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Razorback fans, you can rest easy now. If you had any doubt  that under Mike Anderson, the Hogs have been the nation’s most Jekyll...
Nothing ever seems to get better for these road woe-erriers.

Nothing ever seems to get better for these road woe-erriers.

Razorback fans, you can rest easy now.

If you had any doubt  that under Mike Anderson, the Hogs have been the nation’s most Jekyll and Hyde program, fret no more. I have scoured the back alleys of the World Wide Web, and have found not a single other Division I program which so predictably cranks out win-at-home, lose-on-the-road outcomes in recent years. As you can see in the graph below, Arkansas has been extremely strong at home since 2011-12, Anderson’s first year. But the Hogs’ simultaneous struggles on the road (which I have explored for the New York Times and Sporting Life Arkansas) have been even more remarkable.

Season

Overall

Home

Road

RPI

2013-14

13-6

12-1

0-3

76

2012-13

19-13

18-1

 1-9

93

2011-12

18-14

17-3

1-9

106

Home Winning %  90.2
Road Winning %    8.7
Disparity: 81.5%

If the heart were a neck muscle, 98% of Hog fans would be suffering some degree of whiplash by now. Will it surprise anyone if Arkansas knocks off a good Mizzou team at home tonight [Mizzou has never won at Bud Walton], but then proceeds to lose handily to LSU on the road, then beats Alabama at home, then goes to Vanderbilt and shoots either 12% on three-point attempts or 52% on free throws for the game?

Sadly, this is the whipsaw future almost all Arkansas fans expect these days.  Home heroism mixed with road woes have come to rival up-tempo defense as the Razorbacks’ most well-known trait. Arkansas is not alone in this boat, though. There are a few other programs who have mightily succeeded/struggled in the same way. Again, not to the extent Arkansas has, but enough to lock down the #2, #3 and #4 spots in college basketball Jekyll and Hyde-dom.

Without further adieu, I present to you the three fan bases who are most likely to be able to empathize with Arkansas’:

Maryland

Season

Overall

Home

Road

RPI

2013-14

11-8

7-2

1-4

67

2012-13

25-13

18-3

 3-7

65

2011-12

17-15

13-4

1-8

103

Home Winning % 80.9
Road Winning %  20.8
Disparity: 60.1%

Now in his third year, Mark Turgeon hasn’t yet been able to return the Terrapins to their glory days of the early 2000s, when they won the national title in 2002. This was supposed to be the year Maryland returned to the NCAA’s but the team still isn’t winning enough conference road games to fulfill that potential. “Too often, the Terrapins have appeared rudderless,” one Washington Post columnist opined while discussing the team’s point guard problems. Another big reason is the road shooting woes of its most explosive wingman, Jake Layman.

Razorback fans know the feeling. Wing Michael Qualls looked like a darkhorse All-SEC type player before faltering so far in conference. Qualls shoots 49% on field goals at home, and 8% on the road.

Wake Forest

Season

Overall

Home

Road

RPI

2013-14

13-6

11-0

1-4

62

2012-13

13-18

11-5

 1-10

168

2011-12

13-18

9-7

3-8

176

Home Winning %  72.1
Road Winning %   18.5
Disparity: 53.6%

When it comes to emotional roller coaster rides in the last  five years, I doubt any program has been so high, and fallen so low, as Wake Forest. The alma mater of Tim Duncan and Chris Paul was ranked #1 nationwide in January, 2009. A little less than a year later, their coach was fired and Jeff Bzdelik hired.

The resulting downward spiral and apparent dysfunction reads like a jock’s rendition of Requiem For a Dream. Last season was a season of protests directed against Bzdelik, as well as  a radio show fiascobrutal public relations, a highly active Internet campaign, and thousands of dollars in local media ad buys, as ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan points out.

Bzdelik hasn’t exactly righted the ship this year despite notching wins over UNC and North Carolina State at home. While the Demon Deacons did nab a conference road win last week, that only makes WF 2-27 in ACC road games during Bzdelik’s tenure. Wake Forest fans have come to expect  “jubilation at home and misery on the road,” Robert Reinhard wrote for SB Nation. “It’s completely unacceptable that a team can perform that well at home yet so miserably on the road.”

Nebraska

Season

Overall

Home

Road

RPI

2013-14

9-9

8-1

0-6

86

2012-13

15-18

11-6

 2-10

98

2011-12

12-18

9-8

3-9

145

Home Winning %    65.1
Road Winning %     16.7
Disparity:  48.4%

At home, this season, the Huskers have come within a point of beating Michigan while knocking off Minnesota and  Ohio State (a win apparently every bit as satisfying to Husker Nation as the Kentucky win was to Hog Nation). But second-year coach Tim Miles is 1-14 in true games, the last being a loss to an extremely bad Penn State team. “We’re right there,” star player Terran Petteway said earlier this month. ”Every day everybody has to come with a positive attitude, come ready to work. As you can see, the past couple games were pretty close. Once we get over the hump, it’s going to be special.”

N.B. Nebraska forward David Rivers, a former teammate of Bobby Portis at Little Rock Hall, has struggled this year on the road and at home. He’s found his groove at neutral sites, though.

Just for kicks, here are Neutral Court results from the last three seasons:
Maryland: 10-9
Nebraska: 3-5
Wake Forest: 3-8
Arkansas: 1-7

* Maryland, Wake Forest and Nebraska records and RPI rankings are through January 24, 2014. 

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