Arkansas Razorbacks guard Nick Smith Jr. certainly knows how to knock the team off of its feet — literally.
During Arkansas’ opening-round contest against the Illinois Fighting Illini on Thursday as March Madness 2023 got underway, Smith celebrated teammate Kamani Johnson’s basket before halftime – and accidentally shoved the 6-foot-7 forward to the floor.
Fortunately, Johnson recovered moments later and could be seen smiling on the broadcast, which showed him embracing Smith.
The No. 8 seed Arkansas later topped ninth-seeded Illinois, 73-63.
As footage from the game began to circulate on social media, Smith responded to a CBS tweet from CBS Sports that replayed his connection with Johnson.
“I got to [sic] hyped my bad my body @kamanijohnson,” Smith tweeted alongside a collection of laughing crying face emojis.
Arkansas will next face the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday in the West Region’s Round of 32.
Shortly after the game, Razorbacks head coach Eric Musselman praised Johnson’s efforts.
“I thought Kamani did a phenomenal job for us setting the tone early on the offensive glass,” Musselman said, per Whole Hog Sports.
“He gives us a physicality as well.”
Johnson logged five points and five rebounds on Thursday, while the 6-foot-5 Smith recorded six points.