Baylor beats Arkansas 81-72 for first Final Four in 71 years
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)INDIANAPOLIS – Baylor had been on the cusp of the Final Four twice before under coach Scott Drew, falling to the eventual champion both times. Baylor is headed there for the first time in 71 years, getting 22 points from MaCio Teague and a dominating defensive performance from Davion Mitchell to beat Arkansas 81-72 on Monday night. The top-seeded Bears (26-2) appeared to be barreling toward ending their Final Four drought with a dominating start. That left the Bears short of the Final Four dating back to when the bracket was only eight teams. He gave Arkansas all kinds of trouble on the pick-and-roll in the second half, finishing with 12 points and six assists.
Davis' jumper gives Arkansas 72-70 win over Oral Roberts
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)INDIANAPOLIS – Davonte Davis hit a short jumper with 2.9 seconds left, and Arkansas advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in 26 years with a 72-70 win over Oral Roberts in the South Region semifinals Saturday night. 15 seed to reach the Elite Eight, Oral Roberts stumbled with a series of turnovers and missed shots. Oral Roberts knew it had a chance to top it against the Razorbacks after playing them earlier in the season. Oral Roberts led by 10 at halftime in Fayetteville on Dec. 20 before Arkansas bullied the Golden Eagles in the second half for an 87-76 win. Arkansas chipped the lead down to four midway through and finally caught, then passed, the Golden Eagles into the Elite Eight.
Smith, Arkansas hold off Texas Tech 68-66 in NCAA 2nd round
Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 20 points for Texas Tech (18-11), which struggled with its shot for a long stretch only to regain its touch right as Arkansas seemed poised to pull away. The Red Raiders climbed back with an 11-0 run, which included Chibuzo Agbo banking in a straightaway 3-pointer to bring Texas Tech within 58-57 with 5:30 left. AdThe Red Raiders — finalists in the 2019 tournament — also had two late chances to take the lead in the final 2 minutes. “Obviously kind of a classic NCAA Tournament game,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. Smith had 29 points in that one, then came through again by making 9 of 11 shots with six rebounds against the defensive-minded Red Raiders.
Arkansas shuts down Colgate 85-68 in NCAA opener
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)INDIANAPOLIS – The night before his team's NCAA Tournament opener, Arkansas coach Eric Musselman sat in a hotel room and talked with his son about using full-court pressure against Colgate. Call it “24 Minutes of Hell.”Justin Smith had 29 points and 13 rebounds, and Arkansas shut down high-scoring Colgate to open the NCAA Tournament with an 85-68 win on Friday. Arkansas seemed to have met its revved-up match against Colgate, the small liberal arts school from central New York. Colgate reached the NCAA Tournament in 2019 by picking up the scoring pace and are back again this year after scoring 86.3 points per game, second nationally. Arkansas' athleticism, particularly on defense, turned out to be too much for the Raiders to overcome.