Arkansas draws Butler in NCAA Tournament

By: Matt Jones
Published: Sunday, March 11, 2018
Villanova's Collin Gillespie (2) defends Butler's Kelan Martin (30) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Big East men's tournament semifinals Friday, March 9, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Villanova's Collin Gillespie (2) defends Butler's Kelan Martin (30) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Big East men's tournament semifinals Friday, March 9, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas will begin the NCAA Tournament with a game against Butler on Friday in Detroit.

The game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the 20,491-seat Little Caesars Arena, home of the NBA's Detroit Pistons. The game will be televised by TruTV.

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The Razorbacks (23-11) are the No. 7 seed in the East Regional, which will have regional semifinal and final games in Boston. Arkansas received one of 36 at-large bids to the tournament and is one of a record eight from the Southeastern Conference.

Butler is the No. 10 seed in the East regional. The Bulldogs (20-13) finished sixth in the Big East this season.

It is the second consecutive year Arkansas will play a Big East team in the NCAA Tournament opener. The Razorbacks defeated Seton Hall 77-71 in the first round last year in Greenville, S.C.

The Razorbacks have not played Butler since a 37-21 loss on Jan. 2, 1931.

The winner of Arkansas-Butler will play either Purdue or Cal State Fullerton in the second round Sunday.

Arkansas is in the tournament for the third time in four seasons and for the 31st time overall. Mike Anderson, the Razorbacks' seventh year coach who previously was at Missouri and Alabama-Birmingham, is in the tournament for the ninth time in 16 seasons.

The Razorbacks have won three straight games in the first round - over Seton Hall last season, Wofford in 2015 and Indiana in 2008 - but have not advanced past the tournament's first weekend since 1996.

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