Arkansas faces history test in Butler — March Madness

Martin, Baldwin lead Butler past Arkansas

The Bulldogs ended Arkansas' run before it could get started as Butler knocked the Razorbacks out of the NCAA Tournament with a 79-62 victory Friday in the first round of the East Regional at Little Caesars Arena before an announced crowd of 20,163.

Butler (21-13) will face No. 2-seeded Purdue (29-6) on Sunday in the second round.

This is the 16th NCAA Tournament appearance for Butler (20-13, 9-9 Big East), which is most well-known for their back-to-back NCAA Championship Game appearances in 2010 and 2011 under former coach Brad Stevens.

Prior to Friday's game, the Bulldogs beat the Razorbacks 37-21 on January 2, 1931 in Indianapolis in the teams' only other meeting. Kamar Baldwin and Kelan Martin led the charge, as Martin had 27 points and nine rebounds, while Baldwin had 24 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. The only other Bulldog in double figures was Sean McDermott, who hit three of his five three-point attempts for a total of 11 points to go with seven rebounds.

The Razorbacks started 11-2 this season, with wins over tournament qualifiers Bucknell, Oklahoma and Tennessee, the losses coming against North Carolina and Houston.

So with its at-large bid, Butler is at the Big Dance for the fourth straight season.

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Arkansas is the no. 7 seed, while the Butler Bulldogs are 1.5 point favorites as the no. 12 seed according to Las Vegas.

Arkansas struggled from the field in shooting just 35.7 percent, including going just 4 of 22 from 3-point range.

"But I thought he played with his heart".

After the timeout it took the Bulldogs three seconds to score - a Baldwin three. Both of the Razorbacks dunks were by Darious Hall. "We've got to be prepared for them".

Arkansas is the favored seventh-seed with the veteran coach and Butler the 10th-seed with a young first-year coach, LaVall Jordan. "I think it's going to be fun, and we're ready to play". We had some absolutely insane games, like Loyola-Chicago knocking down what was basically a buzzer-beater to defeat Miami, Rhode Island and Oklahoma playing a barnburner that the Rams won in overtime, and Rob Gray was out of his mind in Houston's win over San Diego State.

Anderson is 6-3 in openers, including 2-1 with the Razorbacks. We just made them take tough 2s and limited their touches.

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"We're just going to go out there and play our brand on basketball", Macon said. "If there was a game ball, it goes to those guys for getting us back in".

That could have been a huge emotional swing, but the Bulldogs kept their cool. CJ Jones would give Arkansas their first lead of the game with a 3 pointer with 3:50 to play.

"That was a heavy discussion point throughout the week", Jordan said. I thought guys did a good job chasing them.

This will obviously have major implications on this second round matchup but Butler will still have its hands full with Purdue. They found a way to get it done and that's all that matters in the end.

The Big East has six teams in the NCAA field.

But believe it or not, the defense won this game for Butler, holding Arkansas' two all-conference guards for a combined 27 points.

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