FAYETTEVILLE — His Razorbacks could have been placed in NCAA Tournament venues closer to Arkansas such Wichita, Dallas or Nashville, but Arkansas coach Mike Anderson and senior guard and North Little Rock High grad gladly called Detroit home Sunday night for their Friday NCAA Tournament game against the Butler Bulldogs.

The seventh-seeded 23-11 Razorbacks, one of eight SEC teams in this season’s tournament, and the 10th-seeded 20-13 Bulldogs of Indianapolis, Ind. and the Big East, learned on Sunday night’s NCAA Tournament selection show that they are matched in Friday’s first round East Regional in Detroit.

Tip-off is 2:10 p.m. CDT and televised on Tru-TV.

The Arkansas vs. Butler winner advances to Sunday’s second round in Detroit against Friday’s first-round winner between second-seeded Purdue and 15th-seeded California State-Fullerton with that winner advancing to the East Regional semifinal next week in Boston.

“Obviously like most teams we want to be a little closer to home,” Anderson said. “But our fans can travel to Detroit. As a matter of fact I’ve got some family up there. One of my mom’s sisters live up there and hopefully I’ll have the chance to visit her.”

“ I've actually got family in Detroit,” said guard Anton Beard said. “My dad's side of the family is from Detroit. I'm actually going home.”

Besides, even while working to make the NCAA Tournament, the “Arkansas standard” as it became in 15 of the 17 years that Anderson assisted Nolan Richardson and that his Razorbacks now have achieved three of the last four years, Anderson implied you call anywhere home when it’s a NCAA Tournament site and said it’s a thrill to hear the Hogs officially announced tournament bound regardless of destination.

“The one thing you always want to do is hear your name called,” Anderson said. “Now we get the chance to play for a national championship. So I know our guys are super, super excited about having a chance to play in this event and having a chance to play against an outstanding Butler team.”

Although opening the SEC just 1-3, Arkansas’ 10-8 SEC finish and winning two SEC Tournament games in St. Louis before Saturday’s loss to regular-season SEC co-champion Tennessee had an at large well in hand before Sunday’s pairings were announced.

Between playing seven SEC teams in the NCAA Tournament plus nonconference playing NCAA Tournament teams Bucknell, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Houston, the Razorbacks went 8-8 against 11 teams in the field of 68 deciding the national championship.

“ I thought we played one of the more competitive schedules you ever could play that’s been in place since I’ve been here,” Anderson in his seventh season head coaching the Hogs, said. “And I thought our guys performed really well and won 23 games.”

He expects playing well to become playing better in Detroit and advancing where his 2015 and 2017 Razorbacks didn’t at two and through in the NCAA Tournament losing second-round tournament games to North Carolina.

“I don’t want to be just one-stepping and two-stepping,” Anderson said. “So our mindset is to go in and really get after the first game. The first game is the most important game and we’ve got to get prepared to go against a really good Butler basketball team.”