The Wolfpack got the matchup they expected against the Longhorns on Sunday with a trip to the Sweet Sixteen on the line.
Not only did they beat the Razorbacks in 2015, they also eliminated them from the 2008 tournament, also in the second round, with a 108-77 victory in Raleigh.
The sixth-seeded Wolfpack (23-8) are proven road warriors this season with victories at Florida State and Louisville, programs that are first-round tournament hosts. "It's an opportunity. They're a 1 seed, so what more fun can you have than knocking off a 1 seed and moving on in the tournament?"
That is where the score would remain for the next six innings, as neither team could push across the go ahead run until Johnson's home run in the 12th. "We have to do it as a team- the guards, the bigs too, everbody".
"It felt good. It was exciting to get out there", White said. "They have size - the guards, the bigs - they're bigger than the team we played last time, and we gotta do a better job of keeping everybody off the glass, because everybody, nearly all five of them go to the glass every time they shoot the ball. We take pride in that". He finished the game leading the Tigers with 19 points.
The Razorbacks would end up going home as the runner-up rather than with the repeat but it was only through payback against the Heels that they made it that far.
And a potential scare in the second half seemed subdued because starting point guard Joel Berry II limped off with an injured right ankle and was taken out of view for treatment. "We can play with anybody in the country".
Tucked deep in the box score of Texas' first-round 28-point blowout of Central Arkansas was a troubling stat: 21 turnovers. Toss the metrics. The team that gets on the offensive boards and grabs more 50-50 balls in this one will come out on top. "You can just go out there and play". "We didn't finish past year, and so our whole goal is to get back to the championship game".
The games moved to SC - the state's first chance to host since 2002 - after it removed the Confederate flag from state capitol grounds in 2015.
"He's a great shot blocker, a great rebounder". But records are meaningless once the NCAA Tournament begins with the sole objective survive and advance. The Hogs made it to the Final Four and could already feel the scissors in their hand as they cut down the nets for the second year in a row.
"What he did is big because it means he obviously knows how to do it", Watkins said. Kingsley (7.8 rpg) is the lone Arkansas player averaging more than four rebounds per game, which highlights the concern for a team that ranks 330th in defensive rebounding percentage (34.0) and 207th in rebound margin (minus-0.3).
"Did he?" Moore said. Moore said he's a Texas Longhorns football fan and was excited to meet with former Texas football coach Mack Brown, who won the 2005 season national championship.