Arkansas Defeats Seton Hall in the NCAA Tournament,77-71
Mar 19 2017
After a relatively uneventful Day 1 of the first round, the NCAA Tournament was due for some mayhem on Day 2. Seton Hall forward Desi Rodriguez didn't come close to making a play for the ball when he shoved Arkansas guard Jaylen Barford with 24.6 seconds left in this first-round NCAA Tournament game.
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson agreed.
Arkansas will face the victor of the No. 1-seeded North Carolina Tarheels and the No.16-seeded Texas Southern Tigers on Sunday, March 19 at a time yet to be determined.
Neither Anderson nor Willard is heard to say a word about North Carolina. They won't have as much luck against the run-and-gun Tar Heels in the second round, though. Desi Rodriguez is a quality scoring option as well, putting up almost 16 points per, while Angel Delgado is a problem inside, averaging a double-double (15.3 ppg, 13.1 rpg). "We have to shore up our rebounding".
"It's always hard when it ends", Willard said. I like the direction that these guys are going, and we'll learn from this and we'll bounce back.
"I actually thought we were down one (point)", Fisher-Davis said. "So, it's a clash of styles".
"I didn't realize how hard I pushed him, but I thought it was a basketball play", Rodriguez said afterwards.
Even pace might not be that far apart.
But both with the Boston Celtics and Louisville Cardinals, Willard assisted decidedly uptempo Louisville coach Rick Pitino. "You've just got to give them credit". "They beat (20th-ranked) Creighton, 87-81, so they can get up and down the floor".
Willard does not escape here without criticism, not given the haphazard way his team played in those final minutes.
"Pittsburgh took it to us", Thomas said.
Khadeen Carrington, Seton Hall's 6-4 junior guard and leading scorer, 16.9 average, scored 41 of the Pirates' 87 against Creighton.
Carrington scored 22 points to lead Seton Hall (21-12).
Barford made both free throws and teammate Daryl Macon made one of his two attempts moments later, and Arkansas led 75-71, a deficit Seton Hall couldn't erase in the final seconds.
The Razorbacks would not give in though, and made a comeback as they would hold Seton Hall to a four-and-a-half-minute scoring drought.
"It was an unbelievable season", Delgado said.
The Pirates finished the season with a record of 21-12 and are now ranked fifth in the Big East after Villanova, Butler, Providence, and Creighton. "That got us the lead change, and we didn't look back after that". It's like if you're going to stop Moses and Dusty, there's Barford and Macon. "I think it's one of those things. if you've been around the game long enough, you've got to know time, score. Our defense has got to continue to be pretty good and hopefully depth can become an issue".
Rodriguez didn't violate anything in No. 3 through 6.