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Arkansas upsets No. 1 Kansas in tourney thriller


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DES MOINES, Iowa — Kansas’ worst fears concerning the Jayhawks’ second-round NCAA match matchup with Arkansas got here true. Consequently, the Jayhawks are now not round to defend final yr’s title.

Kansas, the highest seed within the West, fell to the Razorbacks 72-71. Arkansas, the area’s eighth seed, will transfer on to the Candy 16. Kansas turns into the second No. 1 seed on this yr’s match to fall, following Purdue.

For the reason that NCAA expanded the match discipline in 1985, solely 3 times have a number of No. 1 seeds failed to achieve the Candy 16 earlier than this yr: 2000, 2004 and 2018.

The Razorbacks eradicated a No. 1 seed from the match for the second straight season, having performed so towards Gonzaga final yr. This time, coach Eric Musselman was so moved by the accomplishment that he jumped up on a courtside desk at Wells Fargo Area, eliminated his shirt and led Arkansas followers in a “Pig Sooie” cheer.

“I have been teaching a very long time and that is as nice of a win as I’ve ever been part of due to the historical past of Kansas,” Musselman stated. “Lots of people did not assume we had been going to win our first-round recreation.”

As candy because the victory was for Musselman and the Razorbacks, the defeat was that bitter for the Jayhawks. They had been hoping to be the primary back-to-back champions since Florida in 2006 and 2007. The Jayhawks had been with out head coach Invoice Self on Saturday as he continues to get well from a coronary heart process.

Going into the sport, Kansas was involved concerning the size, depth and athletic capacity of the Razorbacks, and certainly these Arkansas qualities turned out to be an issue for Kansas. Arkansas outrebounded Kansas 36-29 and outscored the Jayhawks in second-chance factors 15-2.

Arkansas smothered one among Kansas’ prime long-range shooters, Gradey Dick, who was simply 1-of-3 from 3 and had seven factors.

“We simply needed to present no airspace clearly to No. 4, Gradey Dick,” Musselman stated. “He is an unimaginable shooter, among the best shooters in faculty basketball.

“We did not need Gradey to see any daylight. We felt like if we may maintain him to 4 or 5 3-ball makes an attempt they’d play to our benefit.”

On Friday, Roberts in contrast the Razorbacks to Texas when it comes to their bodily qualities. The Longhorns beat the Jayhawks twice in latest weeks, each instances by double digits.

“They’ve some lengthy athletes that made it robust on [Dick] to get pictures,” stated Norm Roberts, who crammed in for Self throughout Kansas’ two match video games. “I do not assume we screened in addition to we needed to for him, possibly we may have ran just a few extra issues for him, however they did nullify him slightly bit. I assumed we shared the ball fairly good and we had loads of steadiness, however they did do a very good job of stopping him from getting open appears.”

Arkansas put up a livid second-half rally after trailing by as many as 12 factors as Razorbacks guard Davonte Davis placed on a spectacular second-half present. With Arkansas’ two main scorers within the common season, Ricky Council IV and Nick Smith Jr., struggling, Davis carried his group. He was 7-of-9 capturing with most of the pictures contested and 6-of-7 from the free throw line for 21 factors within the second half.

“Coach Mus stated to get downhill,” Davis stated. “I really feel like all of us did one thing to assist us win.”

Davis fouled out with 1:56 remaining and the Razorbacks down 64-63. Council took over from there. He made a stepback jumper and 5 free throws to ship the Jayhawks dwelling.

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