Adam TeicherESPN staff writerRead for 1 minute
DES MOINES, Iowa – Kansas’ biggest fears about the Jayhawks’ second-round NCAA tournament game against Arkansas came true. As a result, the Jayhawks are no longer there to defend last year’s title.
Kansas, the top seed in the West, fell to the Razorbacks 72-71. Arkansas, the region’s eighth seed, advances to the Sweet 16. Kansas becomes the second No. 1 seed in this year’s tournament to fall, after Purdue.
Since the NCAA expanded the tournament field in 1985, only three times multiple No. 1 seeds have failed to reach the Sweet 16 before this year: 2000, 2004, and 2018.
The Jayhawks became concerned about the height, depth and athleticism of the Razorbacks heading into the game. Sure enough, Arkansas staged a furious rally in the second half after trailing by a whopping 12 points.
Arkansas guard Davonte Davis put on a spectacular show in the second half. With Arkansas’ two top regular season scorers, Ricky Council IV and Nick Smith Jr., struggling, Davis carried his team. He was 7-of-9 shooting and 6-of-7 from the free throw line for 21 points in the second half.
Davis fell out with 1:56 left and the Razorbacks trailing 64-63. The council took over from there. He made a stepback jumper and five throws to send the Jayhawks home.