Despite coming back from a 15-point deficit in the second half and a 20-point game from K.D. Johnson, Auburn was not able to get past the Razorbacks.
"Basically just get more physical," Johnson said on what allowed Auburn to make a comeback. "Be the ones that hit first in the second half. Just play with a little more energy. We came out a little sluggish. We needed to get that part up, start hitting shots."
The No. 7 Auburn Tigers (20-12, 10-8 SEC) fell 76-73 at the hands of the No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks (20-12, 8-10 SEC).
"We're disappointed in the outcome," said Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl. "Kids battled back both halves. Lesser character team I don't think would have. We were physically -- I think physically they bothered us with their athleticism and their length. As a result, we got dominated on the boards, which made it really difficult for us to win the basketball game."
Johnson's 20 points led Auburn in scoring. Wendell Green JR. led the Tigers in assists with four. Johni Broome led the team in rebounds with seven.
"It felt good for myself," Johnson said. "But on the team standpoint, I really wanted to get this win because I lost last year in the same way. I wanted to get farther this year. That was my mission, and I failed."
Pearl reflected on the impact Johnson made on the team's performance.
"K.D. is one of our most athletic players from the standpoint of speed, quickness, power," Pearl said. "Even though he's undersized. His athleticism showed up for Auburn in a big way out there on the floor. I thought -- K.D. alluded to Chris Moore. You guys asked a question about how important Chris Moore is. It's a great question. He is important to us. He lit into the bench a little bit there in the second half. I called timeout to get us organized."
Auburn shot 25-51 (49%) from the field, 5-16 (31.3%) from three-point range and 18-27 (66.7%) from the free-throw line.
Anthony Black led Arkansas in scoring with 19 points and in assists with six. Davonte Davis led the Razorbacks in rebounds with 10.
Arkansas shot 28-50 (56%) from the field, 3-11 (27.3%) from three-point range and 17-23 (73.9%) from the free-throw line.
Getting the ball inside was a focus for both teams, however, Arkansas did it slightly more efficiently, scoring 48 bench points to Auburn's 40.
All the Tigers can do right now is await the decision from the committee on what seed they will be and where they will get to play in the NCAA Tournament. The Selection Show will take place on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. CT.
"We talked to the guys about where we'd be potentially seeded," Pearl said. "What it would look like. Talked about what are you going to do tonight and tomorrow, traveling back, practicing on Saturday. Find out where we're going Sunday. Talked about we were going to be somewhere between 8, 9, 10 would be my guess. What the first game would look like, what the second game could potentially look like against the one and the two."