Hogs stun Kansas, dance into Candy 16

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Kansas’ nationwide title protection ended within the second spherical of the NCAA Match on Saturday when Arkansas’ Ricky Council IV made 5 free throws within the closing seconds and the eighth-seeded Razorbacks beat the No. 1 seed Jayhawks 72-71.

Davonte Davis scored 25 factors and Council added 21 as Arkansas rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit. Kansas, taking part in with out ailing coach Invoice Self, turned the second high seed to not escape the match’s first weekend after Purdue misplaced on Friday evening to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson.

Arkansas (22-13) and coach Eric Musselman return to the Candy 16 for the third straight 12 months. The Razorbacks will play both Saint Mary’s or UConn within the West Area semifinals in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Musselman and his gamers rushed to a gaggle of followers sitting courtside after the ultimate buzzer. The 58-year-old coach ripped his polo shirt off, waved it over his head and shouted with pleasure.

“That’s such an unbelievable win for our program,” Musselman mentioned. “I maintain telling folks that we’re getting higher. Not many groups can get higher this time of 12 months. I’ve by no means been prouder of a crew like tonight.”

Self has been with the Jayhawks (28-8) since they arrived in Des Moines and has attended practices and conferences, however he nonetheless did not really feel properly sufficient to educate a sport after having a coronary heart process March 8 to clear clogged arteries.

Longtime assistant Norm Roberts was performing coach for a fifth straight sport in Self’s absence.

Kansas, bidding to develop into the primary repeat nationwide champion since Florida in 2006-07, was forward 35-27 at halftime and misplaced for the primary time in 27 video games when coming into the second half with a lead. Kansas had been 47-0 within the NCAA Match when main by eight factors or extra on the half.

Davis scored 21 of his factors within the second half. He fouled out with 1:56 left, turning issues over to the veteran Council, a switch from Wichita State who scored 9 of the Razorbacks’ ultimate 11 factors.

“This crew was struggling and we figured it out,” Davis mentioned. “I’m glad we did on the proper time. Hopefully we proceed to do it.”

Outdoors the locker room a couple of minutes later, a sobbing Musselman hugged Davis and shouted, “I (expletive) love you, man!”

Council’s free throw put Arkansas forward to remain, 68-67, with 24 seconds left. He then rebounded his personal miss of the second free throw and made two extra to present the Razorbacks a three-point lead.

The groups traded free throws, and Arkansas despatched Kansas’ Jalen Wilson to the road with 3 seconds left to forestall a possible tying 3-pointer. Wilson made the primary free throw and appeared to attempt to miss the second deliberately, however it banked arduous off the glass and in, and Kansas by no means regained possession.

Wilson led the Jayhawks with 20 factors.

Arkansas was taking part in a No. 1 seed for the third straight 12 months. Final 12 months, the Razorbacks knocked out Gonzaga on the best way to their second straight Elite Eight.

Arkansas, which beat Illinois within the first spherical, was thought of a scary matchup for the Jayhawks with its explosive transition sport and skill to play lockdown protection.

However circumstances had been lower than superb for the Razorbacks. Guard Anthony Black tweaked a nagging ankle harm early and went to the bench to get re-taped and alter footwear, and fellow guard and projected excessive NBA first-round draft choose Nick Smith Jr. picked up two fast fouls and was restricted to 10 minutes and no factors within the first half. Additionally, massive man Kamani Johnson was sick and performed with a sore toe.

The Razorbacks had been too wanting to shoot 3-pointers early. They missed 8 of 9 within the first half and couldn’t get their working sport going.

Kansas regarded in full management early. The Jayhawks received their followers out of their seats with a collection of electrical performs that included Gradey Dick’s fast-break dunk off Dajuan Harris’ steal, Wilson’s contested inside basket on an and-one and his primal scream directed at Arkansas followers, and Joseph Yesufu’s high-arcing 3 from the emblem to beat the shot clock.

Davis began a game-turning 11-0 Arkansas run in the midst of the second half and Jordan Walsh’s 3-pointer with eight minutes left gave the Razorbacks their first lead since their first basket of the sport. Davis rushed over, chest-bumped Walsh and raised his arms to ask Arkansas followers for extra noise.

Arkansas neutralized Wilson when it mattered most, permitting the All-American solely two photographs over a 15-minute stretch of the second half.

Arkansas is within the Candy 16 for the 14th time. The one lower-seeded Razorbacks crew to succeed in a regional semifinal was the 1996 squad, which was a No. 12.

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