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Razorbacks knock off Kansas, advance to Sweet 16

Arkansas eliminates defending national champions 72-71 in Des Moines to advance to third straight Sweet 16.

For the third straight season, Arkansas is headed to the Sweet Sixteen.

The Razorbacks defeated the No. 1 seed in their region, the Kansas Jayhawks 72-71, to advance to their third Sweet 16 under head coach Eric Musselman.

Devo Davis, the only Razorback part of all three Sweet 16 trips, led the way for the Razorbacks with 25 points, with 21 of those coming in the second half. 

Ricky Council IV was clutch from the free throw line, making 10-of-11 attempts to finish with 21 points.

The win over the Jayhawks marks the second straight season the Hogs have defeated a No. 1 seed after Arkansas defeated top-overall seed Gonzaga in last year's Sweet 16. 

It also marks just the second time in school history that Arkansas is headed to the Sweet 16 in three straight years, and the first time since 1996 (the Razorbacks made four consecutive Sweet 16s between 1993 and 1996).

Arkansas rolled with the same starting lineup against Illinois but was unable to recreate the fast start from Thursday.

Ricky Council IV hit a midrange jumper for the game's first basket before Kansas ripped off an 11-0 run capped by an alley-oop to KJ Adams.

Arkansas would eventually settle into the half and pull within three when a Jordan Walsh dunk made it a 22-19 ballgame.

The Hogs wouldn't get any closer before halftime though, as Arkansas trailed 35-27 at the break. Council IV led all Hogs with 10 points in the first half.

Kansas maintained its lead the entire half though thanks to efficient shooting from the field. The Jayhawks shot 50% from the field in the first half, making 14 of its 28 field goal attempts. Kansas also outscored Arkansas 22-14 in the paint, with Jalen Wilson leading the way with 9 first-half points for KU.

Arkansas scored the first two baskets of the second half to pull within four, but Kansas opened its biggest lead of the game shortly after when consecutive Dajuan Harris layups put KU up 46-34.

Devo Davis showed his fight though, scoring 10 straight points for the Hogs, and a stretch where he scored 12 of the team's 14 points to get Arkansas within 51-45. 

The Arkansas rally continued, as the Hogs put together an 18-5 capped by a Jordan Walsh three to put the Razorbacks back in front 52-51. 

That marked Arkansas' first lead since the 2-0 advantage in the first half.

After that point, the game turned into a heavyweight back-and-forth fight. 

Kansas' Kevin McCullar hit a huge three from the left wing to put the Jayhawks back in front 64-61 with 3:48 left.

The Hogs' pulled back within one but took a big hit when Davis fouled out with 1:56 left. Davis exited with a game-high 25 points, 21 points coming in the second half.

Council IV, the Hogs' second-leading scorer on the night, stepped up with Davis on the bench.

He hit a turnaround jumper to tie the game 65-65 with 1:43 left in the contest.

Then in the final minute, Council IV came up big again. Tied at 67 in the final minute, the junior guard earned a pair of free throws, while getting McCullar to pick up his fifth and final foul.

Council IV hit the first free throw, missed the second, but hauled in the offensive board off the miss and drew another trip to the line. He hit both attempts to give Arkansas a 70-67 lead with 20 seconds left.

Wilson hit two free throws down at the other end to bring the Jayhawks within one.

Council IV then went back to the line with 7.1 seconds left, and hit both free throws to put Arkansas up 72-69.

Anthony Black fouled Wilson on the ensuing possession with three seconds left. Wilson made both, but Arkansas ran out the clock after to secure the victory. 

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