What game hooked you for razorback basketball?

Easy for me…US Reed vs Louisville in Austin. I remember sitting in my grandmothers living room with the entire family.

It wasn’t a game in particular. It was the style. When Nolan came rolling in I got hooked. Canon Whitby was my favorite player. I remember when he would get the ball and they would scream “SHOOT” and it didn’t matter where he was.

I can’t remember a specific game at first. I remember being invited over to watch a game by a guy at my church and watching Todd, Lee, and Big 0. Later that year I would go to my first game at Barnhill. THAT hooked me. I remember Strollin’ with Nolan vs. Texas. I loved that and beating Crybaby Tom Penders. I specifically remember the last game in Barnhill vs. LSU. I was lucky enough to be there for that one. Man, was it LOUD!

I was there for the Missouri dismantling and those games in the 93-94 season. Fun! CNR had an instinct when it came to turning up the heat and really getting the defense frenetic. You could feel the opposing team wilting under the pressure and then he would crank it up another notch. Blood in the water.

Those were the things that hooked me to Hawgball. I don’t know if we’ll ever see anything like it again.

The old bumper sticker that had a hog with little pigs trailing behind is my first hog memory I was barely walking. I can’t really say a game it was just part of life. The whole family watched! I’ve been hocked my whole life. The old pig trial got a lot of mileage.
The hogs used to be all a kid from Arkansas dreamed of playing for. There used to be loyalty to our team and our coach.

I must be a lot older than you guys! It was the 1977-78 season that hooked me. What I remember most is

  1. Playing Texas. The game wasn’t on TV, so I was listening on the radio and pacing back and forth. We were down like 4 point (which seemed like a lot back in the pre-shot clock days) and, then it was 3, then it was 2, then it was 1, then we took the lead. The excitement was like a drug.

  2. Playing UCLA in the NCAA’s. Huge first half lead, go to slow game way to soon, UCLA take the lead in the second half, but we win anyway!!!

I was hooked.

Arkansas 92, Houston 47

Jan. 5, 1976

First game televised on KATV

I was a freshman walk on basketball player way back in the 1960’s. So I was hooked a long time ago and got to watch the rise of our basketball program. :smiley:

1st year of the triplets

I was just looking that game up to refresh my memory.

My story is a bit different than most on this board. I did not grow up in Arkansas. My parents met at the U of A after WWII, got married, and Dad took a job at White Sands Missle Range a few miles from El Paso, Texas - and that is where I grew up. I was a HUGE Razorback Football fan from an early age, but my “relationship” with them was to catch the games I could over AM radio, with the occasional TV game. In the years of my youth, Arkansas basketball was an afterthought. Living in El Paso, I never heard anything about them. Oh - I’d look for their scores, and I was aware of Dean Tolson and Martin Terry. But the Hogs were never on TV in El Paso, and never in the Tournament.

I went to the local college (UTEP, formerly Texas Western) and that is where my interest in basketball initially took off. Many of you will remember Texas Western from the movie “Glory Road” a few years ago, as the only Texas team to win the NCAA Basketball Tournament (and first team to start 5 black players in that game). I followed that team (in my pre-college days) and watched them play in person.

It so happened that the timing of my graduation from UTEP and relocation to Dallas coincided with the hiring of Eddie Sutton and re-birth of our basketball tradition (I had heard that back in the 1940’s we had been to the Final Four). I was a December graduate, and had just relocated to Dallas to start my first job (at Texas Instruments) when I took a break from unpacking to watch something I could not readily see in El Paso (in those days) - SWC basketball on TV. And it happened to be the Houston Game Dudley referenced.

Full disclosure - I had NO IDEA who was on our team or that we were just as season away from exploding on the College basketball scene. But, as the former Sports Editor of the UTEP paper (The Prospector), I had seen a lot of good basketball up close, and I immediately recognized the talent we had on that squad - even though it was young and still a work in progress. I was instantly “smitten” and started learning as much about our program as I could - as I had for years in football.

That was the clear moment for me.

I lived in Fort Smith back in the late-'60s (2nd-4th grade). I’d become a Razorback football fan the morning of the Big Shootout when mom and dad got my sister and me out of bed early on game day and drove us to the FS airport so we could watch Air Force One land. Saw Nixon deplane and head for the chopper that took him to Fayetteville. Then we went home and my parents hosted a watch party for the game Texas stole from us (Boschetti was clipped!).

Anyway, I got interested in basketball that winter and would sneak my transistor radio out after I went to bed to listen to the Hogs on the radio until I fell asleep or got caught. Duddy Waller was the coach. Been hooked ever since.

Strangely enough, the Cannon Whitby comeback against A-State in the NIT, maybe '85-'86? I believe we played Nebraska in the next round and got beat but I made a sign and sat in my living room with it. I was probably 7 yrs old and that kicked off the greatest run in Arkansas bball history, which luckily for me, encompassed my childhood.

That’s the reason I’m a bigger Razorback basketball fan than I am a football fan.

**Just looked it up, I was 8 and despite my memory of Whitby raining 3’s, he only hit two of them and scored 8pts.

I love our HOGS.
I have a story that I thought of when I seen this I’ll share.
Back in the SWC days I had a hod t shirt with the hog ding business on the state of Texas. I had that shirt on I was sitting at DFW and people were walking by just starring at me. I was 19. A older man sat down next to me and told me that he was a longhorn fan. Then told me just how funny it was for a razorback fan to be crazy enough to wear that shirt in Texas. It actually got worse than that when I arrived in Lawton Ok and enroute for FT Sill when I got off the bus I met another longhorn fan that was drill sergeant he hated my shirt and made life miserable for 4 months.
Ten years later in Charleston SC in a airport I ran into him again and asked him if he remember my t shirt he laughed.
A hog fan has to tough and loyal!

