Butler pulls away for 79-62 win over Arkansas


"I think we're well-prepared for the tournament", Barford said. "We just stayed connected on the defensive end". "(I'm) really proud of our seniors for stepping up, owing our huddles and making plays when we needed them. "So we're ready to fight and ready to work hard". "I thought Tyler and Nate did a good job".

DETROIT (AP) - Butler coach LaVall Jordan watched his team race out to a huge early lead, then give it all away before the first half was even over. Friday's win will hold special meaning for Wideman after the Bulldogs shook off their blown lead and came back to outscore Arkansas by 12 points in the second half.

"I wasn't focused", Gafford said. There are a few games in particular that AccuScore thinks are worth keeping an eye on because the computer simply doesn't agree with Vegas.

"So I had to adjust, and it was too late".

The Bulldogs' only opening loss in that span was against LSU 75-71 in 2009.

Butler's winning streak in the first round has gone back to 2010 and is the fifth-longest winning streak in the country. He got the layup to go and the foul, and will be at the line when play resumes. "So our seniors weren't satisfied with just getting here and getting to the tournament. That's been the case the past two decades". Daniel Gafford (11.9 points), a 6-11 freshman center from Argentina, leads the team in rebounding (6.2) and blocked shots (2.1). Jordan, an Albion, Mich., native and former MI assistant, has now led Butler to at least a first-round win in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth year in a row. Already holding a 13-2 lead, reserve Paul Jorgensen knocked down a 3-pointer, Kamar Baldwin threw down a dunk and Martin hit another 3-pointer, all within 52 seconds.

"We take a lot of pride in taking care of the ball", said Jordan, who took over when former coach Chris Holtmann left to take the head coaching job at Ohio State early in the summer. "I thought that was really kind of what spurred us on". "They showed me how it's supposed to be done". Butler hasn't played Arkansas since January 2, 1931. In December, Purdue beat Butler 82-67 in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis.

The Bulldogs had five dunks to two for the Razorbacks.

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The story of this game can be told in one major statistical discrepancy. Daryl Macon, Jaylen Barford and Darious Hall were vital in the comeback.

Butler improved to 2-0 against Arkansas with the victories 87 seasons apart.

In addition, this game also has a hot trends 4-star pick on the Totals.

Razorbacks Coach Mike Anderson is 9-9 in NCAA Tournament games with Alabama-Birmingham, Missouri and Arkansas.

The Razorbacks fell behind 21-2 following a 3 from Kelan Martin, but have reeled off eight straight and found their footing a bit.

Baldwin responded with a better performance in the regular-season finale before averaging 22 points in Butler's two Big East tourney games.

"We just tried to run them off the line", Butler senior forward Kelan Martin said.

A little over six minutes into Friday's NCAA Tournament first-round matchup against Arkansas, Butler led by 19 points. The Pirates were charter members of the Big East when it was formed in 1979.