Arkansas faces history test in Butler — March Madness

Razorbacks get their name called to the big dance

The Arkansas Razorbacks Men's Basketball team geared up for their debut in the 2018 NCAA March Madness Tournament but fell short. I just didn't think he finished well around the basket.

Barford sounded philosophical after the game.

"I wasn't focused", Gafford said. "We are looking forward to it". "It doesn't matter to me how we do it".

Butler (21-13) will face Purdue (29-6) Sunday (time TBA).

Four players are averaging at least 9.4 points per game for Butler, they are Kelan Martin (20.8), Kamar Baldwin (15.5), Paul Jorgensen (10.5) and Tyler Wideman (9.4). Butler was able to withstand both runs from Arkansas, which is not surprising given the nature of that program, and it's a good sign as we move into the second round.

The Bulldogs raced to a 21-2 lead in the opening minutes, and although Arkansas wiped out that entire deficit before halftime, Butler took control again early in the second. That was a full 10 rebounds under the Arkansas average.

Against Kentucky last month, Arkansas was up 11 points in the first half, yet down 17 in the second.

"We had three straight stops and didn't capitalize on them", Thompson said.

"I got a taste of it this year, so I'll be back next year", Hall said.

It was easier for the Bulldogs to "keep a poise" when they were defending the 3-point line so well. "I thought our guys responded".

"I'm going to tell them to just go out there and play our game", he said. "I think we're well-prepared for the tournament", Barford said. "'They are used to playing in the tournament". Arkansas was just shooting 1-of-11 from the field at that point. By the time the Razorbacks connected from beyond the arc, the Bulldogs had already made four threes of their own.

Razorbacks get their name called to the big dance

Butler is also well-known for historic Hinkle Fieldhouse (9,100 cap.), but this one will be played in Little Caesar's Arena (20,491 cap.) in Detroit. 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. He is effective inside and out (37.0 percent from 3-point range) and is a great free throw shooter (85.8 percent).

"We got pounded on the boards, " Anderson said. "I was one of the older guys on the team, and I had to be mature about the situation". That's the bright lights, big stage, so we shouldn't be shy going up to Detroit for that match-up.

Anderson is 6-3 in openers, including 2-1 with the Razorbacks.

"So these were the results of it". 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.

Anderson called two timeouts by the 13:39 mark of the half trying to slow down Butler's scoring barrage.

"Stats say they only turn the ball over 11 times a game, "Anderson said". Well, that's where we come in.

The Razorbacks heated up and the Bulldogs cooled off.

"It's helped him and helped him help others", Jordan said. You've got to try to speed them up, but they kind of want to be sped up.

On the season, Arkansas basketball averages 81.1 points, 34.8 rebounds and 14.5 assists per game. "We'll have to respond in the moment, but I believe that's a big part of the game".

Arkansas is 19-11 in NCAA openers.

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