Arkansas did not look great in Saturday’s Round of 32 matchup. In the end, the Razorbacks did enough to survive and advance past 12-seed New Mexico State.

Immediately out of the gate, both teams struggled to find their range. Over the first 8 minutes of the game, the two sides combined to score a total of 12 points. That stretch included a number of forced shots and ugly looks at the basket.

At the half, Arkansas had established a 9-point lead at 26-17. Unfortunately, the Aggies came storming back and made it uncomfortable for the Razorbacks the rest of the way.

A big reason for the closeness of the game was an out-of-sync offense for Arkansas, particularly evidenced by the play of JD Notae. Notae not only struggled to shoot the ball throughout the game but was also whistled for a number of uncharacteristic charge calls, including one with less than 1:30 to play that fouled him out of the game.

In the end, Arkansas was able to hit enough free throws to ice away a win at 53-48. The 53 points by the Razorbacks go down as the new low-point total for a winning team in this NCAA Tournament. (Ohio State and Illinois both have won with 54 points scored.)

Notae did lead all scorers with 18 points but was inefficient with a 5-for-18 shooting night. That was a common theme for the Razorbacks with the team shooting 27.5% from the floor. Jaylin Williams added a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds for Arkansas.

Fortunately for Arkansas, its defense was more than up to the task against the Aggies. Teddy Allen – fresh off a 37-point performance in New Mexico State’s Round of 64 win – was held to 12 points on 5-for-16 shooting. Johnny McCants led the Aggies with 16 points.

Now, Arkansas can sleep well in the Sweet 16 and await its next opponent. The Razorbacks will play the winner of 9-seed Memphis vs. 1-seed Gonzaga in the next round.