Oral Roberts silenced the narrative that it’s a one-upset wonder.
The Golden Eagles knocked off Florida, 81-78, on Sunday in thrilling fashion in the men’s NCAA Tournament second round to continue their Cinderella run as a No. 15 seed – just two days after stunningly upsetting No. 2 Ohio State.
The school that just joined Division I in 2013 is now only the second No. 15 seed (Florida Gulf Coast the other) to make it to the second weekend of March Madness.
Oral Roberts (18-10) took down the No. 7 seeded Gators by following the same blueprint it used to shock the Buckeyes: fueling off the 1-2 punch of Max Abmas (26 points, seven assists) and Kevin Obanor (28 points, 11 rebounds, four steals).
The Golden Eagles’ stars were brilliant in the win, but it was a role player – DeShang Weaver – who drained the decisive three-pointer with 2:10 remaining to give Oral Roberts an 80-78 edge. Obanor’s free-throw with 17 seconds helped seal the win.
“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.”
Florida led 67-56 with 9:48 to go but went cold as the Golden Eagles mounted their rally. After trailing throughout most of the game and the second half, Obanor gave Oral Roberts its first lead since the first half with 2:52 remaining.
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