FAYETTEVILLE - Playing spoiler is what the 2015-16 Arkansas basketball season as come down to.

FAYETTEVILLE - Playing spoiler is what the 2015-16 Arkansas basketball season as come down to.


Save a miracle finish, anyway.


About the only way the Razorbacks can see any sort of postseason beyond the league tournament at all would be to win out. That is, if Arkansas won its final four regular-season games and three games in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, they would win the SEC title and get the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Anything short of that will probably leave them short. Not definitely. Probably.


At the very least, Arkansas must win its four remaining games until that SEC single-elimination showdown. Such a streak starts Tuesday night at Bud Walton Arena against LSU, a team that itself cannot afford another bad loss. Arkansas would qualify as a bad loss, even on the road.


Mike Anderson knows his team’s role, even if he’s deflective of the verbiage.


"I’m sure they’re coming in … they’re going to come with it," the Arkansas coach said. "But we’re going to come with it, too. I mean we’re coming off some tough losses, too. The Auburn loss. Played a little bit better versus Missouri but we want to get better. And this is a team we played earlier in the year. I think so from that standpoint this time of year every game continues to be magnified even more so."


The previous game in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was one of the Arkansas’ best of the year. LSU was near the top of the league at the time, holding just one loss in SEC play, and Arkansas had the game tied and had the ball in the final 30 seconds. An ill-timed turnover gave the ball to the Tigers and Craig Victor II’s put-back with four seconds left sapped the Hogs’ momentum and handed them a loss, snapping a three-game winning streak.


The loss came January 16. Arkansas has won four games since. It needs four wins in its final four games for any last semblance of hope.


"We still want to finish strong," Arkansas guard Anthlon Bell said. "The rest of these last couple of games go into the SEC Tournament with some momentum and give us a lot of confidence."


Last time out Arkansas couldn’t handle Victor and Ben Simmons, likely the Freshman of the Year in the NCAA, on the glass. The two combined for 32 points and 30 rebounds, including Victor’s board before the game-winner. The Razorbacks did limit most LSU’s perimeter play, except for Josh Gray, who had 15 points.


But Keith Hornsby, Tim Quarterman, Antonio Blakeney and Jalyn Patterson were outplayed by Arkansas’ guard quartet of Bell, Dusty Hannahs, Jabril Durham and Anton Beard. And LSU will be without Hornsby and his 13.1 points per game because of a hernia.


The game will be won on the inside, though, Anderson figured. He needs his leading scorer, Moses Kingsley, and maybe an unlikely other to take care of the interior for a chance.


"When you talk about inside play it’s going to be real critical," Anderson said. "And we got to establish an inside game uh where we get Moses or Willy..get those guys going you know around the basket."


Follow Eric on Twitter: @ericwbolin


Today’s Ticket


LSU (16-11, 9-5) at Arkansas (13-14, 6-8)


When: 6 p.m.


Where: Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville


TV: ESPNU


Radio: Razorback Sports Network


Line: Arkansas is favored by 2 points


Coaches: LSU - Johnny Jones (77-48 in fourth season); Arkansas - Mike Anderson (99-62 in fifth season)


Projected lineups: LSU - G Antonio Blakeney (6-4, Fr., 11 ppg), G Jalyn Patterson (6-1, So., 4.8 ppg), G Tim Quarterman (6-6, Jr., 10.8 ppg), F Craig Victor II (6-9, So., 12.6 ppg ), F Ben Simmons (6-10, Fr., 19.4 ppg) Arkansas - G Jabril Durham (6-1, Sr., 6.4 ppg), G Anthlon Bell (6-3, Sr., 16.4 ppg), G Dusty Hannahs (6-3, Jr., 15.9 ppg), G Manny Watkins (6-3, Jr., 5.7 ppg), F Moses Kingsley (6-10, Jr., 16.2 ppg)