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Arkansas and Butler primed for NCAA Tournament

Arkansas and Butler primed for NCAA Tournament

Nonetheless, the Bulldogs stormed out of the gates, hitting four of their first five shots on their way to a 21-2 lead over Arkansas.

The Arkansas Razorbacks are playing Butler in the NCAA Tournament a year later than they had hoped.

There was nothing gritty about the start of this game.

Instead, North Carolina rallied to beat the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville 72-65 with a 12-0 run over the final 2:56.

They unraveled because they were unaccustomed to the defensive pressure that those Arkansas teams sometimes applied. It was the flawless start, but it didn't last for long.

"We knew today was going to be a fight", Jordan said, "obviously, with their ability to press and extend the floor and apply pressure". "They've got firepower and some offensive weapons that can get you back in the game". "But guys had a really good demeanor about them and we made good decisions late when it mattered". Another Butler dunk - this one by Baldwin - made it 18-2, and after a 3-pointer by Martin, the Razorbacks used their second timeout of the half.

The seventh-seeded 23-11 Razorbacks, one of eight SEC teams in this season's Big Dance, and the 10th-seeded 20-13 Bulldogs of Indianapolis, Ind. and the Big East, learned on Sunday night's NCAA Tournament selection show that they are matched in Friday's first round East Regional in Detroit. It was an extremely frustrating 40 minutes for the Razorbacks and their fans. Things could've unraveled after Araknsas' runs, but the Bulldogs kept their composure and grinded out the win.

Arkansas isn't getting much from Daniel Gafford to this point.

Conversely, the Razorbacks have also found itself in double-digit holes three times in that stretch. Butler is 9 of 20 from deep today, while Arkansas is just 3 of 12. They shot 33.3 percent (19 of 57) in a 75-54 loss at home to LSU and 34.5 percent (19 of 55) in a 91-65 loss at Houston.

Anderson is 6-3 in openers, including 2-1 with the Razorbacks. Butler managed to turn it into a major positive for them, which hasn't happened often this season.

"It was all about response", Butler coach LaVall Jordan said.

Arlando Cook knocked down a free throw line jumper and Barford buried a 3 during the run.

The Bulldogs advance to play second-seeded Purdue on Sunday. The Boilermakers beat the Bulldogs 82-67 on December 16, but Purdue won't have Isaac Haas this weekend after he injured his elbow Friday. The Bulldogs committed 17 turnovers and shot 11 percent from three in the first half of that game. This opens the door for the Bulldogs, who actually matchup pretty well with the post-Haas Boilermakers. And they shoot a high percentage, so when they take them, they make them. Just before the media timeout Darious Hall made a great block, which kickstarted an Arkansas break.

"I think that will be a battle of wills. So I know our guys are super, super excited about having a chance to play in this event and having a chance to play against an outstanding Butler team". "He's a good player, he's a good defender, (and) he can protect the rim very well". "We've got to be prepared for them".