DES MOINES, Ia–The Arkansas Razorbacks have thrived in the big dance.

Under coach Eric Mussleman, the Razorbacks have made three straight NCAA tournaments.

And the last two trips got them all the way to the Elite Eight.

Thursday, Arkansas opened against Illinois in the west region.

Springfield’s own Trevon Brazile on the bench, remember his season ended early with ACL surgery.

He watched Arkansas build a first half lead, the pocket pass Ricky Council for the dunk, it’s 25-15 Razorbacks.

Then the nice pass to Anthony Black for the dunk, it’s Arkansas by a dozen.

Council showing his range late first half, the catch and shoot three, the Razorbacks led 36-26 at the half.

Second half, Illinois makes a run, Coleman Hawkins with the deep three, it’s a seven point game.

But Arkansas answers with Devo Davis, the wide open corner three, it’s 45-36 Razorbacks.

Then Jordan Walsh with the steal, and the layup, rolling off but there’s Devo Davis with the tip in, no call, and Arkansas goes onto win 73-63.

The Razorbacks get Kansas next on Saturday.

Ricky Council had 18 points, Devo Davis 16 and he talked about what makes the tournament so special.

“Oh, it’s the atmosphere. Spending time with the team. Spending time with our families. Enjoying the moment. This one is really exciting and we’re going to enjoy it and get ready for Kansas. It’s not gonna be the first time. We’re gonna be ready. We’re gonna be prepared and we’re gonna make sure we come in and give those guys a fight and try to win this thing,” said Davis.