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Bailey gets off bench, pitches in

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Photographs by J.T. Wampler

Arkansas guard Anton Beard passes the ball during a game against North Carolina on Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Greenville, S.C.

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Daryl Macon wasn't the only Arkansas Razorback who played big off the bench Sunday against North Carolina.

Macon led the Razorbacks with 19 points, but they also got significant contributions from reserves Anton Beard and Adrio Bailey to push North Carolina to the limit before the Tar Heels rallied late to win 72-65.

Beard, a junior guard from Little Rock, had 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists without a turnover in 20 minutes.

Bailey, freshman forward who had been averaging 7.0 minutes and didn't play in 13 of the Razorbacks' previous 34 games, had 4 points and 3 steals in a season-high 19 minutes.

"Something in the back of my mind told me I needed to stay ready, that I was going to have a chance to contribute," Bailey said. "It was great to go in and be a part of the comeback in the first half.

"I wanted to bring something to the table, and I made that first bucket it turned up my energy and really boosted my confidence."

Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said he played Beard and Bailey significant minutes because of how they helped the Razorbacks rally from a 30-13 deficit to pull within 38-33 at halftime.

"We put some energy guys in there who were focusing on defense and really being disruptive," Anderson said. "We got our fast break going and were deflecting passes.

"All of a sudden we got the game speed up and Adrio was a big part of that."

Beard's 10-point effort was highest total since scoring 11 against Ole Miss on Feb. 18. He had combined to score seven points in the previous four games.

"I thought he looked like the Beard of old," Anderson said. "He helped us out there leading, calming guys down. Making big plays. Just getting dirty."

Macon mum on future

Daryl Macon, a junior from Little Rock, didn't want to talk about next season after the game.

Asked his thoughts on the program moving forward, Macon said, "No comment."

That prompted a follow-up question about whether he was planning to come back to Arkansas for his senior season and Macon said, "No comment."

Macon then was asked if might leave the program after this season?

"I never said that," he said. "Can we not ask that question? I don't want to talk about that.

"We just lost a game and you're going to ask me am I'm coming back? C'mon man. I don't want to answer that question."

At the line

North Carolina shot 19 of 25 free throws compared to 5 of 8 by Arkansas.

The Razorbacks didn't get into the bonus in either half because the Tar Heels were called for 10 fouls -- 6 in the first half and 4 in the second -- while Arkansas was called for 20 fouls.

"I noticed that," Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said when asked about the Razorbacks being called for twice as many fouls as the Tar Heels. "I don't know if North Carolina plays good defense. They don't play great defense.

"And we're an attacking team. There were some opportunities where we were in fast-break mode and were attacking, getting to the basket.

"But it was called that way and, of course, our guys have got to play through that."

Vs. North Carolina

Arkansas fell to 2-4 against North Carolina in NCAA Tournament games and 3-6 in the teams' all-time series.

The Razorbacks last beat the Tar Heels 75-68 at the 1995 Final Four.

Tip-ins

The Razorbacks are 0-9 all-time against No. 1 seeds. ... Senior center Moses Kingsley finished his career with 1,200 points to finish 25th on Arkansas all-time list. ... The Razorbacks are 42-31 in NCAA Tournament games.

Sports on 03/20/2017

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