Oral Roberts 2021 Davis39; jumper gives Arkansas 72.70 win over
Oral Roberts Oral Roberts jumper 72-70 over Davis' Arkansas gives win
Sat, 27 Mar 2021 18:00:00 -0700
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The chants of Arkansas' fans echoed from the concourse long after the players had cleared the floor
“Wooooo, Pig! Sooie!” It's not quite “
By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Basketball Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The chants of Arkansas’ fans echoed from the concourse long after the players had cleared the floor.
“Wooooo, Pig! Sooie!”
It’s not quite “40 Minutes of Hell,” but the Razorbacks are back.
Davonte Davis hit a short jumper with 2.9 seconds left, and Arkansas advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in 26 years with a 72-70 win over Oral Roberts in the South Region semifinals Saturday night.
“It’s amazing just being able to be in this position right now as an individual and as an Arkansas player,” said Davis, who had 16 points.
The Muss Bus grinded its gears through the first half into the second, bad shots and even worse defense putting Arkansas in a 12-point hole against the 15th-seeded Golden Eagles.
Eric Musselman’s Razorbacks (25-6) got their Pig Sooie swagger back, turning defensive stops into early offense opportunities and offensive rebounds into points.
It came down to one final shot and Davis made it, sending Arkansas to the Elite Eight for the first time since the Nolan Richardson “40 Minutes of Hell” days.
Next up for the Razorbacks is top-seeded Baylor in what should be a fast-paced South Region final on Monday.
“It’s an incredible feeling to be in an Elite Eight in our second year,” said Musselman, who took over the program in 2019.
“I really can’t describe it.”
The let-it-fly Golden Eagles (18-11) let history slip through their grasp.
Within reach of becoming the first No.
15 seed to reach the Elite Eight, Oral Roberts stumbled with a series of turnovers and missed shots.
Max Abmas did his best to put the Golden Eagles in the Elite Eight for the first time in 47 years, scoring 25 points.
His 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim.
“We gave him a pass option, we gave him a dribble option,” Oral Roberts coach Paul Mills said.
“He’s super bright and picks up things really quickly and understood and had great court awareness and had great selection on the shot.
Unfortunately, it didn’t go in.”
The Golden Eagles had history on their minds.
Florida Gulf Coast was the only other No.
15 seed to get this far in 2013 and lost at the regional semifinal round.
Oral Roberts knew it had a chance to top it against the Razorbacks after playing them earlier in the season.
Oral Roberts led by 10 at halftime in Fayetteville on Dec.
20 before Arkansas bullied the Golden Eagles in the second half for an 87-76 win.
The Golden Eagles went chest-to-chest with the Razorbacks from the start of their first Sweet 16 game since 1974, contesting shots at the rim and chasing out to the arc to prevent open looks.
Arkansas helped them out with some difficult shots, going 1 for 7 from 3 in the first half.
The Razorbacks tried to make it difficult on Abmas, trapping him in most pick-and-roll situations.
The nation’s leading scorer still found a way to get his points, with 12 in the first half.
Carlos Jurgens, who averages 5.7 points per game, took advantage of repeatedly being left open, scoring 11 to help Oral Roberts lead 35-28 at halftime.
The Golden Eagles continued making shots in the second half as the Razorbacks kept taking bad ones, stretching the lead to 46-34.
“We weren’t playing hard,” Davis said.
“We were playing slow.
We were letting them slow us down and that’s not what we needed.
We’re a fast team.”
Arkansas had already been in this position once before, needing “24 Minutes of Hell” to outlast another upstart, Colgate, to open the NCAA Tournament.
Just like that game, the Razorbacks snapped out of it, playing better defense and getting to the rim instead of throwing up contested shots.
Arkansas chipped the lead down to four midway through and finally caught, then passed, the Golden Eagles into the Elite Eight.
“The job wasn’t just to get to the Sweet 16,” Abmas said.
“The job was to get to the national championship and win it.
We came up short, but all the stuff we accomplished this season is something we’ll celebrate and remember the rest of our lives.”
Arkansas had 24 offensive rebounds in its regular-season win over Oral Roberts and owned the offensive glass again in the Sweet 16.