This did it for me, but we were at the game.

I also reference the Hogs and Houston as getting me going on basketball, but it was the Ron Brewer “Top of the key” shot that beat Notre Dame that sealed it for me. I was rabid by the time North Carolina rolled into Pine Bluff. I used to love going to Pine Bluff from DeWitt for the games.

The triplets really got me hooked, but I remember going absolutely crazy after:

2/12/1984 - Arkansas vs North Carolina and MJ


Triplets hooked me for sure. But before that I remember watching and listening to teams with Ricky Medlock, Martin Terry, Dean Tolson and others. Mid 70’s I suppose.

One thing I do remember in Central Arkansas is that many of the games weren’t shown live but were shown same day tape delayed - Channel 7 at 10:30 pm.

Great memories.

I was already a huge fan of college basketball in the early 70’s before Arkansas was even the least bit good. I remember when we would occasionally be the SWC game of the week on Saturday afternoons, but mostly the best games were national contests. They didn’t show a lot of games back then, only on Saturday afternoons. The biggest thrill for me as an 11 year old was watching Notre Dame end UCLA’s 88 game winning streak, I had never seen or known them to lose. I watched all the NCAA tournament games they would show, and kept up with the Top 20, so I recognized the Creighton team from rankings. Therefore, when I heard we hired the Creighton coach, I was excited, because I knew they were good. Eddie Sutton’s resume was very good as far as I was concerned. The first season he was at Arkansas we went 17-9, best since the 50’s, two years later we went 16-0 in the conference, and were ranked in the Top 10 with a 26-1 overall record. That’s when my first basketball devastation occurred. I was barely old enough to know the Big Shootout, I was aware it agonized people, but I was only in 1st grade so I didn’t have the knowledge or passion for the Hogs yet. The basketball game in 1977 vs Wake Forest when we had a 16 point halftime lead and lost 86-80 left a scar that is still in my body somewhere. I had never felt such pain in sports, and this was during our decade of futility vs Texas in football. That being said, the first season of Eddie Sutton we played Texas A&M at Barnhill Fieldhouse and beat them in two tense, intense, and emotional overtimes. That’s when I was hooked. From that point on I never liked Shelby Metcalf. I remember the following season when we beat Houston 92-47 in the Cougars first SWC game, but I also remember we blew double digit leads in the next two games and lost at SMU and at Houston in a quick rematch.

I have some pre-Triplets’ memories, but they are fuzzy. Really began keeping up when Boothead when to Fayetteville. Had season tickets to watch him at Northside and will never forget the 30-0 season he had there (beating Moncrief for AAAA State Title and Delph for overall state title), and then his going to Westark before UofA. Remember parts of the 1976-77 season with the three, and of course, the 1977-78 season really got the adrenaline flowing. Remember the pre-shot clock era and the exciting 39-38 victory over Texas, where every possession was crucial. The Eddie Sutton vs. Abe Lemons/Guy Lewis showdowns were notorious. Beating UCLA in the NCAA Tournament was awesome. U.S. Reed’s half-court shot to beat Louisville in Austin was unforgettable. Many games, not just one.

if so, then it was James Eldridge hitting a free throw to beat A$M and Ronnie Peret in 1968 in the sawdust that was Barnhill. Live watching was absolutely AR 92 Coogs 47 in the first ever matchup of us vs Houston. They got snowed in but did beat us barely about a week later. That was utter destruction of a national power and a lot unexpected. Did not feel far removed from Houston and Hayes being able to challenge UCLA for college supremacy. I got into that game courtesy of Coach Foster meeting me and escorting me in without a ticket, came up from Hendrix with a connection to Coach Sutton and Coach Foster walked me in. That was great and set the stage for all the soon to happen stuff. I followed the Hogs on radio for way before they were good or Van Eman exciting.

There was no single game for me. I was always obsessed by all things Razorback, dating back to 1965, the first football season I can remember. I remember the Duddy Waller era, when we were horrible (his best team in four years was 10-14/7-7). Then we hired Lanny Van Eman, who brought in Martin Terry and Dean “Tree” Tolson. We were still mediocre at best, but we scored a lot of points, and Terry’s scoring exploits attracted attention from Sports Illustrated, which was THE national media in those pre-ESPN days. I think I saw the Terry-Tolson teams play on TV once or twice, in the old dirt-floor Barnhill Fieldhouse with signs listing the Southwest Conference schools around the court (I think those signs were also to help keep that dirt off the game floor). You can see the signs in the background here, behind all these Caucasian players:

I also remember curling up under my blanket late one November night with a transistor radio, listening to the faint signal from some distant station (only 4 or 5 stations carrying Razorback basketball at the time) as we took our beating as a rent-a-win for Bill Walton’s UCLA team in the 1973-74 opener at Pauley Pavilion, and I was relatively encouraged that UCLA “only” beat us by 22. But Terry was gone by then, we went 10-16 that year, Van Eman got fired and Frank Broyles brought in some coach from Creighton and promised to rebuild Barnhill Fieldhouse. He did, and that new coach had a fair amount of success. But by then I was hooked. You had to be hooked to make the effort to listen to that scratchy signal for a 22-point blowout at UCLA.

I do particularly remember that 92-47 game against Houston, and how they beat us in Hofheinz a week later, putting on the full court press to come back from 20 down (problems with opponents’ pressure would be a recurring theme in the Sutton era). But again, I was long since hooked. And still searching for those scratchy AM radio signals until we got a few more stations on the network.