More unexpected outcomes have occurred in this year’s March Madness than in any previous tournament in recent memory. For only the second time in tournament history, a 16-seed defeated a 1-seed. Recently, a 15-seed from New Jersey upset a 2-seed from one of the Power 5 conferences.
With its victory over the No. 7 seed in its region, that school now has two victims to its name in the competition. It’s the second 1-seed to go down on the first day of the round of 32.
Kansas’s second round of the tournament was today against the No. 8 seed, Arkansas. On Thursday, Kansas dominated Howard, while Arkansas defeated Illinois, the ninth seed, in a game they led for the vast majority of.
Several experts predicted a Kansas victory in this 1versus8 battle, and the Jayhawks were actually a slight favorite.
The outcome of the game was unexpected. Kansas did their job in the first half, building a 9-point lead thanks to a balanced offensive effort from their starters.
In the second half, Arkansas staged a comeback and eventually won the game with under nine minutes remaining. From then, the teams battled back and forth until the Razorbacks gained a lead they wouldn’t give up with 24 seconds left.
Arkansas’ head coach ripped his shirt off in celebration after a heartfelt victory.
Thus far in his tenure with the Razorbacks, Coach Eric Musselman has taken them to the Sweet 16 in every season in which a tournament has been held. It’s also the fourth time in the previous five years that he’s reached that point in the NCAA Tournament.
With this win, Musselman and Arkansas will face off against the victor of UCONN and St. Mary’s for a spot in the Final 8.