Adam TeacherESPN staff writer1 minute to read
DES MOINES, Iowa — Kansas’ worst fears about the Jayhawks’ NCAA Tournament second-round matchup with Arkansas have come true. As a result, the Jayhawks are no longer around to defend last year’s title.
Kansas, the top seed in the West, fell to the Razorbacks 72-71. Arkansas, the eighth seed in the region, will move on to the Sweet 16. Kansas becomes the second top seed in this year’s tournament to go down, after Purdue.
Since the NCAA expanded its tournament field in 1985, only three times have they failed to reach the #1 seed in the Sweet 16 prior to this year: 2000, 2004, and 2018.
Kansas was without its head coach, Bill Self, for the game as he continues to recover from a heart procedure.
Heading into the game, the Jayhawks were concerned about the Razorbacks’ height, depth, and athleticism. Sure enough, Arkansas took a sharp rally lead in the second half after trailing by as much as 12 points.
Arkansas guard Davonte Davis had a great performance in the second half. With two of Arkansas’ leading scorers in the regular season, Ricky Council IV and Nick Smith Jr., struggling, Davis carried his team. He was 7-of-9 shooting and 6-of-7 from the free throw line for 21 points in the second half.
Davis fouled with 1:56 remaining and the Razorbacks won 64-63. He took the board from there. He made a jumping back and five throws to send the Jayhawks home.
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