Following Friday night’s historic upset which saw No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson upset No. 1 Purdue, the madness continued on the first day of the second round.
Another No. 1 seed was sent packing on Saturday after No. 8 Arkansas stunned top seed and defending national champion Kansas 72-71 in Des Moines, Iowa.
It is only the third time that multiple No.1 seeds have failed to reach the Sweet 16 since the NCAA expanded the tournament field in 1985, according to ESPN.
Down 35-27 at the half, the Razorbacks came racing back and took the lead thanks to a Kamani Johnson layup with just under a minute to play. Kansas leveled just 12 seconds later thanks to two Jalen Wilson free throws to set up a grandstand finale.
But five free throws from Ricky Council IV put the game just beyond Kansas’ reach and Arkansas held on to advance to the school’s third consecutive Sweet 16 appearance.
Davonte Davis poured in a game-high 25 points for the Razorbacks, leading their second-half comeback, while Council added another 21.
“It’s amazing seeing all the fans come out,” Davis said afterwards. “My mom wasn’t even going to come and I told her, I said, come on down. She drove down. It was like seven hours. She came down, glad she got to experience this.”
In the chaotic celebrations after the buzzer, Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman removed his shirt and pumped up the Razorback fans in attendance at the Wells Fargo Arena.
“That’s such an unbelievable win for our program,” Musselman told the CBS broadcast. “I keep telling people that we are getting better. Not many teams can get better this time of year. I’ve never been prouder of a team like tonight.”
The Jayhawks were without their head coach Bill Self who missed both his team’s games at March Madness as he recovers from what the school calls a “recent health issue.”
The Razorbacks will play the winner of Connecticut and St. Marys on March 23 in Las Vegas.