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
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. “We gave him a pass option, we gave him a dribble option,” Oral Roberts coach Paul Mills said. 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.
The Latest: Appleby cleared to play for Florida
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)The Latest on the second round of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern):___7:45 p.m.Florida guard Tyree Appleby has been cleared to play and was in the starting lineup for No. 1 seed in the second round for a third time, joining the 2000 team against Arizona and the 2017 squad against Villanova. Sister Jean Delores Schmidt gave an inspirational pregame prayer to her Loyola Chicago team before the eighth-seeded Ramblers met top-seeded Illinois in Sunday’s second round. UCLA and Abilene Christian face off Monday, assuring that at least one double-digit seed will reach the Sweet 16. This is the first time four teams seeded 13th or worse made it to the second round.
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.
LSU upsets No. 8 Arkansas 78-71 to reach SEC tourney final
6 Alabama, a 73-68 winner over Tennessee in the other semifinal, on Sunday looking to improve their NCAA Tournament seeding even more by knocking off the SEC's regular-season champ. AdArkansas (22-6) snapped a 12-game SEC winning streak that tied the program record set by the 1993-94 team that also ended in the SEC Tournament in the semifinals. LSU took advantage after Arkansas guard Davonte Davis made a pair of free throws with 11:42 left tying it up at 52. The Tigers LSU reeled off 12 straight points to take the lead for good, and Gaines capped the spurt with a layup with 7:25 left. UP NEXTArkansas learns its NCAA Tournament seed and opening opponent Sunday.