Steven graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications, focusing on film studies, journalism and theatre arts. Dubbed a "prolific" writer by Hollywood icon Kenneth Johnson (The Incredible Hulk, V, The Bionic Woman, Alien Nation), Steven has been honored by the Arkansas College Media Association for his story writing prowess. He has also received recognition for his dramatic writing from the Eerie, Shriekfest and Screamfest horror film festivals. Publications include: Carroll County News, Saline Courier, Forum, Echo and Moroch.
The March is over; Arkansas falls to North Carolina
Posted Sunday, March 22, 2015, at 1:05 AM
North Carolina's head coach Roy Williams celebrates his team's victory over Arkansas in Jacksonville, Florida.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — No. 5 Arkansas (27-9, 13-5) choked in Jacksonville and No. 4 North Carolina (26-11, 11-7) prevailed, 87-78 in the third round of this year's NCAA Tournament.
The Tar Heels advance to the Sweet 16 and the Hogs are left to ponder the possibilities, squandered opportunities and an upcoming off-season that will likely see the departure of sophomore Bobby Portis and junior Michael Qualls.
"I thought the thing that really disrupted the game was a lot of free throws, a lot of whistles," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said afterward. "It was almost opposite of the first half. The first half they let them play, and I guess in the second half they said, `Let's slow this down. We can't keep up with them. Let's slow it down."
- Qualls led all scorers with 27 points on his way to a double-double (10 rebounds).
- Bobby Portis also had a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
-- Portis, despite the double-double, struggled again (5-15 from the field).
-- Four Tar Heels scored in double figures led by Marcus Paige's 22 points.
"That's what great players do," Anderson said of Paige's performance. "He kind of put us back on our heels after we did a pretty good job of keeping him in check."
-- Paige scored 20 points in the second half.
"Well, if I could play just as well in the first half as I do in the second half, I would prefer to do that, but sometimes it happens that way," said Paige."Sometimes, if you have a poor first half, you want to do whatever you can to erase that and make up for it the second, and that's what I've been able to do a couple times."
"I was getting some decent looks," Paige continued "I just was rushing it a little bit. I think their pressure sped me up a little, so I just wanted to come out and let the game come to me."
-- Arkansas gave up 17 offensive rebounds leading to 25 second-chance points for UNC.
-- The Razorbacks turned the ball over an astounding 21 times, which led to 23 points for UNC.
"It would be the most embarrassing thing of my life probably, so I'll just leave it like that," UNC's head coach Roy Williams said of his team's locker room behavior after getting by Arkansas. "But I do enjoy acting silly and having fun. I am emotional and wear my feelings on my sleeve a lot in both directions, very happily or very mad, too. ... I hope the cameras weren't all over the locker room, let's put it that way."
"We didn't have the type of regular season we wanted," Paige said looking forward to the Sweet 16. "We had some bumps in the road, and we weren't a typical Carolina team in terms of our record this year and our seed and stuff. Our fans expect us to have a No. 1 seed over all every single year. But we understand the moment. You've got to win six games. Once you're slotted in the tournament and you're in position, it's up for grabs."
Bottom Line: The Hogs beat themselves last night and lost to an inferior team. Had the Razorbacks taken care of the ball and handled the offensive glass, Arkansas would have advanced to the Sweet 16 easily.
But a disregard for the most basic fundamentals cost UA dearly this time. And there will be no second chance in 2015. Shameful.