Arkansas moves up to Sweet 16

BUFFALO, NY — Au’That Toney’s fast-break dunk capped the deciding run about six minutes from time, propelling fourth-ranked Arkansas into the Sweet 16 for a second straight year, after a 53-48 win over the ranked ranked 12 seeded New Mexico State on Saturday night.

JD Notae scored 18 points before fouling at 1:22 left, and Jaylin Williams had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Razorbacks (27-8). Notae’s backup, Chris Lykes, hit all four free-throw attempts in the final 10 seconds to secure the win after the Aggies closed within two points of Teddy Allen’s 3-pointer by 12 seconds.

The Razorbacks advance to take on the winner of the game between top seed Gonzaga and No. 9 Memphis on Thursday at the West Regional compound in San Francisco.

Allen was limited to 12 points after scoring 37 in the first round against Connecticut. Johnny McCants scored 16 points and added 12 rebounds for New Mexico State (27-7). The Western Athletic Conference champion was denied a chance to make the Sweet 16 for the second time in school history and the first time since 1992.

Jaylin Williams hangs up in traffic during Arkansas' victory.
Jaylin Williams hangs up in traffic during Arkansas’ victory.
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The Razorbacks, in their 35th tournament, made the Elite Eight last year before losing to eventual champion Baylor. Arkansas is making its first appearance at Sweet 16 in a four-year straight run from 1993-1996.

Toney only scored seven points but played a key role in defending Allen. Allen, nicknamed “Teddy Buckets,” finished 5th of 16 two days after 37 points in a 70-63 opening win over Connecticut.

Trailing 33:32, Williams started the 9-0 run by hitting two free throws to give Arkansas the final lead. Toney’s dunk was set up by a deep pass from Vomte Davis after a turnover. Arkansas moves up to Sweet 16


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