More chaos at March Madness! No. 1-ranked Kansas FALLS against eighth-seeded Arkansas in a stunning 72-71…and become the second-best team to fall within 24 hours as the Razorbacks advance to the Sweet 16
The second seed in the country fell within a 24-hour period when Kansas was upset by Arkansas 72-71 on Saturday night.
Four Jayhawks players had double figures, led by Jalen Wilson’s 16 points and four rebounds.
Davonte Davis led the way for the University of Arkansas with 25 points, seven rebounds and one assist.
Kansas’ loss continues the drought of back-to-back NCAA champions, with the University of Florida Gators the last team to accomplish the feat in 2006 and 2007.
No. 8 seed Arkansas upset No. 1 seed Kansas to reach the Sweet 16 of March Madness
Davonte Davis led the way for the Arkansas Razorbacks with 25 points and seven rebounds.
Kansas, playing without coach Bill Self, became the second top seed not to escape the opening weekend of the tournament after Purdue lost Friday night to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson.
Self has spent the last few days recovering from a procedure after complaining of chest tightness.
He missed a few of the team’s games in the Big 12 Tournament and their first round game of the Big Dance against Howard.
Arkansas (22-13) and coach Eric Musselman return to the Sweet 16 for the third straight year. The Razorbacks will play Saint Mary’s or UConn in the West Region semifinals in Las Vegas on Thursday.
Musselman and his players ran to a group of fans seated fieldside after the final buzzer. The 58-year-old coach tore off his polo shirt, waved it over his head and whooped with joy.
Self has been with the Jayhawks (28-8) since they arrived in Des Moines and has attended practices and meetings but still doesn’t feel well enough to coach for a game after undergoing a heart procedure March 8 to clear clogged arteries
Veteran assistant Norm Roberts was interim coach for the fifth straight game in Self’s absence.
Davis scored 21 of his points in the second half. He fouled out with 1:56 left, handing things over to veteran Consejo, a transfer from Wichita State who scored nine of the Razorbacks’ last 11 points.
Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman removed his jersey to celebrate his team’s advancement.
Council’s free throw put Arkansas ahead to stay, 68-67, with 24 seconds remaining. He then recovered his own second free throw error and hit two more to give the Razorbacks a three-point lead.
The teams traded free throws, and Arkansas sent Kansas’ Jalen Wilson to the line with 3 seconds remaining to prevent a potential tying 3-pointer. Wilson hit the first free throw and appeared to intentionally try to miss the second, but he hit the glass hard and went in, and Kansas never regained possession.
Wilson led the Jayhawks with 20 points.
Arkansas was playing a No. 1 seed for the third year in a row. Last year, the Razorbacks knocked out Gonzaga en route to their second straight Elite Eight.
Arkansas, who beat Illinois in the first round, was considered a scary matchup for the Jayhawks with their explosive transition game and ability to play defense.
Joy for Razorbacks means heartbreak for Jayhawk as Arkansas stays alive and kicking
But the circumstances were less than ideal for the Razorbacks. Guard Anthony Black nipped a nagging ankle injury early and went to the bench to re-wrap and change shoes.
Fellow guard and first-round NBA draft pick Nick Smith Jr. made two quick fouls and was limited to 10 minutes and no points in the first half. Also, big man Kamani Johnson was ill and was playing with a sore toe.
The Razorbacks were too eager to hit 3-pointers early. They missed 8 of 9 in the first half and couldn’t get their running game going.
Kansas seemed to be in complete control from the start. The Jayhawks roused their fans out of their seats with a series of electric plays that included Gradey Dick’s dunk on Dajuan Harris’ fast-break steal, Wilson’s contested inside basket on a one-and-one, and his primal yell directed at the Jayhawks fans. Arkansas, and Joseph Yesufu’s triple top from the logo to beat the shot clock.