Ohio State basketball 2021 39;I was always the underdog39;. 15 seed Oral Roberts stuns No. 2 Ohio .

Ohio State basketball 2021 39;I was always the underdog39;. 15 seed Oral Roberts stuns No. 2 Ohio .
Oral Roberts, oral roberts university, oral roberts basketball, Ohio State, osu basketball, Max Abmas

Ohio State basketball 2021 39;I was always the underdog39;. 15 seed Oral Roberts stuns No. 2 Ohio .

Ohio State basketball Ohio State basketball the No. seed underdog': Ohio Oral stuns 2 … 15 always was Roberts 'I

Fri, 19 Mar 2021 13:00:00 -0700

As the 2021 NCAA Tournament kicks off, Ohio State was knocked off by Oral Roberts in the first round as March Madness ramps into high gear in Indiana


WEST LAFAYETTE – The message Paul Mills sent his players was simple.

“Don’t let anybody put a number in front of your name,” the Oral Roberts men’s basketball coach said.

Except this sport is all about putting numbers with names.

It starts when, as teenagers, recruiting sites associate players by rank or a star method to determine worth.

And it certainly happens in the NCAA tournament, where qualifying teams are seeded based on their regular season resume. 

So, regardless of what Mills told the Golden Eagles, they were a No.

15 seed and Ohio State was a No.

2 seed.

March Madness sleepers:What to know about Oral Roberts’ bracket buster chances

March Madness games: Times, TV schedule for the 2021 NCAA basketball tournament

Oral Roberts wasn’t supposed to win and that affiliated number said as much.

But Kevin Obanor didn’t care.

Max Abmas didn’t care. 

Those two combined for 59 points in Oral Roberts’ stunning 75-72 overtime upset of the Buckeyes at Mackey Arena Saturday afternoon. 

“I know growing up all my life, I was always the underdog,” said Obanor, who finished with 11 rebounds and 30 points, seven of those in overtime. 

Even after the Buckeyes took a 64-60 lead with two-and-a-half minutes to go in regulation, Oral Roberts remained confident.

Obanor made four free throws in the final 1:07 to force overtime. 

Maybe Mills is on to something with his no-number theory.

“We were very confident,” Obanor said.

“It’s really just a number at the end of the day.

We put our shoes on just as the other team puts their shoes on.

We have the mindset of, show us you deserve to be No.


Instances likes this stand the test of time.

They show up on the “One Shining Moment” montage at the tournament’s conclusion.

It was a monumental victory, Oral Roberts’ third NCAA tournament win in its history.

The other two came in 1974.

Oral Roberts’ men’s basketball program will be talked about annually now as that time the Golden Eagles shocked the mighty Buckeyes in the NCAA tournament.

Just ask Middle Tennessee, which stunned Michigan State in 2016.

Or Florida Gulf Coast’s “Dunk City” team of 2013 that upset Georgetown.

Or how about the time it happened twice in 2012 (Norfolk State over Missouri and Lehigh over Duke)? Before then it was 11 years since Hampton knocked Iowa State out in the first round.

Oral Roberts joins that list, along with Coppin State (1997), Santa Clara (1993) and Richmond (1991).

For good measure, throw in UMBC, the only No.

16 seed to win a game. 

So that’s 10 times since the NCAA tournament expanded to 64, and later 68, teams that something like this has happened.

“Any time you’re a 2 seed, that kind of speaks for itself,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “I thought our guys had a terrific season.

This is obviously a really, really bitter, bitter end to a terrific season, but we’ll own that and accept it, and we’ll move forward.”

So will Oral Roberts, to the second round to face Florida. 

“The reality is you have to turn around and you’re about to play another one,” Mills said.

“So a celebration better be pretty quick because, if you spend all your time looking back at your marriage day videos, you’re probably not going to have a very good marriage.

There’s other things to get done.”


Ohio State basketball Ohio State basketball

Fri, 19 Mar 2021 13:00:00 -0700

Oral Roberts won its first NCAA Tournament game in 47 years by dramatically upsetting Ohio State


Oral Roberts became just the ninth No.

15 seed to ever beat a No.

2 seed in an NCAA Tournament game on Friday, when the Eagles shocked Ohio State 75-72 in overtime for the program’s first victory in the Big Dance since 1974.

Max Abmas entered as the nation’s leading scorer and put up 29 points for ORU, which advances to play No.

7 seed Florida on Sunday in a second round game.

The game went to overtime, but Abmas and teammate Kevin Obanor helped dominate the extra period, despite never getting a rest during the game’s 45 minutes.

Obanor finished with 30 points as he and Abmas combined to score all but 16 of Oral Roberts’ points in the game.

It’s the first time since 2016 that a No.

15 seed has defeated a No.

2, although the outcome has become more common over the past decade.

Dating back to 2012, a No.

15 seed has now defeated a No.

2 seed five times over the past nine NCAA Tournaments with Middle Tennessee’s victory over Michigan State in 2016 being the last before Friday.



Oral Roberts has taken down Ohio State!!!

While Ohio State’s poor 3-point shooting effort was an aberration for the Buckeyes, who were favored by 15 points at William Hill Sportsbook, Oral Roberts’ victory was anything but a fluke.

Here are the takeaways that help explain the history that was made Friday.

Many mid-major schools missed out on big nonconference opportunities due to the scheduling challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the Eagles played five NCAA Tournament teams from major conferences early this season and nearly beat a couple of them.

