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Oral Roberts 2021 moves to Sweet 16. 39;happy to be a school that glorifies .

Oral Roberts 2021  moves to Sweet 16. 39;happy to be a school that glorifies .
oral roberts university, oral roberts basketball

Oral Roberts 2021 moves to Sweet 16. 39;happy to be a school that glorifies .

Oral Roberts Oral Roberts to Sweet 'happy … to school moves a be that 16, glorifies

Sun, 21 Mar 2021 19:00:00 -0700

Oral Roberts is just the second No

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15 seed in NCAA Tournament history to advance to the round of 16

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We're just happy to play for God

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"

Few people gave 15th-seeded Oral Roberts University much of a chance to knock off second-seeded Ohio State.

Fewer still expected the Golden Eagles to advance to the Sweet 16.

But after an 81-78 come-from-behind victory over seventh-seeded Florida on Sunday night, ORU is just the second No.

15 seed in NCAA Tournament history to advance to the round of 16.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

ORAL ROBERTS IS HEADED TO THE #Sweet16 FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1974 ‼️⁰⁰@ORUMBB | #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/FRHoRROJv2

— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 22, 2021

Max Abmas, the nation’s regular-season leading scorer, finished with 26 points, but just like on Friday, junior forward Kevin Obanor was ORU’s leading scorer Sunday.

He led all players with 28 points, four 3-pointers and 11 rebounds.

The Golden Eagles, who went on an incredible run through the Summit League tournament just to advance to the NCAA tourney, closed the game against Florida on a 25-11 run, erasing an 11-point lead Florida held with less than 10 minutes to go.

They took their first lead of the second half, 77-76, when Obanor hit a basket with less than three minutes left.

“To God be the glory, we came out victorious,” Obanor told Tru TV reporter AJ Ross on the court after the game.

He further glorified God when he later spoke to the rest of the media.

“It can go however far God wants it to,” he said when asked how far this team could go.

“At the end of the day, we’re just happy to [be a] school that glorifies God.

He deserves to be on a higher pedestal, and we’re just happy to play for Him, and we’re happy just to be in that spotlight at the highest [level] for college basketball and to keep winning.

It’s God’s plan.

We’re going to come out and compete, play to the best of our abilities, but we’re just going to let God handle it, and everything will happen naturally.”

Head coach Paul Mills, who took over the reins to the program in April 2017 after 14 years on staff at Baylor, spoke with the media as well Sunday night.

He opened his comments by saying, “There’s a Gospel hymn that says, ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow.’ It’s a blessing to coach those guys in that locker room.

It’s a blessing to win.”

Later, Mills was asked what he wanted to say to all the fans back home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“One is ‘thank you.’ I mean, I tell our guys this often: We need to use our God-given abilities for God-given reasons, and we need to make sure — in a hundred years, none of us will be here, OK.

And what our guys need to understand is we are really not that important.

And you need to know that.

As much as I admire Dr.

Martin Luther King Jr., there aren’t three people who gather every Sunday to celebrate his greatness.

We are not going to sit around and act like we’re great.

“Now, 120 million people gather every Sunday, 180 million on Easter, to celebrate one name, and that is the name of Jesus Christ.

And so to be at an institution that honors that — there is no other name under Heaven and Earth which man must be saved.

To be at an institution that honors that and we can give them something to celebrate [is special], but at the same time, we are not that important.

And our guys need to understand that.

They are teenagers, early 20s, but by the same token, we are so thankful for the support and the people because we want to do this the right way.”

In the Golden Eagles’ first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008, they’re doing something right.

On Friday they picked up their first NCAA Tournament win in 47 years, and on Sunday they joined Florida Gulf Coast as the only No.

15 seeds to ever reach the tournament’s round of 16.

After both Friday’s and Sunday’s wins, the Golden Eagles gathered on the court to pray as a team.

That’s a regular occurrence for these players from the private evangelical university in Tulsa.

The school is named for its founder Oral Roberts, the famous evangelist who founded the university in 1963. Its mission is to “develop Holy Spirit-empowered leaders through whole person education to impact the world.”

“We develop whole leaders for the whole world through a unique Whole Person education,” says the school’s website.

