Arkansas Coach Rips Off Shirt To Celebrate Victory Above Defending Champ Kansas

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Eric Musselman and his players rushed across the floor at the final buzzer to celebrate with their joyfully delirious friends from Arkansas.

The 58-yr-outdated coach jumped on to the push table, ripped off his crimson polo shirt and waved it more than his head, shouting all the though to the fans’ delight, as has come to be his custom just after the most important of his wins.

And this was a seriously large a person.

Kansas’ national title protection finished in the second spherical of the NCAA Event on Saturday when Arkansas’ Ricky Council IV designed 5 free of charge throws in the closing seconds and the eighth-seeded Razorbacks conquer the No. 1 seed Jayhawks 72-71.


Coach was hyped right after Arkansas upset No. 1 seed and defending countrywide winner

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“I would love to lie and say that I felt composed, but we only led for 1:43,” he mentioned. “This has been as challenging and as up-and-down a season as I have ever been a component of.

“For these men to be rewarded for sticking with it and being able to go to Las Vegas and take part with only 16 teams still standing. … It’s actually tricky to make this tournament. It is seriously challenging to get a sport in this event. It’s definitely tough to beat defending champions, No. 1 seed. We did it.”

Arkansas was taking part in a No. 1 seed for the third straight 12 months. Final yr, the Razorbacks knocked out Gonzaga on the way to their 2nd straight Elite 8. This time, the Razorbacks survived shaky offensive perform early and foul issues late. They became the to start with crew to conquer a No. 1 seed with three players fouling out, according to OptaSTATS.

“That’s this kind of an unbelievable gain for our program,” Musselman claimed. “I hold telling individuals that we’re finding greater. Not quite a few groups can get better this time of 12 months. I’ve in no way been prouder of a team like tonight.”

Davonte Davis scored 25 details and Council additional 21 as Arkansas rallied from a 12-issue 2nd-50 percent deficit. Kansas, enjoying with out ailing coach Monthly bill Self, turned the second major seed not to escape the tournament’s to start with weekend following Purdue missing on Friday night to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson.

Arkansas (22-13) is in the Sweet 16 for the third straight year and will enjoy both Saint Mary’s or UConn in the West Area semifinals in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Self has been with the Jayhawks (28-8) since they arrived in Des Moines and has attended techniques and conferences, but he continue to didn’t really feel very well adequate to coach a match soon after owning a heart technique March 8 to apparent clogged arteries.

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

Kansas, bidding to come to be the initially repeat nationwide champion due to the fact Florida in 2006-07, was forward 35-27 at halftime and missing for the initially time in 27 video games when moving into the 2nd half with a lead. Kansas experienced been 47- in the NCAA Event when primary by eight details or much more at the fifty percent.

“Our men have been wonderful all year,” Roberts explained. “They fought to the pretty close, made massive plays. It was challenging not acquiring Mentor here, but we don’t make any excuses. We have to line up and get it done, and we came up a tiny little bit small right now.”

Davis scored 21 of his points in the next fifty percent. He fouled out with 1:56 still left, turning items in excess of to the veteran Council, a transfer from Wichita Condition who scored 9 of the Razorbacks’ final 11 points.

“This crew was having difficulties and we figured it out,” Davis explained. “I’m happy we did at the suitable time. Ideally we go on to do it.”

Devo Davis’ 21-stage 2nd 50 percent explosion served Arkansas take down No. 1 seed Kansas to progress to the Sweet 16. Received where ever he wanted with his amazing energy and pace, finished through get hold of at the rim, showed some shot-producing means and was all in excess of the glass.

— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) March 19, 2023

Outside the locker room, a sobbing Musselman hugged Davis and shouted, “I (expletive) really like you, gentleman!”

Council’s absolutely free throw place Arkansas ahead to keep, 68-67, with 24 seconds still left. He then rebounded his possess skip of the 2nd free toss and produced two extra to give the Razorbacks a 3-point lead.

The teams traded free of charge throws, and Arkansas despatched Kansas’ Jalen Wilson to the line with 3 seconds left to reduce a likely tying 3-pointer. Wilson designed the 1st cost-free throw and appeared to attempt to miss out on the next deliberately, but it banked tough off the glass and in, and Kansas in no way regained possession.

Wilson led the Jayhawks with 20 details but lamented grabbing only 4 rebounds, which he explained was a element in Arkansas holding a 15-2 edge in second-possibility factors. No skipped rebound damage additional, he mentioned, than when Kansas unsuccessful to grab the ball off Council’s skipped no cost throw in the waning seconds.

“It often comes down to one particular perform, specially hustle plays like that,” Wilson mentioned. “It’s just disappointing to conclusion like that, primarily with how fantastic our 12 months was. Credit history to them for how they performed.”

Arkansas, which defeat Illinois in the initially spherical, was regarded as a scary matchup for the Jayhawks with its explosive changeover activity and means to enjoy lockdown protection.

But situation were being less than excellent for the Razorbacks. Guard Anthony Black tweaked a nagging ankle injuries early and went to the bench to get re-taped and adjust sneakers, and fellow guard and projected large NBA 1st-round draft select Nick Smith Jr. picked up two quick fouls and was limited to 10 minutes and no points in the 1st half. Also, big guy Kamani Johnson was ill and performed with a sore toe.

The Razorbacks had been as well eager to shoot 3-pointers early. They skipped 8 of 9 in the to start with 50 % and couldn’t get their operating game heading.

Kansas was in management for stretches but hardly ever could put away the Razorbacks.

Davis begun a activity-turning 11- Arkansas run in the center of the 2nd 50 percent and Jordan Walsh’s 3-pointer with eight minutes remaining gave the Razorbacks their very first lead considering that their initial basket of the recreation.

Arkansas neutralized Wilson when it mattered most, letting the All-American only two pictures above a 15-minute stretch of the 2nd 50 percent.

Arkansas is in the Sweet 16 for the 14th time. The only lower-seeded Razorbacks crew to attain a regional semifinal was the 1996 squad, which was a No. 12 beneath Nolan Richardson, who led the university to its only countrywide title two several years previously.

If Musselman reaches his to start with Closing 4, he will evoke additional memories of individuals glory decades.

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