INDIANAPOLIS — It was repeated ad nauseum before Monday night's Elite Eight showdown: Baylor is easily the best team Arkansas had faced this season. That much was obvious from the get-go.
The Bears raced to a 13-2 lead before Eric Musselman called a rare early timeout, hitting five of their first seven shots. Even when Arkansas finally found some rhythm on the offensive end, the Bears seemingly had an answer for everything. Baylor lead by 18 with 11 minutes still to go in the first half, and couldn't seem to miss.
Arkansas kept scoring, and Baylor began to regress to the mean slightly. A 9-32 Hogs run before the under four timeout cut things to six. When the dust settled at halftime, Baylor lead 46-38. Arkansas actually shot a better percentage in the first half, 62-56%, but turnovers gave Baylor more possessions, and more points.
The Hogs scored immediately to cut it back to six out of the break, but, much as in the first, Baylor had an answer, draining a three to go up 49-40.
The see-saw continued, with Arkansas pressing to get the lead down to four with 16 to play, only to give a three point play and go back down seven. A minute later, more of the same, and Arkansas once again trailed by double-digits.
With just under 14 to play, JD Notae was called for a charge, his fifth foul of the game, sending him to the bench. One possession later, Baylor intercepted a pass and took it he other way to cap a 9-0 run and go up 12.
The Hogs weren't done. Justin Smith scored, then came up with a huge block leading to a Moody bucket on the other end to cut the deficit to 8 at the under-12 timeout.
After the break, the hustle Hogs continued. Devo Davis hit a circus shot, then found Moddy in transition to cut the Baylor lead to 62-58. But it couldn't continue. Arkansas went over three minutes without scoring, then Teague hit a three with under five to play that felt like a dagger, pushing things to 69-60. A minute later, he did it again, and 72-61 was too much to overcome.