FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A return trip to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Gymnastics Championships, by Razorback Gymnastics helped Arkansas maintain its top 10 ranking in the final winter edition of the 2021-22 Learfield Directors’ Cup Standings released on Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of America (NACDA).
The Razorbacks currently have 634.25 Directors’ Cup points and rank 10th. The standings released on Thursday included men’s and women’s basketball, women’s bowling, men’s and women’s cross country, fencing, women’s field hockey, men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s hockey, football, rifle, skiing, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s track and field, women’s volleyball, men’s water polo and wrestling.
The Directors’ Cup tracks the nation’s most successful intercollegiate athletics programs for their performances throughout the year. Arkansas ranks second among all Southeastern Conference programs and is one of seven league programs in the top 25 of the standings.
Arkansas advanced to the regional final for a second-consecutive season. The Razorbacks finished second in its session of the NCAA Norman (Oklahoma) Regional and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Coach Jordyn Wieber and the GymBacks concluded their team season, just one step shy of advancing to compete for a national championship. Arkansas earned 60.75 points for the NCAA finish.
Coach Eric Musselman and the Razorback men’s basketball team made a deep run into the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. The Razorbacks won three games in the draw, including a win over No.1 Gonzaga in the Sweet Sixteen to advance to the Elite Eight and the West Regional Final. It marked the first time Arkansas has advanced to the Elite Eight in back-to-back seasons since the 1993-94 and 1994-95 campaigns. For its efforts, Arkansas earned 73 Directors’ Cup points.
The Razorbacks continued their tradition of excellence in track and field during the indoor season. Both the men’s and women’s squads won the SEC Indoor Track and Field team titles before advancing to top-10 finishes at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Coach Lance Harter led the women’s team to a fourth-place finish at the national meet. The podium finish produced 80 points. Coach Chris Bucknam and the men’s team earned a seventh-place finish to earn 72 points toward the program’s Directors’ Cup point total.
Arkansas’ women’s swimming and diving team secured a top-30 finish at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Coach Neil Harper’s squad finished 28th in the national meet, earning 46 Directors’ Cup points.
Arkansas made a return trip to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, after qualifying for the Big Dance in 2020-21 as well. If not for a pandemic shortened 2019-20 campaign, the Razorbacks would have earned three-straight NCAA appearances. Coach Mike Neighbors and the Razorbacks tallied 25 points for earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament field.
Arkansas started the fall season with a pair of SEC championships and top-10 NCAA finishes in cross country. The men’s cross country team earned 80 points for a podium finish at the national meet, finishing in fourth place. The Razorback women’s cross country team also dented the top 10 with an eighth-place finish, earning 70.5 Directors’ Cup points.
Arkansas won its third straight SEC regular season crown, before advancing to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament for the first time. The program record postseason run landed 73 points for the Hogs.
Coach Sam Pittman and the Razorback football team turned in one of the best gridiron seasons in recent history in 2021. Arkansas capped a remarkable 9-4 season with a 24-10 win over Penn State in the Outback Bowl. The Razorbacks earned a final national ranking of No. 20 in the USA Today / AFCA Coaches poll, tallying 54 points in the Directors’ Cup standings.
In 2020-21, Razorback Athletics turned in one of the most successful years in school history, including a program-best eighth place finish in the 2020-21 Learfield IMG Directors’ Cup. Arkansas’ previous best finish was 14th. The Directors’ Cup program has been tracking the success of the nation’s top intercollegiate athletics programs since 1993-94.
The Razorbacks won an NCAA title (Women’s Indoor Track & Field), earned eight Top-10 NCAA finishes and a remarkable 10 Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament championships, including SEC triple crown sweeps in both men’s and women’s cross country & track and field, a second-straight soccer regular season crown, the program’s first softball regular season title and a baseball regular season and tournament championship. Arkansas’ championship total led the league and doubled the next closest SEC program.