Arkansas men’s basketball coach Eric Musselman showed off his muscles as he celebrated the team’s upset victory over the defending national champions, the Kansas Jayhawks.
The No. 8 Razorbacks topped the Jayhawks 72-71 as Ricky Council IV made five free throws in the closing seconds of the game. The 58-year-old coach jumped onto the press table, ripped off his red polo shirt and waved it over his head.
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The crowd in Des Moines, Iowa, went crazy.
“That’s such an unbelievable win for our program,” Musselman said. “I keep telling people that we’re getting better. Not many teams can get better this time of year. I’ve never been prouder of a team like tonight.”
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Arkansas knocked out No. 1 Gonzaga last year on its way to an Elite Eight appearance. This time, the team didn’t even lead for 2 minutes as they struggled on offense early and foul trouble late. According to OptaSTATS, Arkansas became the first team to beat a No. 1 seed with three players fouling out.
“I would love to lie and say that I felt composed, but we only led for 1:43,” Council said after the game. “This has been as challenging and as up-and-down a season as I’ve ever been a part of.
“For these guys to be rewarded for sticking with it and being able to go to Las Vegas and participate with only 16 teams still standing…. It’s really hard to make this tournament. It’s really hard to win a game in this tournament. It’s really hard to beat defending champions, No. 1 seed. We did it.”
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Arkansas, which beat Illinois in the Round of 64, awaits the winner of Saint Mary’s and UConn in the Sweet 16.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.