GREENVILLE, S.C. — Khadeen Carrington’s traveling violation with 24.6 seconds left gave the ball to Arkansas and the Razorbacks nursed their 1-point lead in the final seconds to a 77-71 win over Seton Hall in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
The No. 8 seed Razorbacks advance to play the winner of No. 16 seed Texas Southern and No. 1 seed North Carolina on Sunday in Greenville at a time to be determined.
Seton Hall was forced to foul when Arkansas got the ball back following Carrington’s turnover, resulting in a flagrant foul. Jaylen Barford sank two free throws to give the Razorbacks a three-point lead. They kept possession after that and the Pirates fouled Daryl Macon, who made one of two free-throw tries to seal the game. Macon sank a final two to provide the final score.
Seton Hall’s 12-2 run midway through the second half provided the Pirates a lead they would keep most of the way down the stretch. But with 3:02 left, the game was tied in the final media timeout.
Carrington’s lay-up with 1:44 left gave Seton Hall a 1-point lead in the waning moments. Arkansas countered when Barford was fouled attacking the rim. He missed the front end of a 1-and-1, got his own rebound, but missed the follow as well.
Seconds later, after an Arkansas steal, Barford finished on the break with a layup, putting the Razorbacks ahead 72-71. That set up the Seton Hall possession on which Carrington, pressed by two Arkansas defenders near the half-court line, picked up his pivot foot.
Arkansas had real difficulty keeping Seton Hall off the glass, especially in the first half. The Pirates had 11 offensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes while Arkansas had just 16 total rebounds in the half.
Seton Hall’s problem was an inability to turn rebounds into second-chance points. The only Seton Hall big man to show scoring flash was Angel Delgado, who entered the game leading the country in rebounding. Ismael Sanogo and Michael Nzei, the other primary Seton Hall front court players, combined for 9 first-half rebounds but just 4 points on 1 of 4 shooting.
Moses Kingsley took advantage of them when he was on offense, mostly against Delgado. Seton Hall made a clear choice it wasn’t going to step out on Kingsley if he took a jumper from beyond 15 feet. That was a mistake. Kingsley made his first five shots from the field, including a 3-pointer. He led all scorers at the half with 15 points on 7 of 9 shooting.
Carrington’s final turnover was all Arkansas needed to survive and advance.
Stat line of the game
Kingsley played maybe his best game of the season at the most important time. He finished with 23 points on 10 of 13 shooting, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks.
What’s next for Arkansas?
The Razorbacks will play the winner of No. 1 seed North Carolina and No. 16 seed Texas Southern on Sunday at a time to be determined. North Carolina eliminated Arkansas from the NCAA Tournament each of the Hogs’ past two appearances.