The win was the sixth straight for the Razorbacks (11-2, 1-0), and it all but assures the school of its first national ranking in nearly three years. Arkansas was last ranked near the end of the 2014-15 season, and it’s been 26th in each of the past two weeks in The Associated Press poll.
Macon finished with a career-high 33 points and Barford had a career-best 28 for the Razorbacks, who trailed by nine points with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation. The seniors then scored Arkansas’ first 13 points in overtime.
Jordan Bone scored 21 points to lead the Vols (9-3, 0-1) and James Daniel III had 17. Admiral Schofield added 16 points before fouling out, Grant Williams had 12 and Lamonte Turner 10.
Arkansas trailed for much of the game but took its first lead at 73-72 in the final minute of regulation on a dunk by freshman Daniel Gafford.
Bone hit 1 of 2 free throws with 18.8 seconds left to tie the game at 73, and Macon missed on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer that sent the game to overtime.
The Razorbacks led by as many as 12 in the extra period before holding on in the closing minute.
Tennessee led by nine points with 3:53 remaining in regulation, but it was outscored 12-3 in the closing minutes. That stretch included a sequence where Macon hit a 3-pointer, Barford stole the inbounds pass and Gafford immediately scored to close within 70-67.
“I didn’t think we handled the ball as well as I know we’re capable of in the backcourt,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “We felt any time we got into the halfcourt, we could get whatever we wanted.”
The Vols nearly recovered from a 12-point overtime deficit when they cut Arkansas’ lead to two in the closing seconds, but Macon hit 6 of 6 free throws in the extra period to help seal the comeback.