Having won late night SEC Tournament games against SC and Florida Thursday and Friday in St. Louis before Saturday afternoon's loss to Tennessee, the Razorbacks just met as a team upon Sunday night's NCAA Tournament selection.
Butler (21-13) will face Purdue (29-6) Sunday (time TBA). He was 0 of 3 from the field as Butler took a 36-31 lead, and the Bulldogs stayed ahead the rest of the game.
Butler senior forward Kelan Martin had a great day for the Bulldogs.
But starting guard Kamar Baldwin and sixth-man guard Paul Jorgensen not only prolific scorers, too, averaging 15.5 and 10.5 points but joining freshman starting guard Aaron Thompson as adept ball-handlers. He almost posted a triple-double, finishing with 21 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high seven blocks in just 27 minutes.
He carved out a crucial role on a 23-12 team led by five key seniors.
It was the fewest made three-pointers by the Razorbacks this season - they were 3 of 8 in a 94-86 loss at LSU - and the 22.2 percent from beyond the arc matched their low in a 75-54 loss to LSU at home when they also shot 4 of 18. Friday's win will hold special meaning for Wideman after the Bulldogs shook off their blown lead and came back to outscore Arkansas by 12 points in the second half.
"But I thought he played with his heart".
Butler then failed to score on three consecutive possessions as Baldwin and Martin had turnovers and Martin missed a three-point attempt. Anderson will look to 6-7 sophomore Adrio Bailey, 6-8 senior Arlando Cook, 6-8 freshman Gabe Osabuohien and even 6-6 freshman Darious Hall. Butler hasn't played Arkansas since January 2, 1931. That's the bright lights, big stage, so we shouldn't be shy going up to Detroit for that match-up. 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.
"We're just going to go out there and play our brand on basketball", Macon said. We just made them take tough 2s and limited their touches. Both teams have clearly changed since that meeting but an injury is the biggest storyline. But this did not come without Butler making it interesting, as they blew a 19 point lead in the first half. We had some outstanding performances and guys coming off the bench. Things could've unraveled after Araknsas' runs, but the Bulldogs kept their composure and grinded out the win.
"That was a heavy discussion point throughout the week", Jordan said. But I thought the killer was when those offensive rebounds or rebounds that we had on our hands, they were able to get those. I thought guys did a good job chasing them. "They got a big shot blocker in the middle".
Now, as the Bulldogs head to Detroit for their first game against Arkansas since 1931, it's Martin who senses the urgency of the moment.
The Razorbacks also like to think their pressure defense is uniquely hard, but the Bulldogs like to run nearly as much Anderson's team.