“Spirit-empowered leaders come to ORU, not to ‘stay’ in their faith, but to GROW in faith.”

Next up for the ORU men’s basketball squad is third-seeded Arkansas on Saturday.

RELATED STORIES: 
— Evangelical Oral Roberts University shocks Ohio State in NCAA Tournament’s 1st upset
— Abilene Christian upsets Texas as it thrives on family atmosphere: ‘It’s true love’
— Baylor men earn program’s first NCAA Tournament No.

1 seed, living out culture of JOY
— North Texas coach Grant McCasland realizes purpose is ‘greater than just winning games’
— Bryce Drew walking by faith in leading Grand Canyon to 1st NCAA Tourney appearance

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Oral Roberts Oral Roberts

Sun, 21 Mar 2021 19:00:00 -0700

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Oral Roberts pulled off yet another upset to become just the second No

.

15 seed in NCAA Tournament history to advance to the round of 

Oral Roberts forward Francis Lacis, center, celebrates with a coach after a college basketball game against Florida in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

Oral Roberts guard Kareem Thompson, left, grabs a rebound in front of Florida forward Colin Castleton (12) during the second half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts forward Kevin Obanor (0) shoots over Florida forward Colin Castleton (12) during the second half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts fans celebrate after a college basketball game against Florida in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

Oral Roberts guard Carlos Jurgens, center, shoots over Florida guard Scottie Lewis (23) and guard Noah Locke (10) during the second half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts guard Max Abmas (3) shoots between Florida forward Anthony Duruji (4) and guard Tre Mann (1) during the second half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts forward Kevin Obanor (0) drives to the basket ahead of Florida forward Colin Castleton (12) during the second half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts players celebrate at the end of a college basketball game against Florida in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

Oral Roberts players and coaches huddle on the court after a college basketball game against Florida in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

Florida players walk off the court after a college basketball game against Oral Roberts in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

Oral Roberts forward Francis Lacis (22) celebrates after a college basketball game against Florida in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

Oral Roberts players celebrate after a college basketball game against Florida in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Dunk City, say hello to Max Abmas and soaring Oral Roberts.

The fraternity of No.

15 seeds to reach the second week of the NCAA Tournament has its second member.

“It’s really just mind blowing,” forward Kevin Obanor said.

“We’re grateful.

Just happy that we got the win.”

Abmas and Obanor led the way as Oral Roberts pulled off another surprise Sunday night, reaching the round of 16 with an 81-78 victory over Florida.

The Golden Eagles erased an 11-point deficit on the way to their seventh straight victory.

Next up for the Summit League Tournament champions, who eliminated No.

2 seed Ohio State in the first round, is a matchup with No.

3 seed Arkansas next weekend.

“As I told the guys, we’re not going to let somebody put a number in front of our name and tell us that that’s our worth, or that’s our value,” Oral Roberts coach Paul Mills said.

“We’re not capitulating to anybody here.”

Obanor scored 28 points and Abmas (pronounced ACE-mus), the regular-season national leading scorer, finished with 26 as the Golden Eagles (18-10) closed the game on a 25-11 run to overcome the 11-point lead Florida held with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Oral Roberts joins Florida Gulf Coast — those guys from “Dunk City” — as the only No.

15 seeds to reach the round of 16 in tournament history.

The private evangelical university in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has won twice in the tournament for the first time since 1974 when it reached the region final before losing to Kansas.

The Oral Roberts fans inside Indiana Farmers Coliseum chanted “Cinderella” during a wild celebration after the victory.

The chance to reach the Sweet 16 was a message hammered home by Mills after the opening victory over Ohio State.

If they enjoyed beating the Buckeyes, Mills said, a week reveling in moving onto the next round would be even better.

They’ll get that chance.

“I told them, ‘I told you so,’ when we got to locker room,” Mills said.

“I told you the Sweet 16 was a much better feeling.”

Oral Roberts took a 77-76 lead — its first lead since late in the first half — on Obanor’s basket with less than 3 minutes remaining.

Noah Locke answered for the Gators, but DeShang Weaver, who missed his first five shots, hit an open 3-pointer for an 80-78 lead with 2:08 remaining.

