to win. What is most important now is that the players learn from their mistakes and continue to improve. Tennessee comes to town Tuesday night. I'll see you there.