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Arkansas holds off Illinois in first round of NCAA Tournament

The Razorbacks will face No. 1 seed Kansas in the second round on Saturday.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — No. 8 seed University of Arkansas is moving on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after handling No. 9 seed Illinois 73-63 Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

Junior guard Ricky Council scored a team-high 18 points and had a game-high 10 rebounds for the Razorbacks, while junior guard Davonte Davis added 16 points, six rebounds and four steals.

Arkansas's defense set the tone early.

After the Razorbacks took a 4-2 lead with 17:18 to play in the first half, they held the Fighting Illini scoreless for 4:56, which gave the Hogs time to settle in on offense.

Arkansas held Illinois to 38.5% shooting from the field and 27.3% from three. The Razorbacks scored 19 points on 17 turnovers.

Davis scored six of Arkansas's first 10 points, including a jumper to give Arkansas a 10-5 lead with 13:16 to play in the first half.

The Razorbacks led 36-26 at the half and pushed its advantage to as many as 17 points in the victory.

Arkansas will battle No. 1 seed Kansas in the second round on Saturday. Coverage from Wells Fargo Arena begins at 4:15 p.m. Central on CBS.

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