For the second time in as many days, a No. 1 seed is headed home earlier than expected from the 2023 NCAA Tournament after Kansas, the reigning national champions and the top seed in the vaunted West Region, joined fellow No. 1 seed Purdue in getting bounced from the Big Dance following a stunning 72-71 loss to No. 8 seed Arkansas Saturday .
Kansas’ loss guarantees at least two No. 1 seeds will not advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the 2018 NCAA Tournament after Purdue on Friday fell in the first round to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson.
Arkansas trailed for the vast majority of the game but kept things tight to the end and pounced at an opportune time, seizing the lead at the 47-second mark of the second half for the first time since the 8:54 mark of the second half. KU knotted things back up at 67 after Jalen Wilson drained a pair of free throws before Arkansas rallied for the victory.
The Razorbacks were led by Davonte Davis’ 21 second-half points, part of his massive 25-point, eight-rebound outing. Davis fouled out with KU leading by two with just under two minutes to play, but Arkansas came up with clutch plays down the stretch with him looking on to close the gap to win and advance to the Sweet 16.
Arkansas has made a habit of slaying giants under coach Eric Musselman with the win over top-seeded Kansas marking the second time in as many years it has toppled a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Arkansas was 0-10 all-time vs. No. 1 seeds before last year but defeated No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 one year ago this week, giving it two wins in a row in attempts vs. No. 1 seeds.
This story will be updated