Rushed Reactions: #5 Arkansas 56, #12 Wofford 53

Posted by Matt Patton on March 19th, 2015


Rush the Court will be providing wall-to-wall coverage of each of the NCAA Tournament from each of the 13 sites this year. Follow our NCAA Tourney specific Twitter accounts at @RTCeastregion, @RTCMWregion,@RTCsouthregion and @RTCwestregion.

Three Key Takeaways.

Mike Anderson's Club Survived and Advanced (USA Today Images)

Mike Anderson’s Club Survived and Advanced (USA Today Images)

  1. Arkansas felt in control all game. Their pressure looked like it was getting to the Terriers but the Razorbacks couldn’t put together many clean stops. They committed dumb fouls, gave up offensive boards and allowed Wofford to hang around. But for whatever reason, this felt like Arkansas’ game to lose for pretty much the entire evening. There were a lot of similarities to the earlier game between North Carolina and Harvard (with less shot-making).
  2. Karl Cochran doesn’t deserve this end to his career. Cochran was a great player at Wofford and just had an awful night. Give Arkansas credit for smothering him, but 2-of-12 from three requires a good dose of bad luck too. He was shooting 37 percent from three this season. Suppose he makes a couple more threes (or that three with six seconds remaining) and this is a different game. This is one of the worst parts of the Big Dance. Great players sometimes fizzle with awful games. The agony was clear to his coach, Mike Young, after the game, who seemed to feel worse for Cochran than anyone else.
  3. Watch the offensive glass in Arkansas’ next game. One reason Wofford was able to almost pull of this upset was because of offensive boards. They pulled down 14 offensive caroms to the Razorbacks’ eight. That’s something Arkansas really has to improve on if it expects to go any further. You might expect them to struggle on the offensive glass just because they get right back to applying pressure. Young pointed out after the game that Arkansas has “size” rebounders, whereas Wofford relied on having a nose for the ball. A better descriptor is Arkansas jumps for rebounds, and Wofford boxed out for them.

Star of the Game: Michael Qualls threw down two thunderous dunks, but uncharacteristically for Arkansas, he posed after one midway through the second half that gave Wofford an advantage on the other end. The Terriers promptly hit a three to go back up by two. The Arkansas section wasn’t even done celebrating when Wofford’s erupted. Qualls finished the game with 20 points on nine shots.


  • “Length and athleticism is a tricky thing, and they’ve got a lot of that.” — Wofford head coach Mike Young, on the Razorbacks.
  • “They just ran out of time.” — Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson, referring to Wofford’s continued push.
  • “The dance is the dance.” — Arkansas’ Michael Qualls, on what it’s like playing in the NCAA Tournament.

Sights and Sounds: Suffice it to say this was the first game I’ve ever seen where a player lost a shoe (kicking it into the stands) followed by the bench throwing him a different shoe as he’s dribbling up the court which causes the refs to stop the game and review the projectile shoe for several minutes. Eventually Arkansas was given a delay of game warning, which was ironic considering the real delay was caused by the officials. But it worked. They didn’t use a timeout and he got to put back on his shoe.

What’s Next: Arkansas gets a shot at a vulnerable looking North Carolina team on Saturday night. That said, the Heels could be a nightmare matchup for the Razorbacks. Carolina loves to run, and they’re one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the country — they’ve got the length and athleticism to match Arkansas’ strengths.

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