It might have been considered a luxury for a 1-seed like Arkansas to have to face a 12-seed in the Sweet 16, but this was no ordinary 12-seed. This was Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane had already knocked off Oklahoma State at the buzzer, and in the first round claimed an easy upset victory over the
diabolically evil (although we wouldn't know that for another year) UCLA Bruins. Oh, and they already took Arkansas to overtime early in the season.
As you can see in the video, any tensions about a repeat of that first overtime game were quickly put to rest.
Clint McDaniel tied what at that point was his career high with 19 points. Corliss Williamson and Scotty Thurman each had 21 (Williamson also with 9 rebounds). Corey Beck scored 13. The Hogs shot 66.1% from the field, including 56.3% from three.
The Razorbacks jumped out to a 44-29 halftime lead and that was pretty much that. Gary Collier did score 35 for Tulsa and Shea Seals pitched in 19, but it wasn't nearly enough to match the Hogs, who claimed the easy 103-84 victory.
And that of course led Arkansas to the Elite 8 where they'd face Michigan. Nolan Richardson famously found a
I believe this is one of the more underrated games of the season. It had so much. It was for the Final Four. It was against most of the Fab Five (Chris Webber had declared for the NBA the year prior), and they'd gotten to the Final Four the previous two seasons. President Bill Clinton was back in attendance for the second time that season.
It was A BIG DEAL.
Arkansas was never able to pull away until free throws iced the game in the last minute, making it much more fun to watch Clinton in typical fan-mode. He was clearly intensely focused, pounding his knee and hollering occasionally. Good times.
Michigan twice in the second half cut the lead to two and the second time had a golden opportunity to tie the game when Dugan Fife stripped the ball from Beck and Jalen Rose raced down the court for a layup but missed. The Woverines wouldn't get any closer than that the rest of the game.
They did cut Arkansas' lead to three in the last minute, when the officials had to call time out and Juwan Howard famously had to change his shorts on the bench - in view of the First Lady (gasp!) - but when the game restarted Arkansas put the game away.
Howard had 30 points and 12 rebounds, Rose had 13 and eight. Michigan outrebounded Arkansas by 11 but couldn't keep up with the Hogs from the three point line, where the Hogs went 10-21 and the Wolverines were just 3-17. It was the main difference in Arkansas' 76-68 victory.
Thurman led Arkansas with 20 points. Big Nasty was held to just 12, but Darnell Robinson tied his season high with 14 points. McDaniel had 12, Dwight Stewart had seven.
And with that, Arkansas was off to Charlotte and their first Final Four since 1990.
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