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It was hard to miss Arkansas basketball’s March Madness celebration on Saturday night. The No. 8 seed Razorbacks took down the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks and head coach Eric Musselman proceeded to go absolutely nuts.
It was an impressive comeback win for the lower-seeded SEC program after leading the game for just one minute and 43 seconds— total. The emotions were running high.
Musselman got absolutely drenched as soon as he got back to the locker room and joined his team. The party was on and the 58-year-old electric factory could not have been more soaked.
The win marks Arkansas’ third-straight Sweet Sixteen appearance in Musselman’s fourth year at the helm in Fayetteville. His first year saw the NCAA Tournament cancelled due to COVID-19 after winning 20 games during the regular season.
The win also marked the Razorbacks’ second postseason win over the Jayhawks in a span of three months. They own their northwestern neighbors!
Arkansas’ first win over Kansas came on the gridiron.
Arkansas beat Kansas 55-53 in triple overtime in the Liberty Bowl on December 28, 2022. Serving as a reminder of its recent win over the Big-12 opponents, some of the Razorbacks staffers presented a subtle troll in pregame.
Coincidence or not (definitely not), they wore Liberty Bowl gear for the March Madness matchup. It nearly ended up coming back to bite them, as the Jayhawks blew a 12-point lead, but the win made the jacket choice just that much more savage.
In addition, the debate as to how to pronounce the two states is over for the foreseeable future.
Arkansas is pronounced Arkan-saw. Kansas used to be pronounced Kan-zuhs. Not anymore!
Arkansas owns Kansas, which is now pronounced Kan-saw. Thems the rules!
Musselman, whose shirt has returned, and Arkansas will play again on Thursday. It will face either St. Mary’s or UConn in the Sweet 16.
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The story that’s in front of everyone, but not getting mentioned is that the SEC has turned into THE basketball conference as well. It’s hard enough for much of the country to take their football dominance, but, subtly and slowly over the past few years, the SEC has become the most solid, top to bottom conference in basketball as well. It used to be just Kentucky. Well…not anymore.
Meanwhile, over in the Big Ten (and I’m a Spartan), this conference which used to be the best top to bottom, now stinks fully, from top to bottom. And it has for the last couple of years. Why or how this switch, I don’t know. (NIL?). But it’s real and has to be recognized. The SEC is the best in CFB and CB. Period.