Mike Anderson very nearly ended one of the more embarrassing streaks for any coach in the country.
Since he’s been at Arkansas, Anderson is winless in SEC road games against teams other than Auburn. His overall record in SEC games away from Bud Walton Arena is 2-21, which looks even worse when you consider that he went 1-7 on the road in Big 12 games in his last season at Missouri.
But that very nearly changed on Wednesday night, when Anderson’s Arkansas team was up 63-55 at Tennessee late in the second half. The Vols had a run in them, however, and it was spurred on by a flagrant foul that was called on Kiko Haydar.
With 2:52 left, Haydar wrapped up Jeronne Maymon from behind, holding his arms preventing Maymon from getting off a shot at the rim. The flagrant was called, giving Maymon two free throws and Tennessee the ball back. Maymon hit both, Jordan McRae hit a three on the ensuing possession, and after Arkansas badly missed a contested three, McRae knocked down two free throws at the other end.
That flagrant foul changed the game. Anderson acknowledged as much afterwards, while pleading his case that the call was wrong.
North Carolina and Kentucky ended in legendary fashion on Sunday.
After freshman Malik Monk buried a heavily-contested three-pointer to tie the game at 73-all for Kentucky with under 10 seconds left the Tar Heels didn’t use a timeout as Theo Pinson found forward Luke Maye for the game-winning jumper.
These 10 seconds will go down as one of the greatest finishes in NCAA Tournament history.
North Carolina advanced to the Final Four for the second consecutive season and 20th time overall as the No. 1 seed Tar Heels outlasted No. 2 seed Kentucky, 75-73, during Sunday’s South Regional final in Memphis.
Reserve forward Luke Maye knocked in the game-winning jumper for the Tar Heels with 0.3 seconds left to break a 73-all tie after Kentucky’s Malik Monk tied the game with a three-pointer on the previous possession.
The Tar Heels (31-7) overcame an ankle issue from junior point guard Joel Berry as North Carolina was led by Justin Jackson’s 19 points.
Maye also stepped up with a big game for North Carolina as he continued his strong March with 17 points. Berry added 11 points, as he went to the locker room during the first half to get his ankle looked at before returning to play later in the half.
Kentucky (32-6) won the regular-season matchup of these teams, 103-100, in Las Vegas in December as their freshmen guards struggled to perform on Sunday. After De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk combined for 71 points in that previous win over the Tar Heels, the two freshmen studs couldn’t get going.
Both of them dealt with first-half foul trouble as Fox finished with 13 points while Monk was held to 12 points. Also battling foul trouble in the first half, freshman Bam Adebayo added 13 points for the Wildcats.
With Fox and Monk struggling to generate consistent offense, the Wildcats were able to stay in the game thanks to great performances from reserves like Isaac Humphries (career-high 12 points) and senior Dominique Hawkins (10 points.
North Carolina advances to face No. 3 seed Oregon in next weekend’s Final Four.
VIDEO: South Carolina celebrates Final Four trip by dousing Frank Martin in water
You probably didn’t realize just how big of a fan he actually is until you saw him, sitting second row at the regional final in New York City on Sunday afternoon, tearing up as the Gamecocks advanced to the Final Four: