NCAAB: Davonte Davis, No. 8 Arkansas oust top-seeded Kansas
DES MOINES, Iowa — Ricky Council IV and Davonte Davis combined for 46 points and No. 8 seed Arkansas advanced to its third consecutive Sweet 16 with a 72-71 upset of No. 1 seed Kansas on Saturday.
Davis had 21 second-half points and a game high 25, while Council made 10 of 11 free throws and scored 21 with six rebounds and four assists.
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“I’ve been coaching a long time — that’s as great of a win as I’ve ever been a part of,” Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. “Again, because of the history of Kansas, because of some of the their veteran players that were part of a championship team last year. A lot of people didn’t think we were going to win our first-round game.”
Arkansas (22-13) made 21 of 26 free throws and outscored Kansas 15-2 on second-chance points.
Council sealed Arkansas’ upset at the foul line, including the deciding pair with seven seconds left to oust the West Region No. 1 seed.
After making the first of two free throws, Council got his own miss on the second, attacked off the dribble and was sent back to the line where he drilled both to push Arkansas to a 70-67 lead with 20 seconds left. Jalen Wilson was fouled, the fifth for Arkansas freshman Jordan Walsh, and he made both free throws with eight seconds to go.
Wilson tied the game at 67 with two free throws. He led the Jayhawks (28-8) with 20 points and made 9 of 11 free-throws attempts.
“They had a great energy, Arkansas, and they played to their strengths a lot,” Wilson said as the Jayhawks were without coach Bill Self for the fifth consecutive game. “And I didn’t do a good job on the glass. That let them get some second-chance points, and especially it was magnified at the end of game with the (missed) free throw. It always comes down to one play, especially hustle plays like that. It’s just disappointing to end like that, especially with how great our year was, credit to them for how they played.”
Arkansas heads to Las Vegas for the West Region semifinal against either Saint Mary’s or UConn.
Davis delivered his season high with 25 points and eight rebounds before fouling out with 1:56 on the clock. Arkansas regained possession trailing 65-63, and Council made a turnaround jumper to knot the game at 65 with 1:43 to go.
KJ Adams Jr. converted a three-point play to nudge Kansas ahead 61-57. Later, Dajuan Harris Jr. was called for a 10-second violation walking the ball up the floor and Arkansas responded with a Council jumper and then tied it at 61 with Davis’ left-hander off the glass from the right side.
Arkansas limited turnovers and Davis caught fire in the second half with a run of six consecutive made attempts.
Davis made a one-handed lefty runner in the lane to trim the KU lead to 51-45, then forced a Wilson turnover — officially scored as a missed shot — as the flailing forward launched the ball over the backboard. Razorbacks reserve Makhi Mitchell, found cutting down the lane, scored off the glass and erased Kansas’ next possession with steal at midcourt. Davis was then fouled at the rim and made both, bringing the deficit to 51-49.
Before a Kansas timeout with 8:51 remaining, Walsh splashed a trey from the right wing for the Razorbacks’ first lead, 52-51, since jumping ahead 2-0.
Kansas led 35-27 at halftime, including the final 3:07 without point guard Harris, who came back in the second half and finished with 12 points and five assists.
–Field Level Media
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