After it looked like No. 5 Purdue was pulling away in the middle of the second half, No. 12 seed Arkansas-Little Rock stormed back on an 18-5 run in the last three and a half minutes to force overtime on a step-back, 25-foot three-pointer from senior guard Josh Hagins with just five seconds left. It took two overtimes for these two offensively challenged teams to settle it, but the Trojans finished the upset, beating the Boilermakers 85-83 in Denver to advance to the second round of the Midwest Regional. Hagins led all scorers with 31 and shot 8 of 10 from the free throw line. Junior forward Lis Shoshi added 14 points and nine rebounds. For Purdue, sophomore forward Vince Edwards led his team with 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Why it matters:
Little Rock, the Sun Belt champions, was a popular upset pick in this game, and it proved it has the talent to advance even further in the bracket. Led by the third-ranked scoring defense in the nation and offensive punch from Hagins (12.8 ppg), the Trojans are uncomfortable to play against and have enough offensive punch (39% from three, 17th in the nation) to stay in games.
On Saturday in Denver, Arkansas-Little Rock will face No. 4 Iowa State. The Cyclones beat No. 13 Iona 94-81 earlier in the day.