That experience paid off — and so did the unique rigors of Summit League play.

The league frequently staged two-game series’ between teams on consecutive days in order to reduce the amount of travel needed during the pandemic.

Enduring that physical grind may have paid off for the Eagles as Abmas and Obanor each played a full 45 minutes.

Fellow starters Kareem Thompson Carlos Jurgens played 44 and 42 minutes, respectively.

“I think that definitely prepared me for this moment right here,” Abmas told CBS after the game.

It sounds like a law firm, but it’s actually a star college basketball tandem.

If you paid close attention to college basketball, there’s at least a chance you’d heard of Abmas entering the NCAA Tournament.

The 6-foot guard overtook Luka Garza as the nation’s leading scorer in points per game late this season while averaging an obscene 34.8 points per game in ORU’s final five regular season contests.

But Obanor proved that Oral Roberts’ run to this point has been anything but a one-man show.

The 6-foot-8 forward has been a force for the Eagles all season, reaching double figures in every game except for one, and he put his versatile skill set on display Friday.

Obanor did plenty of damage in the paint and at the free-throw line down the stretch.

But unlike what you might expect from a mid-major big man, Obanor is also a 3-point threat, and he proved that against Ohio State by knocking down 5-of-12 tries from beyond the arc. 

In total, Abamas and Obanor combined for 10 of Oral Roberts’ 11 made 3-pointers, and Obanor’s 11 rebounds were also crucial as he battled admirably with Ohio State star forward E.J.


After losing four straight games to close the regular season, it appeared the Buckeyes were trending back up after a strong showing in the Big Ten Tournament.

Ohio State won three games in the event and took Illinois to overtime in the title game before losing 91-88.

But a couple key ingredients from Ohio State’s success throughout the season were missing Friday.

The Buckeyes made just 5-of-23 attempts from 3-point range (21.7%) after entering as a 36.5% 3-point shooting team.

The Buckeyes also missed senior forward Kyle Young, who was out for a third consecutive game due to a concussion suffered in the Big Ten Tournament.

Having the 6-foot-8 forward would have helped Ohio State establish a more demonstrative edge in the paint.

The program appears to be in a solid place, but the Buckeyes have yet to advance past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament under fourth-year coach Chris Hotlmann, and Friday’s outcome will mark a bitter end to an otherwise excellent season.

.@ClarkKelloggCBS is all of Buckeye nation right now

Mood in Ann Arbor



Oral Roberts has taken down Ohio State!!!



30 points for Obanor and 29 for Abmas.

Ohio State had its chances but Washington couldn’t hit the clutch shots.

What a shocking end to the season for Ohio State.


Only the NINTH 15 over 2 upset in Tournament HISTORY (now 9-132)

Take a bow @ORUMBB.


got ALL THE WAY up to block this shot

Ohio State not done yet! Buckeyes have Washington at the line trailing 72-69 with 37 seconds still left.

Max Abmas!!! His jumper puts Oral Roberts up 72-66.

It’s really happening, folks.

Ohio State is on the verge of going down.

Warith Alatishe just said NO SIR, NOT TODAY

Abmas to the FT line after a Liddell bucket.

Makes it a two-possession game again.

Up to 27 points.

Obanor’s and-1 bucket gives ORU a two-possession lead.

Ohio State ain’t even winning the interior battle anymore.

Quick reset: Only 8 No.

15 seeds have ever beaten a No.

2 in NCAA Tournament history.

Oral Roberts is ahead in overtime against Ohio State with a chance to become No.


Obanor with the first bucket of OT as he backs Washington down for a bucket.

Obanor and Abmas played all 40 minutes of regulation.

What’s 5 more when history is on the line?


Washington’s last second jumper misses, and we’re headed to OT.

Big story to watch here is the four fouls on Liddell.

He can’t afford to pick up No.


Bonus basketball ahead.

Third OT game of the tournament!

Ohio State takes its last time out with Obanor going back to the line for 1 more and ORU trailing by 1.

Obanor to the line with a chance to tie at the 14.9 mark.


Oral Roberts has a shot at it here.

Liddell about to be at the line with 35 seconds left and Ohio State up 2.

Huge moment coming.

Sister Jean is a big fan of that move from Cameron Krutwig.

ORU with some good FC pressure out of the timeout forcing an Ohio State timeout.

Great finish coming as the Buckeyes still lead by 2 with 1:07 left.

Obanor gets it back to a one-score game at the FT line.

Narrowly missed an and-1 opportunity, but that’s 4 on Liddell.

1:07 to go.


Huge block by Liddell.

Ohio State doesn’t want to go home.

Backs against the wall for ORU.

Liddell makes it a two-possession at the FT line with 2:34 to go.

ORU going to need some late heroics.

Wiz, mid-range 👍

Duane Washington with ice in the veins! Huge shot by the guy whose been carrying this team as of late (with a lot of help from Liddell)

Max Abmas kinda reminds me of former Marquette star Markus Howard.

Undersized guy with a ton of range who also has a mean float game.

He’s got 26 in this game and is showing why he overtook Luka Garza as the nation’s leading scorer entering the NCAA Tournament.

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Images by Getty Images and US Presswire


– March 19, 2021
Oral Roberts, oral roberts university, oral roberts basketball, Ohio State, osu basketball, Max Abmas

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