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Butler advances to Round of 32 after defeating Arkansas

Butler runs away from Arkansas in the second half and advances to the Round of 32.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round: Butler Bulldogs vs Arkansas Razorbacks Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Butler and Arkansas shared many similarities coming into their Round of 64 matchup on Friday. One of those similarities was a penchant for inconsistent play. Both teams showcased their inconsistency early on, but in the second half, Butler managed to dominate and ended up prevailing 79-62.

The Bulldogs charged out to a 21-2 lead as four different players drained three-pointers. Just as Arkansas was looking demoralized, the Razorbacks opened up a 16-0 run and got right back in the game. A three-quarter court press helped Arkansas force turnovers and score in transition. Butler managed to make a couple of plays at the end of the half to go into the break with a six-point lead.

In the second half, Butler’s star players took over and its role players out-toughed the Razorbacks. Kamar Baldwin and Kelan Martin ended up combining for 41 points in the game and the Bulldogs out-rebounded Arkansas by a massive margin of 20.

Butler has advanced to the Round of 32 in seven straight tournament appearances and on Sunday will face off against Purdue. Purdue demolished Cal State Fullerton in its first tournament tilt, but will be without injured center Isaac Haas.