FAYETTEVILLE - These are not Eddie Sutton’s Razorbacks.

FAYETTEVILLE - These are not Eddie Sutton’s Razorbacks.


The iconic former Arkansas coach will be honored at halftime of Razorbacks’ game against Missouri on Saturday night at Bud Walton Arena. Unless something changes from the last three Arkansas games, however, the ovation at the break will be one of the few things for fans to cheer.


The good news is, at least, they’re not Mike Anderson’s Tigers, either.


Anderson, the current Arkansas coach, left Missouri to take over at the place where he cut his teeth. He was an assistant for 17 years under Nolan Richardson, from 1985-2002, in Fayetteville. Richardson, coincidentally, took over for Sutton. Anderson took Missouri to the Elite 8 while there and to the NCAA Tournament two more times before returning to Fayetteville in hopes of returning the team to his old boss’ days.


It Sutton and Richardson who made Arkansas into a powerhouse for the span of about 25 years. Sutton took Arkansas to the NCAA Tournament in his last nine seasons of the 11 he coached. Richardson led the Razorbacks there another 13 times


Anderson has been once in five seasons. And barring a miraculous run through the Southeastern Conference Tournament, come mid-March, it will be one in six.


Arkansas is in the midst of a three-game losing streak. It isn’t just any three-game losing streak. The teams to which the Razorbacks have fallen - Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Auburn - are a combined 14-25 in the SEC and Arkansas has lost the three games by a combined 52 points.


"Well the sun came up and I think that’s probably a good thing because I had kind of a sleepless night after a performance like that," Anderson said in advance of the Missouri game.


A loss to the Tigers, though, and it may not come Sunday morning.


Arkansas beat Missouri by 33 points in January in Columbia. It was the best Razorbacks game of the season statistically. But it was the end of the hottest part of their year, too. Arkansas has won just three times in 10 games since. In Mississippi, a lack of offense was the culprit. Against Auburn, it was defense.


Both are required Saturday afternoon, even if Missouri sits in last in the league.


"I want to see us put together one of those performances we had against Tennessee," Anderson said. "I thought that was one of our better performances defensively and offensively."


It was the last time Arkansas looked like a possible postseason team. Some thought the Razorbacks were that until the most recent stretch of three straight losses. And Missouri will counter, too, playing its best basketball of the season.


The Tigers have won two straight SEC games and most recently against occasional Top 25-ranked South Carolina. Missouri won that with Wes Clark, their second leading scorer on the year, who quit the team just days before. Mostly, it’s a Missouri team that’s tired of being embarrassed.


The question is whether Arkansas is tired of being embarrassed, too.


"You know my teams normally play some of their better basketball this time of the year and I still think this team is capable of doing it. Now will we do it? That remains to be seen, but we’re going to have opportunity," Anderson said.


Today’s Ticket


Missouri (10-16, 3-10 in SEC) at Arkansas (12-14, 5-8)


When: 6:30 p.m..


Where: Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville


TV: SEC Network


Radio: Razorback Sports Network


Line: Arkansas is favored by 10 1/2 points


Coaches: Missouri - Kim Anderson (19-39 in second season); Arkansas - Mike Anderson (98-62 in fifth season)


Projected lineups: G Namon Wright (6-5, So., 9.1 ppg), G C. VanLeer (6-4, Fr., 3.9 ppg), G T. Phillips (5-11, Fr., 8 ppg ), F Kevin Puryear (6-7, Fr., 11.2 ppg), F Ryan Rosburg (6-10, Sr., 6.8 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)