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.
It was easier for the Bulldogs to "keep a poise" when they were defending the 3-point line so well. "I think it's going to be fun, and we're ready to play". We got a couple of times fronting him a little bit too high and they threw it over the top and he was able to use his length.
"I thought our guys just had a really good response when they came back to the huddle after they made the run", Jordan said. "It was all about the next play".
Arkansas couldn't overcome a slow start in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, falling to 10-seeded Butler 79-62 inside Little Caesar's Arena.
Martin led all scorers with 27 points and added nine rebounds, while Baldwin contributed 24 points and nine boards.
Tony Hinkle, for whom the Bulldogs' venerable Arena was changed from Butler Arena to Hinkle Arena, was in his sixth of 41 years coaching Butler when the Bulldogs bested Charles Bassett's Razorbacks, 37-21 on January 2, 1931, at Butler Arena. That game will take place on Sunday.
Butler (20-13) has worked this week on how to deal with the seventh-seeded Razorbacks' pressure, although first-year coach LaVall Jordan said the SEC team's athleticism is hard to simulate in practice.
Macon led the Razorbacks with 19 points against North Carolina, but he had to sit out a 2:59 stretch late in the second half because of leg cramps. Butler was up 36-31 at halftime. Arkansas fought back to take a two-point lead for 25 seconds before Baldwin knocked down a jumper to tie it back up at 29. Martin, who surpassed 2,000 points for his career during the game, made two 3-pointers in a 9-2 run that made it 49-38.
"Butler did good tonight by making tough shots, getting rebounds, getting key stops", Barford said.
"I feel like we can make a big run in the tournament", Thompson said.
So the first day of the NCAA Tournament was pretty awesome, no? Butler also made 11 threes compared to Arkansas four, which was a big reason why they won.
Arkansas shot 35.7 percent from the field and just 22.2 percent from 3-point range.
"It was a team effort. So it was a team effort tonight".
Anderson likes calling his bench, also aided by sophomore shooting guard C.J. Jones, the team's strength, but Jordan brings some of his best 3-point shooters off of the bench in Jorgensen and Henry Baddley.
"I don't want to be just one-stepping and two-stepping", Anderson said. I thought guys did a good job chasing them. I don't think the Big East has a team like us that pressures and speeds the other team up. "That's all you can ask".
It was the first loss in the tournament for the Southeastern Conference, which had been 5-0.
Butler faces Arkansas Friday afternoon at 3:10.
The victor faces either No. 2 Purdue or No. 15 Cal State Fullerton on Sunday - Butler would love another shot at big-brother in-state rival Purdue (they played in December).
Arkansas heads into the offseason and will have some changes on the horizon. They were losing three starters and a coach that many thought of as one of the sport's up-and-coming stars.