Florida had a chance but failed to get good shots on its final few possessions.

The Gators had a pair of turnovers, Locke missed a corner 3-pointer and, after Obanor split free throws, difficult 3-point attempts by Tre Mann and Scottie Lewis were off line.

Mann led the Gators (15-10) with 19 points, but went quiet late in the second half, failing to score over the final 17 minutes.

“I just missed shots,” Mann said.

“We made the same plays we did in the first half.

I got the same shots.

I just missed shots.

I didn’t get the wide-open looks I was getting.”

Locke finished with 17 points and Colin Castleton and Tyree Appleby both added 14 for the Gators.

But there will be plenty of anger and frustration after losing in the second round for the third straight NCAA appearance and a game Florida felt it gave away.

The Gators shot 55%.

They outrebounded the smaller Golden Eagles 37-24 and had 42 points in the paint.

But Florida committed 20 turnovers and had just three made baskets over the final 9½ minutes.

Florida coach Mike White was worried about fatigue with his players and playing slower backfired.

“We were tired.

These guys get you in rotation.

I was hoping slowing it down would help us make better decisions,” White said.

“We made some erratic decisions.

We made some passes that boy I wish we had back.”

In the eight previous instances of a No.

15 seed playing in the round of 32, only Florida Gulf Coast was able to keep its magical run going.

“Dunk City” ousted San Diego State in the second round before losing to Florida in the Sweet 16.

Most times, the elation of pulling off the first-round upset led to a second-round rout.

Only Coppin State in 1997 lost by less than 10 points, an 82-81 defeat to Texas.

SMART FOUL

One of the biggest decisions of the game came with 3:11 left after Oral Roberts pulled within 76-75.

The Golden Eagles fouled Florida’s Osayi Osifo, a 50% free-throw shooter on the season, as soon as the ball got in his hands.

Osifo missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and Obanor scored to give the Golden Eagles the lead.

“We’re not getting stops.

We’re not getting rebounds.

We’re down one, so we need to give ourselves a chance here and so we took the gamble and it paid off,” Mills said.

FLORIDA HELP

Florida had Appleby back on the floor after suffering a gash on his head against Virginia Tech that knocked him out of the game.

The Gators also had Omar Payne back after he was held out by a coach’s decision for the opener.

Payne was ejected from the SEC Tournament quarterfinals early in the second half for a flagrant-2 foul against Tennessee’s John Fulkerson.

Fulkerson suffered a concussion and facial fracture and did not play in Tennessee’s loss to Oregon State.

Payne scored four points in 11 minutes.

UP NEXT

The Golden Eagles faced Arkansas earlier this season, losing 87-76 to the Razorbacks on Dec.

20.

———

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP—Top25

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press.

All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

With superfan Sister Jean watching, Loyola Chicago ousted No.

1 seed Illinois in the NCAA men’s tournament.

Here’s a recap as women’s play got underway.

Oral Roberts forward Francis Lacis, center, celebrates with a coach after a college basketball game against Florida in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

Oral Roberts guard Kareem Thompson, left, grabs a rebound in front of Florida forward Colin Castleton (12) during the second half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts forward Kevin Obanor (0) shoots over Florida forward Colin Castleton (12) during the second half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts fans celebrate after a college basketball game against Florida in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

Oral Roberts guard Carlos Jurgens, center, shoots over Florida guard Scottie Lewis (23) and guard Noah Locke (10) during the second half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts guard Max Abmas (3) shoots between Florida forward Anthony Duruji (4) and guard Tre Mann (1) during the second half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts forward Kevin Obanor (0) drives to the basket ahead of Florida forward Colin Castleton (12) during the second half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts players celebrate at the end of a college basketball game against Florida in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

Oral Roberts players and coaches huddle on the court after a college basketball game against Florida in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

Florida players walk off the court after a college basketball game against Oral Roberts in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

Oral Roberts forward Francis Lacis (22) celebrates after a college basketball game against Florida in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

Oral Roberts players celebrate after a college basketball game against Florida in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sunday, March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis.

Oral Roberts won 81-78.

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– March 22, 2021
oral roberts university, oral roberts basketball

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