Oral Roberts turned simply the second No. 15 seed to ever attain the Candy 16 of the NCAA Event when the Golden Eagles knocked off No. 7 seed Florida 81-78 on Sunday. Simply two days after carrying Oral Roberts to a stunning upset of No. 2 seed Ohio State, the duo of Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor got here up large once more with a mixed 54 factors.
Florida led 67-56 with 9:48 to go however went chilly late as Oral Roberts proved as soon as once more that it has the clutch gene. The Eagles had been significantly clutch on the free-throw line, hitting 19-of-23 makes an attempt.
Subsequent up for Oral Roberts can be a Candy 16 matchup with No. 3 seed Arkansas, which outlasted Texas Tech 68-66 on Sunday. The groups have already met as soon as this season, and Oral Roberts put a scare into the Razorbacks. The Golden Eagles really led 40-30 at halftime earlier than Arkansas roared again for an 87-76 victory.
However Oral Roberts has proved since then that it might probably grasp with anybody within the nation, and if it beats Arkansas, it might grow to be the primary No. 15 seed to ever attain the Elite Eight. The one different No. 15 seed to make it to the Candy 16 was Florida Gulf Coast in 2013 when it beat beat No. 2 Seed Georgetown and No 7 seed San Diego State within the first weekend and misplaced to No. 3 seed Florida within the Candy 16.
Abmas entered the NCAA Event because the nation’s main scorer and has solely elevated his edge in that class with two heroic showings to date within the NCAA Event. Obanor has been proper by his aspect in field scores all through the season and has even kicked his sport up a gear on the massive stage.
The 2 scored a mixed 59 factors whereas every performed each second of the additional time win towards the Buckeyes. Each performed the entire sport once more on Sunday, and Obanor saved his finest for final. The 6-foot-8 junior scored 20 of his 28 factors within the second half, together with 13 within the remaining 10 minutes.
Paul Mills took the Oral Roberts teaching job earlier than the 2017-18 season after engaged on Baylor’s workers underneath Scott Drew from 2003 to 2017. Now, he is only one win away from a possible matchup together with his outdated squad. Baylor is the No. 1 seed within the South Area. With a win over Arkansas, Oral Roberts would seemingly face Baylor with a spot within the Closing 4 on the road.
The primary assembly between ORU and the Razorbacks got here on Dec. 20, and Arkansas caught fireplace within the second half with 57 factors to keep away from a loss. However Abmas had an uncharacteristically quiet sport, scoring simply 11 factors on 4-of-11 capturing. Arkansas might want to assessment the tape and see what it did to include the 6-foot-1 dynamo in that contest, as a result of the defensive methods employed by Ohio State and Florida clearly failed.
The Gators failed to attain within the remaining 2:29 after incomes what gave the impression to be a cushty lead halfway by way of the second half. In the long run, they had been outscored 25-11 down the stretch as their season of adversity met a disappointing finish.
In some methods, making it to the cusp of the Candy 16 needs to be thought to be successful for Florida after it misplaced preseason SEC Participant of the 12 months Keyontae Johnson for the season following his scary collapse on the courtroom at Florida State on Dec. 12. However the Gators rallied with out him and even reached No. 22 within the AP ballot in February. Nevertheless, Florida misplaced 4 of its remaining six video games and this now marks three straight NCAA Event appearances which have seen Florida fail to flee the primary weekend.