UCLA Side Having Severe Trouble Identifying Which Razorbacks the Bruins Beat

Mike Neighbors, Arkansas basketball, Arkansas women's basketball
photo credit: Arkansas Athletics

Geography can be really tough.

After all, not everyone is blessed with the extraordinary geographical prowess of, say, popular “GeoGuesser” and social media sensation Trevor Rainbolt

However, mixing up two completely different states, whose only commonality is the same starting letter, goes beyond simply struggling with geography. Following Arkansas women’s basketball’s non-conference game against the 2nd-ranked UCLA Bruins, Sports Illustrated’s “All Bruins” website was guilty of that type of negligence. 

Shortly after the Bruins defeated the Razorbacks 81-66, the SI site published a short recap of the game which, mistakenly or otherwise, referred to Mike Neighbors’ squad as the “Arizona Razorbacks.”

The SI piece also included a subheading of “This team is unreal.” You know what else is not real? The team that UCLA supposedly beat. There is no such thing as the “Arizona Razorbacks.”

Arkansas basketball, Arkansas women's basketball, UCLA basketball

An Unusual Mixup by UCLA Basketball Site

Usually, the mixup between the two states is due to the abbreviations being similar, but even then, the most common example of that mistake is Arkansas’ “AR” getting mistaken for Alaska’s “AK.” Isn’t that right, Missouri basketball’s social media team?

Annor Boateng, Arkansas basketball, Arkansas women's basketball

The best assumption we can go off of is that maybe the Arizona Diamondbacks are to blame? Arkansas Razorbacks and Arizona Diamondbacks are both teams whose location starts with an “A” and the mascot has the term “backs.”

Still, though, that’s quite a reach. Then again, some people – like these BYU football players – couldn’t even spot Arkansas on a map.

Maybe the mistake was made by the site’s AI writer? Regardless of whether this is a result of AI bungling some geography or not, somebody needs to go back to Mascot School.

As mentioned previously, the UCLA women’s basketball team is undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the country. One would think that such a prominent standing would lead those covering the team to have more respect for their opponents and not make an error such as this.

After all, Arkansas women’s basketball is having another strong start to the season under Mike Neighbors. 

Arkansas Suffers Minor Setback

Strong starts to the year are nothing new for the women’s team under head coach Mike Neighbors. Last year, the Razorbacks started 13-0 and entered SEC play 13-2. In fact, the worst record the Razorbacks have had entering conference play under Neighbors was 9-4, during his first year at Fayetteville.

This season, Arkansas has already beaten 15th-ranked Florida State and their only two losses have come to No. 23 Marquette and now No. 2 UCLA. There is no arguing that Sunday’s home loss to UCLA was a tough one, but there’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic about this team’s outlook going forward.

A big reason for that is the incredible performance of freshman guard Taliah Scott so far this year. Currently, Scott leads the SEC in scoring, averaging 23.2 points per game on 41.8% shooting from the field. Her 3-point shooting, 25.8% on over seven attempts per game, isn’t quite “lights out,” but she knows how to score from everywhere else on the floor.

Then there’s the “rebounding machine” known as Saylor Poffenbarger, who is currently second in the SEC in rebounds averaging 12.0 boards per game. Fifth-year senior Makayla Daniels and junior Samara Spencer are veteran leaders who can do a little bit of everything at both ends, making life easier for freshman scorer Taliah Scott. 

Neighbors is in his seventh season in Fayetteville, but hasn’t yet made it past the first round of the NCAA Tournament in the team’s only two trips. That has led to some fans criticizing the team on social media and another disappointing end to the year could cause that criticism to get louder.

However, this year’s team is well-equipped to continue to ride their early-season momentum and make a run in the postseason. For some Razorback fans, and for certain UCLA writers, it might be time to start paying closer attention.

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Here’s Mike Neighbors’ comments following the 81-66 loss to No. 2 UCLA:

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