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Oral Roberts 2021 39; run in NCAAs ends. memories to last a lifetime

Oral Roberts 2021 39; run in NCAAs ends. memories to last a lifetime
Oral Roberts basketball, oral roberts university, arkansas basketball, oral roberts vs arkansas, Max Abmas, arkansas vs oral roberts

Oral Roberts 2021 39; run in NCAAs ends. memories to last a lifetime

Oral Roberts Oral Roberts ' ends, memories last a NCAAs in to lifetime run

Sat, 27 Mar 2021 18:00:00 -0700

Until Max Abmas' last shot hit the front of the rim and bounced away at the buzzer, it looked as if Oral Roberts' improbable run in the NCAA Tournament just

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Updated: March 28, 2021 @ 12:32 am

Oral Roberts guard Max Abmas, center, reacts after a Sweet 16 game against Arkansas in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday.

Oral Roberts guard Max Abmas, center, reacts after a Sweet 16 game against Arkansas in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday.

Until Max Abmas’ last shot hit the front of the rim and bounced away at the buzzer, it looked as if Oral Roberts’ improbable run in the NCAA Tournament just might keep going Saturday night.

Coach Paul Mills thought the shot was going in.

So did Abmas, who dribbled down the court with 3 seconds left and got himself a great look at the basket.

And so did all those Golden Eagles fans, the ones who’ve been behind them for the long haul as well as the ones who jumped on the bandwagon as the team from the small evangelical school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, tried to do what no other No.

15 seed had ever done.

Oral Roberts was stopped just short of the Elite Eight, losing 72-70 to third-seeded Arkansas in the South Regional semifinal.

“Nobody thought we would be here, so just to see everything we accomplished …

something I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” said Abmas, the national scoring leader who played every minute of the Golden Eagles’ final six games.

Oral Roberts finished fourth in the Summit League but won the conference tournament to automatically qualify for the NCAAs.

Led by Abmas and Kevin Obanor, the high-scoring Golden Eagles knocked off second-seeded Ohio State 75-72 in overtime and seventh-seeded Florida 81-78 to become the second No.

15 seed, and first since Florida Gulf Coast in 2013, to make the Sweet 16.

They led Arkansas by as many as 12 points in the first half before the Razorbacks imposed their will inside and Oral Roberts went cold from deep.

The Razorbacks had 18 second-chance points off 18 offensive rebounds, and Oral Roberts went 2 of 14 on 3-pointers in the second half, missing its last 11.

So ended an 18-11 season and the school’s deepest NCAA run since the 1974 team went to a regional final.

“Even coming into the tournament, we all knew it was bigger than us,” Abmas said.

“We wanted to represent the university to the best of our abilities.

That’s the mindset we had every night coming out — just fighting with each other, loving each other and try to get wins and put ORU on the map.

We did our job.”

Fourth-year coach Paul Mills blamed himself for the loss because he picked up an early technical foul.

“I’ve gotten three technical fouls, including tonight, in my entire career, and to get a technical when you lose by two, it’s a tough pill to swallow,” Mills said.

Mills was T’d up after Carlos Jurgens was called for an offensive foul.

“I don’t curse, so I never cursed,” Mills said.

Mills said he was upset because shortly before the Jurgens foul, there was no call when Arkansas’ Justin Smith lowered his shoulder and ran over Obanor.

Mills said he raised his voice while pointing out that his player, on a similar play, was called for a foul.

Mills said he was told he got the technical for yelling.

“In my mind, it’s the only way you can overcome the noise,” Mills said.

“You have to raise your voice.

I just told them that’s the same call, and that was it, and they gave me the technical foul.”

Still, the Golden Eagles had a chance to win at the end.

They had to go the length of the court on the final play, and Mills said it was executed perfectly.

Abmas got the ball and dribbled to the right wing, where he launched a contested 3-pointer that would have won the game.

“Nothing I would have done different,” he said.

“I guess shoot it up a little bit more.

When it left my hands it felt good.

It ended up coming up short and we didn’t get the job done.”

Abmas said the loss was disappointing; the season was not.

“The job wasn’t just to get to the Sweet 16,” he said.

“The job, of course, was to get to the national championship and win it.

We came up short but all the stuff we accomplished this season is something all the guys will celebrate and remember the rest of their lives.”

———

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

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press.

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

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Oral Roberts Oral Roberts

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

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“Wooooo, Pig! Sooie!” It's not quite “ 

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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.”

REBOUNDING RAZORBACKS

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.

TATE’S LIFT

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.”

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and updated bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press.

All rights reserved.

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

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– March 28, 2021
Oral Roberts basketball, oral roberts university, arkansas basketball, oral roberts vs arkansas, Max Abmas, arkansas vs oral roberts

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