FAYETTEVILLE, Ar. (KNWA/KFTA) – The 8-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks take on 9-seed Illinois in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 3:30 p.m. in Des Moines on TBS.
Follow along on this story for live updates on the game.
The starting lineup for Arkansas was Anthony Black, Nick Smith Jr., Devo Davis, Ricky Council IV and Kamani Johnson.
Illinois gets the first bucket of game, but Arkansas gets a surge of offense from Devo Davis to go up 8-2 on the Fighting Illini with 15:14 left to go in the first half.
The Illini don’t keep it that way for too long, thanks to a Luke Goode three and some layups from Coleman Hawkins and Jayden Epps.
The Hogs have been doing a great job defensively on the Illini so far as they lead 13-7 over the Illinois with under 11 minutes to go.
Arkansas extend that some more and take a 19-10 lead over Illinois, the Illini missing 14 of their shots so far with 7:54 left to go in the first half.
The Hogs had seven players on the scoresheet with under 8 minutes to go until half.
Arkansas gets on a roll after that, thanks to a big dunk and a three from Ricky Council IV. They go up 32-20 on Illinois with 3:50 left to go in the first half.
While the Hogs had as much as a 14-point lead in the first half, the Illini claw back a little at it and Arkansas is up 36-26 going into the locker room.
Ricky Council IV leads the team with 10 points and seven rebounds, Anthony Black has 7 points and four rebounds.
The Hogs shooting 14 of 33 from the floor (42.4%) while Illinois was shooting 8 of 29 from the field (27.6%).
The Illini come out of the locker room and have the momentum early on, they push the tempo and go on a 7-0 run to cut Arkansas’ lead to 38-33.
However, Kamani Johnson gets a layup to drop and the whistle and the three point play puts them ahead of the Hogs 41-33 with 16 minutes left to go.
After that, the Hogs have their offense clicking and take the momentum back. Arkansas goes up 55-38 over Illinois with 9:45 to go in the game.
The Razorbacks still have that lead with less than five minutes to go in the game, the Hogs up 62-52 over Illinois.
However, this game not over just yet as Illinois comes storming back once again and cuts Arkansas lead to just five with 2:29 left to go in the game.
The Razorbacks finding a way to win this one though. They take down Illinois 73-63.