The Razorbacks Shock the Sporting World: Arkansas’s Historic Upset over Kansas
In what will go down as one of the greatest upsets in NCAA history, the Arkansas Razorbacks shocked the sporting world by eliminating defending national champions Kansas in the second round of the tournament, 72-71. Eric Musselman, the head coach of the Razorbacks, couldn’t contain his emotions following the win and ripped off his red polo shirt, waving it over his head as he celebrated with ecstatic fans.
This was no ordinary win. The Razorbacks fought back from a 12-point deficit in the second half, with Davonte Davis scoring 25 points and Ricky Council adding 21. Kansas, playing without their ailing head coach Bill Self, lost their lead for the first time in 27 games when entering the second half with a lead – a statistic that showcases just how dominant the Jayhawks have been in recent years.
For Arkansas, this marks the third consecutive year they have reached the Sweet 16. Last season, they knocked out Gonzaga before losing to eventual champions Baylor in the Elite Eight. However, this victory might just top those achievements in terms of magnitude as the Razorbacks became the first team to beat a No. 1 seed with three players fouling out.
The win was a culmination of a season that had been filled with ups and downs, according to Musselman. Speaking after the game, he said, “This has been as challenging and as up-and-down a season as I’ve ever been a part of. For these guys to be rewarded for sticking with it and being able to go to Las Vegas and participate with only 16 teams still standing … it’s really hard to make this tournament. It’s really hard to win a game in this tournament. It’s really hard to beat defending champions, No. 1 seed. We did it.”
Arkansas now faces either Saint Mary’s or UConn in the West Region semifinals in Las Vegas on Thursday. With their impressive transition game and ability to play lockdown defense, they will surely be a scary matchup for whoever they face.
For Kansas, it’s back to the drawing board. The Jayhawks were bidding to become the first repeat national champion since Florida in 2006-07, but it wasn’t to be. With Self absent, the team fought to the very end, offering no excuses for the loss. “Our guys have been terrific all year,” said Norm Roberts, the acting coach in Self’s absence. “It was tough not having Coach here, but we don’t make any excuses. We have to line up and get it done, and we came up a little bit short today.”
As for Arkansas, they will be buoyed by their historic win, and they will relish the chance to upset more highly-ranked opponents. Musselman will certainly be hoping that this is just the start of a deep run at the tournament, with memories of the Razorbacks’ glory years and their only national title in 1994-95 fueling their determination to reach the pinnacle of college basketball once more.#Arkansas #Coach #Rips #Shirt #Celebrate #Victory #Defending #Champ #Kansas