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More mayhem in March Madness! No. 1 ranked Kansas FALLS to eight-seed Arkansas in an upset 72-71… and become the second top team to fall inside 24 hours as the Razorbacks advance to the Sweet 16

The second one-seed in the country fell within a 24-hour period as Kansas was shocked by Arkansas 72-71 on Saturday night.

Four players for the Jayhawks had double-digits, led by Jalen Wilson’s 16 points and four rebounds.

Davonte Davis led the way for the University of Arkansas – grabbing 25 points, seven rebounds, and one assists.

The loss for Kansas continues the NCAA’s drought of back-to-back champions – with the University of Florida Gators the last team to accomplish the feat in 2006 and 2007. 

No. 8 seed Arkansas shocked No. 1 seed Kansas to reach the Sweet 16 of March Madness

No. 8 seed Arkansas shocked No. 1 seed Kansas to reach the Sweet 16 of March Madness

Davonte Davis led the way for the Arkansas Razorbacks with 25 points and seven rebounds

Davonte Davis led the way for the Arkansas Razorbacks with 25 points and seven rebounds

Kansas, playing without ailing coach Bill Self, became the second top seed not to escape the tournament’s first weekend after Purdue lost on Friday night to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson.

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Self has spent the past few days recovering from a procedure after complaining of chest tightness.

He missed some of the team’s games in the Big 12 Tournament and their first round game of the Big Dance against Howard.

Arkansas (22-13) and coach Eric Musselman return to the Sweet 16 for the third straight year. The Razorbacks will play either Saint Mary’s or UConn in the West Region semifinals in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Musselman and his players rushed to a group of fans sitting courtside after the final buzzer. The 58-year-old coach ripped his polo shirt off, waved it over his head and shouted with joy.

Self has been with the Jayhawks (28-8) since they arrived in Des Moines and has attended practices and meetings, but he still doesn´t feel well enough to coach a game after having a heart procedure March 8 to clear clogged arteries.

Longtime assistant Norm Roberts was acting coach for a fifth straight game in Self´s absence.

Davis scored 21 of his points in the second half. He fouled out with 1:56 left, turning things over to the veteran Council, a transfer from Wichita State who scored nine of the Razorbacks´ final 11 points.

Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman took his shirt off in celebration as his team advances

Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman took his shirt off in celebration as his team advances

Council’s free throw put Arkansas ahead to stay, 68-67, with 24 seconds left. He then rebounded his own miss of the second free throw and made two more to give the Razorbacks a three-point lead.

The teams traded free throws, and Arkansas sent Kansas’ Jalen Wilson to the line with 3 seconds left to prevent a potential tying 3-pointer. Wilson made the first free throw and appeared to try to miss the second intentionally, but it banked hard off the glass and in, and Kansas never regained possession.

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Wilson led the Jayhawks with 20 points.

Arkansas was playing a No. 1 seed for the third straight year. Last year, the Razorbacks knocked out Gonzaga on the way to their second straight Elite Eight.

Arkansas, which beat Illinois in the first round, was considered a scary matchup for the Jayhawks with its explosive transition game and ability to play lockdown defense.

Joy for the Razorbacks

Means Jayhawk heartbreak

Joy for the Razorbacks means Jayhawk heartbreak as Arkansas stays alive and kicking

But circumstances were less than ideal for the Razorbacks. Guard Anthony Black tweaked a nagging ankle injury early and went to the bench to get re-taped and change shoes.

Fellow guard and projected high NBA first-round draft pick Nick Smith Jr. picked up two quick fouls and was limited to 10 minutes and no points in the first half. Also, big man Kamani Johnson was ill and played with a sore toe.

The Razorbacks were too eager to shoot 3-pointers early. They missed 8 of 9 in the first half and couldn´t get their running game going.

Kansas looked in full control early. The Jayhawks got their fans out of their seats with a series of electric plays that included Gradey Dick´s fast-break dunk off Dajuan Harris’ steal, Wilson’s contested inside basket on an and-one and his primal scream directed at Arkansas fans, and Joseph Yesufu´s high-arcing 3 from the logo to beat the shot clock.

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