In an unexpected turn of events, the Arkansas Razorbacks eliminated the defending national champion Kansas Jayhawks from the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball March Madness Tournament. It was a difficult feat, but the Razorbacks achieved the feat with a hard-fought 73-72 victory.
The Razorbacks entered the court on Sunday night in Indianapolis with a clear mission: to oust the Jayhawks. Kansas was the champion of the 2020 tournament, but the Razorbacks were determined to deny them a repeat.
Arkansas maintained a lead throughout the first half, but Kansas cut the deficit to one point by the end of the period. In the second half, both teams took turns leading, with the Razorbacks taking the lead for good on a three-point shot by guard Jalen Tate with 39.2 seconds remaining.
Tate finished with a game-high 20 points, while guard Moses Moody scored 17 points and forward Justin Smith added 15. Kansas was led by guard Ochai Agbaji’s 19 points, while forward David McCormack scored 15 points.
The Razorbacks advanced to the Sweet 16, where they will face Oral Roberts. It will be a difficult challenge for Arkansas, as Oral Roberts is one of the most technically proficient teams in the tournament.
The loss ends Kansas’ streak of 14 consecutive Sweet 16 appearances. It marks the first time since 2006 that the Jayhawks have not made it to the Sweet 16.
The result of the game was a shock to many, but the Razorbacks showed the grit and determination necessary to deny the defending champions a repeat title. It was a difficult task, but the Razorbacks pulled it off with a hard-fought victory.