Oral Roberts shocks Ohio State, first massive upset of NCAAs

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Ohio State’s gamers had been dancing round within the moments earlier than tipoff towards Oral Roberts, relaxed and filled with swagger.

The Buckeyes aren’t dancing anymore. The Fifteenth-seeded Golden Eagles pulled off the primary main upset of the primary NCAA Match in two years, holding off second-seeded Ohio State 75-72 in time beyond regulation on Friday.

“After they rank them, it was solely only a quantity on the finish of the day,” stated Kevin Obanor, who led Oral Roberts with 30 factors and 11 rebounds. “We put our footwear on simply as the opposite staff places their footwear on. We simply had the mindset of, ‘Present us that you simply need to be No. 2,’ and we got here out with a whole lot of confidence.”

Oral Roberts obtained poised, impeccable performances from its two stars, Obanor and guard Max Abmas, to turn out to be the ninth 15 seed to win a first-round sport and the primary since Center Tennessee shocked Michigan State in 2016. Final yr’s match was referred to as off due to the pandemic.

Obanor scored seven of Oral Roberts’ 11 factors in time beyond regulation, together with two free throws with 13 seconds left. Abmas, the nation’s main scorer, had 29 factors.

“Their two gamers that clearly involved us had been terrific, so give them, their coaches, their gamers, their program, their college a whole lot of credit score for this win,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann stated. “We had no illusions that this was going to be by any stretch something apart from a extremely difficult sport, and it clearly was that from the very bounce.”

Ohio State may have tied it within the closing seconds of time beyond regulation, however Duane Washington Jr.’s open 3-pointer from right away bounced off the facet of the rim, and Oral Roberts celebrated its first match win since 1974.

The Golden Eagles’ roster is filled with flippantly recruited gamers who discovered their strategy to the small, non-public Christian college in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Summit League champions bowed their heads in a prayer circle after their victory over the Massive Ten energy.

“I do know rising up, all my life, I used to be all the time just like the underdog,” Obanor stated. “The college isn’t a giant college. Simply to show individuals incorrect, it’s a blessing simply to have individuals which might be actually dedicated and consider that we’re the higher staff.”

The Golden Eagles (17-10) will play seventh-seeded Florida within the South Area on Sunday.

E.J. Liddell had 23 factors and 14 rebounds to guide the Buckeyes (21-10). Washington had 18 factors and 10 rebounds however made simply 7 of 21 photographs.

Oral Roberts scored the sport’s first seven factors, together with a 3-pointer by Abmas from the emblem that drew a collective “Ooooh!” from the socially distanced crowd.

The Buckeyes led by eight earlier than the Golden Eagles rallied. Abmas hit a 3-pointer with about 5 minutes left within the first half to offer Oral Roberts a 26-25 lead, prompting a chant of “O-R-U!” He hit one other 3 moments later to drive an Ohio State timeout. He made 5 of seven 3-pointers within the first half and had 18 factors on the break because the Golden Eagles led 36-33.

The Summit League champions led by seven within the second half earlier than Ohio State rallied to take a 60-58 lead on a pullup jumper by CJ Walker with just below 5 minutes to play.

Obanor was fouled with 14 seconds to play, and he made each free throws to tie the sport at 64. Washington missed a step-back jumper within the closing seconds, and the Buckeys had no reply for Obanor within the additional session.

“That is clearly a extremely, actually bitter finish to a terrific season,” Holtmann stated. “We’ll personal that and settle for it and we’ll transfer ahead.”

MAKING FREEBIES

Oral Roberts entered the sport with an opportunity to set the Division I report for free-throw capturing share in a season. The Division I report is 82.18%, set by Harvard in 1984. Oral Roberts entered the sport at 82.35%, however made 14 of 18 within the sport to slip to 82.17%.

KNEELING

5 Ohio State gamers knelt throughout the taking part in of the nationwide anthem, considered one of many such demonstrations throughout the match.

STAT LINES

Ohio State outrebounded Oral Roberts 49-32, however the Golden Eagles balanced that out by committing six turnovers to the Buckeyes’ 16.

QUOTABLE

Oral Roberts coach Paul Mills on preparing for Florida: “I imply, the truth is you must flip round and also you’re about to play one other one, so the celebration higher be fairly fast. For those who spend all of your time wanting again at your marriage ceremony day movies, you’re most likely not going to have an excellent marriage.”

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Observe Cliff Brunt on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CliffBruntAP

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Extra AP school basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and up to date bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket

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