Arkansas upsets Kentucky with OT buzzer-beater

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- On sophomore guard Michael Qualls' flying follow dunk at the buzzer of junior guard Ky Madden's short outside miss with :00.2 on the overtime clock, the unranked Arkansas Razorbacks upended the 13th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats, 87-85 before an 18,886 packed house at Walton Arena .

It was Arkansas' second overtime game against a ranked team at Walton following Saturday's 84-82 loss to the currently seventh-ranked Florida Gators.

Kentucky freshman guard James Young had tied it 85 on a 3-pointer with 10.2 seconds left in the overtime before Madden took what he intended to be the last shot before Qualls' dramatic dunk.

"It was an unbelievable finish," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. "We are fortunate he (Qualls) plays for the Razorbacks. He came out of nowhere. He is our most athletic guy, the one who could have made that play. What an athletic play, I wish I could say I teach it, but I do encourage him to go to the glass."

It was a capper on dramatics that included late regulation drama by forward Alandise Harris driving for and old fashioned and-one 3-point play and an Arkansas 74-71 lead with 9.2 seconds left, countered by a Kentucky 3-pointer from guard Andrew Harrison off a pick and roll in the right corner tied it 74 with 1.2 seconds left to force the overtime.

"You guys saw a heck of a ballgame," Anderson said. "Two teams going toe to toe. We make a play late in regulation and the Harrison kid (Andrew, the twin brother of fellow Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison) makes his only three of the night. Just a great ballgame."

Kentucky Coach John Calipari concurred.

"I hate losing but I am fine," Calipari said. "Our kids didn't quit and give credit to Arkansas. They made the plays in the finals. We beat the crap out of each other. This is a great win for them. We hit the overtime's first basket but they kept fighting."

Kentucky falls to 12-4, 2-1 in the Southeast Conference while Arkansas advances to 12-4, 1-2 in the SEC having previously lost at Texas A&M and at home to Florida.

Madden and Qualls led the Razorbacks scoring with 18 points each. Harris scored 12 and freshman center Bobby Portis, also pivotal down the overtime stretch scored 11. Portis led Arkansas' rebounders with 10 and blocked two shots.

Young and forward Julius Randle led the Wildcats with 23 and 20 points while Aaron Harrison scored 16 and off the bench sophomore forward Alex Poythress scored 12.

Kentucky led just once 76-74 in overtime. Arkansas led twice by three in OT.

The Wildcats, paced by Randle's 14 boards and two blocked shots, outrebounded Arkansas 50-32 but committed 17 turnovers to Arkansas' six and were outscored 21-7 on miscues.

Calipari bemoaned his team's freshman mistakes "We watched him (Qualls) make that shot but that's what freshmen do."

Qualls said he's been on the defensive side of last second-shots and knows what Kentucky went through.

"Everybody is clinching their shirts and hoping he doesn't make a three," Qualls said, "and I just took the opportunity. I had been in a slump lately and I just wanted to come out and play hard. It was great for the team. We could have had one the other night but those things happen. We got this one."

Anderson praised the Razorbacks' resilience.

"Hats off to our guys, especially when it got to overtime because sometimes you have flashbacks," Anderson said. "Kentucky wouldn't go away but we got to overtime and we bowed up."

NOTES: Despite the 28 fouls called in the first half, no Razorback and no Wildcat accumulated more than two fouls before halftime. ... Both Arkansas coach Mike Anderson and Kentucky Coach John Calipari believe their teams sport depth and it showed. Twelve Razorbacks played from three to 15 minutes in the first half, while 10 Wildcats played from four to 18 minutes. ... Arkansas next plays Saturday at Georgia while Kentucky Saturday hosts Tennessee.

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