The technical Arkansas coach Mike Anderson received Saturday was evidence of his zeal. Everything he had flowed out in defense of his players. Little doubt was left as to whether he believed.

The technical Arkansas coach Mike Anderson received Saturday was evidence of his zeal. Everything he had flowed out in defense of his players. Little doubt was left as to whether he believed.


As for everyone else — at least, everyone not directly associated with the Razorbacks basketball team — the unsightly 84-67 result of the Hogs’ game against Kentucky meant little. Arkansas arrived with found money and left still holding a good chunk of it.


The Wildcats (29-0, 16-0 SEC) stayed undefeated, an unquestioned No. 1 in every relevant poll in college basketball. No team has come close to beating them in almost a month. Kentucky’s only had six of its 29 wins come by single digits.


Arkansas (23-6, 12-4) had been so successful lately defensively, frazzling opponents into mistakes both shooting the ball and giving it away. Kentucky had no issue with either, finishing with nine turnovers and a 48 percent mark from the floor.


The reverse was a problem. Kentucky allowed the Razorbacks just eight first half-half field goals and zero 3s in taking a 16-point lead into the break. That lead grew to as large as 31 with eight minutes left before the combination of Arkansas embarrassment and Kentucky letting up provided the final margin.


"I was disappointed in the outcome, but I wasn’t disappointed in the effort," Anderson said. "I thought our guys gave a great effort."


Sunday came, anyway, even with a Saturday loss — the first for Arkansas in its last seven games and last three against Kentucky. And when the people paid to predict the postseason posted their latest prognostications, Arkansas actually jumped.


CBSSports.com bracketologist Jerry Palm lifted the Razorbacks from a projected No. 5-seed to a No. 4.


That’s why Anderson went berserk with 12:31 left and drew the officials’ ire. Arkansas deserved to have a better showing. Any notion that the Southeastern Conference is Kentucky and everyone else is folly according to Palm’s latest prognostication. Kentucky coach John Calipari agreed.


"We’ve got a good team, and we’ve got six tournament teams in this league that are going to be in. Just win the games you’re supposed to win, we got six in," Calipari said. "That’s why I say, the coaches shouldn’t stand for it and the media that cover this league shouldn’t stand for it. Stop saying it. Iowa State was beat by South Carolina. LSU went to West Virginia and won. I mean, this league is not what they want to paint it to be. Every game we play is an event, unless it snows (smiling)."


Any league would be Kentucky and everyone else. Right now, anyway.


The Wildcats looked every bit of an undefeated powerhouse with eight McDonalds All-Americans. They beat Arkansas in every measureable statistic, practically. Kentucky is top 30 in the nation in nearly all of them.


Arkansas doesn’t have to return to Fayetteville to right the ship. The Razorbacks experienced the same thing all other 28 Kentucky opponents did. A loss to the Wildcats didn’t break Kansas’ season. Or Louisville’s or North Carolina’s.


All Saturday showed was that Arkansas isn’t the best team in the nation. Anderson was asked what it would take to beat Kentucky. He replied "not what we had today." He wasn’t dejected, though perhaps a bit disappointed.


Two more wins in Arkansas’ final two regular-season games will provide the team with 25. Or, more than any team has had since 1994-95. A two-round bye is already locked up in the SEC Tournament. Kentucky loss or no Kentucky loss, the most accomplished Arkansas season in a decade is arrived.


"I thought we’d give Kentucky a little bit better run for their money," Anderson said.


It’s OK, the Razorbacks are still holding their bags full, coach.