Darious Hall provides hope for Arkansas' future in disappointing NCAA Tournament loss

Posted March 19, 2018

Defensively, Arkansas yields 75.5 points per game against the opposing teams.

Tenth seed Butler and No. 7 Arkansas find themselves in the same region of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season, only this time with much different seeds.

It was the first NCAA Tournament win for first-year Butler coach LaVall Jordan, who in 2001, as a starting point guard, helped lead Butler to its first NCAA Tournament win in 39 years when it beat Wake Forest by nearly exactly the same final score as it did Friday. "But they've been pretty good".

But the Bulldogs are geared to withstand pressure. The Hogs mounted a comeback in the first half, even take their first lead of the game at the 3:50 mark, but the Butler quickly took back the lead that they never relinquished. He had three starters back — Martin, undersized center Tyler Wideman and sophomore Kamar Baldwin, who was playing point guard for the first time in his career. The Bulldogs are taking a sizable lean on the spread for this game so far. So they are in Arkansas' ballpark, 374 miscues vs. 492 opponents' miscues in 34 games. But, ultimately, it wasn't enough, as coach Mike Anderson's crew was upset by the No. 10-seed Bulldogs 79-62.

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The 11th-seeded Bonnies (26-7) will play sixth-seeded Florida (20-12) in Dallas on Thursday night in the East Region. If Nova reaches the Final Four, it will set a Division record for wins in a four-year span (Gonzaga also could).

The Butler Bulldogs are once again in the NCAA Tournament.

Senior guards Jaylen Barford (18.0 points) and Daryl Macon (16.9) are Razorbacks' top two scorers.

"We got up big and I didn't expect to beat them by 20", Jordan said. They like to run. "They got a big shot blocker in the middle". The team lost to Tennessee in the semifinals of the SEC tournament. "I thought they were the more physical team - and it showed in rebounding the basketball". Guys that can handle the ball inside and outside.

As the Razorbacks came off the floor they seemed stunned and deeply disappointed. "They are a skilled team". "It took all of us out there to shrink the court, and that's what we did". "He's a left-handed kid". A couple of guys have 100-plus assists. "The Jorgensen kid, he's got that 30-foot range of shooting the basketball and he plays really hard". The 6-foot-11 Gafford is a two-way star, shooting almost 62 percent from the field on offense and averaging more than two blocks on defense. Our defense is going to have to be at an all-time high. We've got to worry about Arkansas. They shot 80 percent in conference play. "It always fun to start off a game like that, and we just tried to keep it going throughout the game".

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The victor of this one will play the victor of the Purdue-Cal State Fullerton game.

Martin averaged 15 points and 6.3 rebounds in the Bulldog's run to the Sweet 16 last season as a No. 4 seed, which ended with a loss to the Tar Heels, and all told he has played in seven tournament games.

One plus for Arkansas.

Butler will advance to the second round to take on No. 2 Purdue, who picked up a 27-point opening round victory over Cal State Fullerton.

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Now the Isaac Haas-less Purdue is the next matchup for the Bulldogs. Another Butler dunk - this one by Baldwin - made it 18-2, and after a 3-pointer by Martin, the Razorbacks used their second timeout of the half.