The Razorbacks had 18 offensive boards, leading to 18 second-chance points, and had 11 more rebounds overall.
Justin Smith had 10 offensive rebounds in the first game and grabbed 11 more on Saturday.
Jalen Tate kept the Razorbacks in it while they were struggling and had a strong all-around game.
The 6-foot-7 junior used his size to score 22 points.
He set up Davis for the winning shot with a drive-and-kick.
“He played well and he was scoring the ball,” Davis said.
“We needed that spark and he did it.”
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Oral Roberts Oral Roberts
Sat, 27 Mar 2021 18:00:00 -0700
Davonte Davis nailed a jumper with 3
1 seconds to give Arkansas the lead for good and carry it to victory
Arkansas will advance to play No
1 seed Baylor on
Oral Roberts reached the cusp of NCAA Tournament history on Saturday night before No.
3 seed Arkansas stole a 72-70 victory in the final seconds.
The Razorbacks stopped the Eagles from making history as they would have been the first No.
15 seed to ever reach the Elite Eight.
However Max Abmas’ last second 3-pointer hit the rim and bounced off, and the Razorbacks escaped.
Davonte Davis nailed a jumper with 3.1 seconds to give Arkansas the lead for good and carry it to victory.
Arkansas will advance to play No.
1 seed Baylor on Monday with a spot in the Final Four on the line.
ARKANSAS BY 2.
Jalen Tate led Arkansas with 22 points as the Razorbacks used a strong second half performance in a game that bore similarities to the first time Arkansas and Oral Roberts played this season.
The Eagles led 40-30 at halftime on Dec.
20 before the Razorbacks roared back for an 87-76 victory.
This time, ORU led 35-28 at the break, and the Eagles actually grew that lead to 46-34 early in the second half.
But the Razorbacks stormed back on Saturday, much like they did during the earlier meeting between the teams.
Abmas led Oral Roberts with 25 points.
The nation’s leading scorer got a great look in the final seconds.
But when it clanged off the iron, the Eagles’ Cinderella run came to an end.
ARKANSAS IS HEADED TO THE ELITE 8.
For an Arkansas team that had not been to a Sweet 16 since 1996, this marks a remarkable turnaround.
In just his second season as coach, Eric Musselman has entirely revamped the roster and programmed a group consisting primarily of transfers and freshmen into one of the best teams in the country.
Oral Roberts, meanwhile, will return home with a set of memories that should last a lifetime.
Here are some takeaways from the end of the Eagles’ run.
This one will sting for Oral Roberts, no doubt.
The program was so close to advancing to the Elite Eight that it came down to just inches on a last-second shot.
But when the dust settles, the Eagles’ two victories in the Big Dance will go down in history.
They joined the 2013 Florida Gulf Coast team as the only No.
15 seeds to ever reach the Sweet 16.
An overtime victory over No.
2 seed Ohio State was an all-time NCAA Tournament upset, and a dramatic victory over No.
7 seed Florida in the second round was also a game to remember and could be the building blocks to putting this program on the map.
As if majoring in biomedical chemistry is not stressful enough, try also leading the country in scoring at the same time.
That’s the life of Max Abmas, and he certainly does it well.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore was already well known in the Summit League.
Now he’s known throughout college basketball.
Abmas and fellow star Kevin Obanor etched their names in NCAA Tournament lore with heroic individual performances that propelled ORU’s run.
Obanor recorded three consecutive double-doubles while averaging 23.3 points in the NCAA Tournament.
Abmas averaged 26.7 points during the run.
Abmas and Obanor weren’t the only personalities at Oral Roberts to make a name for themselves.
Coach Paul Mills is now on the national radar as well.
He inherited an 8-win team after the 2016-17 season and took it to the Sweet 16 within four years.
Given that he spent 14 years on the Baylor staff as an assistant, Mills has the right combination of success on his resume now to warrant a look from a high-major job.
Or, if Abmas and Obanor plan to stick around, he could stay Oral Roberts and build it into a mid-major power.
Either way, this tournament did wonders for his career.
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– March 28, 2021
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